Running The Edge: Book Review

If you haven’t picked up your copy of Running The Edge, by Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano, what are you waiting for?  Do it now!  It will change the way you thinking about running and about your life.

This book is different than any of the other running books out there.  If you are looking for specific how-to advice from these great athletes/authors on things like tempos, intervals, pacing, etc., you won’t find it in the book.  But if you are looking to find deeper meaning and inspiration, in your running AND your life, look no further – Running The Edge is that kind of book.

In Running The Edge, Adam and Tim (My new BFF’s; I feel like we are on a first name basis, since, like them, I am now dedicated to becoming a distance maven!), give you the tools to transform your running, and your life, from ordinary to extraordinary, to create a personal revolution in  your running and your life.  Their book is about becoming a “Distance Maven”.  A distance maven combines action with thought in order to become an expert and excel at running and life.  A distance maven “has the desire and consistent dedication to self-improvement by working on weaknessess and developing strengths.”

The goal of the distance maven?  To achieve excellence in all that you do, in all 5 life stories AND in your running.  Why?  Why not.  Most of the runners I know are overachievers and throw themselves passionately into running.  My guess is that most of them also would like to be overachievers in all the aspects of their lives.  As Adam and Tim (my new BFF’s) would say, most runners want to be more than average or ordinary.

Adam and Tim walk you through a series of steps (spelled out in informative chapters, with workbook-like self-assessment activities at the end of each) designed to analyze your running and five “stories” of your life (education, career, family, friends, passions).  They explore and expound on the 6 attributes (“mirrors”) common to all Distance Mavens – initiative, responsibility, determination, adaptability, integrity and person-ability.  Then, they ask you to rank your “real self” (how you believe you actually are now) in terms of all 6 of these mirrors for each of the 5 life stories and your running, versus your “ideal self” (how you would like to be).

The book has a perfect mix of inspirational stories, ideas and psychological mumbo-jumbo (which gives it credibility, in my opinion; apparently Tim has a degree or some sort of background/interest in psychology).  Even if you don’t buy into their theory and don’t want to BECOME a distance maven yourself, I feel like most runners will really enjoy the book because of the inspirational stories and because Tim and Adam “get it” and describe, SO PERFECTLY, how runners feel about running.  Really, there were so many times while I was reading Running The Edge that I felt like they had put in words exactly what running does for me.  I’ll be blogging lots more about snippits that I found inspirational from the book.

One of my favorite parts of the book was about not waiting for someday to do something.  Make your someday be right now.  I thought about this alot this weekend and applied it in little ways that I think make my life (and consequently the lives of those around me) a little better.

I was loving the book so much, and so anxious to get through it, that I did a read-through, without taking the time to truly stop and do the exercises they suggest and REALLY think through the things they suggest.  I plan on going back through it again this week, this time with my highlighter and a notepad, and I’m going to really reflect on my running and my life stories, because I know there is a lot of room for improvement between my real self and ideal self in all areas.

I am anxious to hear what others think of this book!  Let me know!

13 thoughts on “Running The Edge: Book Review

    1. Hi Mindi- for some reason their website says you can only order through it – sounds like it must not be in bookstores or online elsewhere (major marketing mistake on their part, in my opinion; hopefully they get with bookstores soon!)

  1. Thank you for the great book review! Adam and I just found your blog through a Google Alert and we love it! We are also happy we are your new BFF’s! Keep up the marathoning, mothering,
    lawyering, blogging, inspiring and dessert loving!

    Your BFF Tim

    1. Hi BFF Tim! I’m so glad that you and Adam found my blog – thanks for commenting! I really did enjoy the book – so many things from it struck very close to home and will make for great blog post topics in the future. I’ve started my second read through and I’m breaking out the highlighter and notepad this time! Stay tuned.


    1. Hi Adam – what an honor to have you comment on my blog! Say hi to Kara for me! (I’m not sure if I did a formal review of her book, but I know I referenced it in my April and May posts and I call on some of the snippits of info that I gathered from her book in my training and races). You are both very inspirational!


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  3. Heather

    Just discovered your blog by accident while looking for reviews of Adam Goucher’s new book. I am a Minnesota (Minneapolis) lawyer, “adult-onset” runner, and my first race was the TC 10 Mile in 2006! I’ve done dozens of races, including du’s and tri’s, but I plan to run my first marathon in 2012. I cannot wait to keep reading.

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