Tuesday, July 15, 2008

bart yasso "my life on the run: the wit, wisdom, and insights of a road racing icon" book review



it was a great change of pace (pardon the pun) to get back to a running book, following the pair on the first amendment (the howl trial and anthony lewis books) separated by a biography (the buckleys). "my life on the run: the wit, wisdom, and insights of a road racing icon," by bart yasso, has a title practically longer than the book itself! yet despite the wordy start, the book itself is a quick, enjoyable read!

yasso has had an interesting running life over the course of 30 years - 20 of which he spent working at "runner's world" magazine. he's run more than 1,000 competitive races and, impressively, numerous sub-3 hour marathons! from that deep background of experience he collected 17 chapters of material covering the many high, and occasional low, points of his career. the second part of the book consists of two chapters of training schedules and a final one of his "must do races."

the chapters i found the most interesting included his experience with badwater ultra race (which, coincidentally, took place a few days ago), his trip to antartica to run a marathon there, and, the revealing tale of his participation in the "bare buns fun run" at a nudist camp! the first two events are on my personal "must do" races list, the last one i can't picture myself pre-registering for any time soon.

i also was fascinated by his battle with lyme disease. he beat the debilitating disease once, only to have it return w/a vengeance a second time! it took serious determination - and commitment - to, on the heels of his recovery, follow through with leading the sub-3:00 pace team at the chicago marathon. a mission he did accomplish!

and, from a training perspective, no discussion of bart yasso would be complete without a mention of "yasso 800's." he obliges with a chapter detailing the history of this marathon prediction method - from it's original application to his own marathon training to it's now ubiquitous place in marathon training worldwide! good stuff!

the book is definitely a good bet for runners (of all shapes, sizes, and speeds)!

bart yasso also maintains his own web site and blog.

while i'm waiting for delivery of the haruki murakami running book (the pre-orders will probably ship late next week), i've grabbed a little escapist fiction - the new james bond book!

5 comments:

Laura said...

I got to meet Bart at the Vermont City Marathon, and I've heard all about Yasso 800s since then. Haven't read his book though - it sounds great and I'll definitely try to pick it up!

Just_because_today said...

well, I am ordering it right now! not for nothing but how does one run naked? I mean, there is a reason why there are sports bra and all that stuff to help us run comfortably.

CTmarathoner said...

hope you lend me this book.. -when we start going back to faster marathoning (haha -nevermore for me) -time to do some yasso 800s...

Scott said...

I got the book. Looking foward to reading it...

I'm pumped for VT. A little nervous, but ready to dive in and give it a try!

You ready?

Viper said...

Just found your blog. I dig your taste in writers. Nice review of the Yasso book. I just reviewed it myself and also just finished the new Bond. Good luck in Vermont.