Running with the Kenyans – a book review

I’ve read lots of books since my last review. Some were incredible and others were a struggle to finish.

One of my recent favourite running related books is Running with the Kenyans, Discovering the secrets of the fastest people on earth by Adharanand Finn.

I loved this book! It made me want to run and run…and run. (I read it a few months ago so can’t give a great review.)

The author moves his family from England to Iten, Kenya to see if he can discover why Kenyans are the fastest people in the running world.

Along with the theme of running, there are great side stories about his family making their way in a foreign country.

Finn trains with Kenyans, he talks to them and their coaches, and he befriends them. He runs at high altitudes and follows their diet. In the end, his running improves. But does he find the secret?

“In the end there was no elixir, no running gene, no secret that you could neatly package up and present with flashing lights and fireworks….it was everything and nothing.”

The book is current and includes many cameos by the world’s best runners. The statistics of Kenyans are simply amazing.

Each chapter also begins with a quote. Here are a couple that I loved.

“No race begins at the start line.”  – Haile Gebrselassie

“Ask yourself, ‘Can I give more?’ The answer is usually ‘Yes.’ – Paul Tergat, Kenyan athlete.

I highly recommend Running with the Kenyans. Read it to learn more about the fascinating lives of Kenyan runners and to inspire you to become better. Maybe you shouldn’t read it if you have wanderlust; it’ll make you want to move to Kenya, or at least visit, so you can become immersed in the Kenyan running world!

Have you read this book? What do you think is the Kenyans secret to success? 

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24 responses to “Running with the Kenyans – a book review

  1. Interesting…maybe I will add this to my post-grad-school reading list. Is it possible that the Kenyan secret to success is biology + hard work?

  2. I haven’t read this one but it’s definitely on my list. I’ve just devoured Chrissie Wellington’s autobiography and Scott Jurek’s. I never used to enjoy reading non-fiction and all of a sudden I’m devouring these books. So inspirational. I guess it helps when you can apply it to your own life!

  3. Sounds really interesting! I will definitely add it to my list 😀

  4. I remember reading a little about this book before and I definitely need to pick it up! I am always looking for good new running books so thanks for sharing!

  5. I’ll have to get this book, it sounds great, and I’m always interested in picking up any tips that will help my running!

  6. Thanks for the review, I will fefinetly add it to my list!

  7. Holy random, I just saw a documentary on this and I think Outside magazine did a spread. It’s really interesting POV.

  8. This book sounds awesome!! I love running quotes so I like the idea that each chapter starts with one!! I hope they have it for the Nook!! 🙂

  9. I’m always looking for new running books – I’m going to pick this up!

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