Run or Die – a book review

I thought it would be fitting to post my review on Run or Die while I’m away in Jasper, enjoying the mountains and trails!


As I read books about running or sport, I fold down pages I know I’ll want to look at again whether for inspiration or a good tip. After reading Run or Die by Kilian Jornet, I had over 20 pages folded down.

Kilian is the world’s greatest endurance runner, and he’s only 25. I’ve professed my awe of him a few times before, so I won’t go into it again!

The autobiography is a first-person report of Jornet’s entry into endurance sports and the races and adventures that have made him the success he is today.

Although you may have read about his successes or watched him race in Unbreakable or his Summits of My Life series, in the book you delve into his mind throughout his many competitions and challenges.

His competitive drive is like nothing I’ve read before. But it’s not just about winning. It’s about challenging his body, exploring his limits, and living life in tune with nature.

To me, Jornet seems superhuman. He has achieved incredible feats and has the most natural, beautiful running and skiing style.

Image by Suunto. Click for credit.

Image by Suunto. Click for credit.

With somebody who has accomplished so much, it’s easy to think he works hard for it but doesn’t struggle much. Through the book you realize he is human. He struggles through some of the challenges, questions why he pushes his body to such extremes, and even wonders why he’s waking up at an early hour to run further when it’s so comfortable in bed.

Run or Die isn’t full of tips and tricks to be the best in the world. It’s a story in Jornet’s voice and style that emulates his love for endurance sports and adventure.

He is one of the greatest athletes of our time, and one of the least well-known. To me, that makes his book worth reading.

When you read books by athletes, do you prefer to hear their story or do you want to know how they train, what they eat, etc?

Other book reviews:

10 responses to “Run or Die – a book review

  1. oooh this sounds intriguing! i’ll have to pick it up. i have to admit i’d never heard of him!

  2. Oh – I think I would enjoy that book – I like to hear the story behind amazing athletes!

  3. I love to hear the story! I haven’t read many running books but was really into eat and run by scott jurek! I want to check out born to run!

  4. i LOVE biographies- i think reading about how someone became the person they are is the most interesting thing. from industry leaders to athletes to artists, i love their stories. i need to read this book!

  5. My husband and I love watching Kilian Jornet’s videos! I think he would love this book as a stocking stuffer for Christmas (and I could read it, too)! Thanks for the idea!

  6. this book sounds great! I love reading books about running that are more stories than facts. I read Born to Run a few years ago and loved it.

  7. Stories are nice, but I love to get inspiration from others on how they train and prepare for events:)

  8. I always love a good running book! Hope you are having a great time in Jasper! You deserve it!

  9. runnerbydefault

    Thanks for the reviews. I have been looking for other running books to read. I just finished Marshall Ulrich’s Running on Empty and the book about Prefontaine. I really liked both of them.

  10. Pingback: Eat Sleep Ride: a book review | Change of Pace

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