Another running book. Get ready.Martin Dugard seems like a decent guy, if you ignore the fact that he kind of loves Lance Armstrong. I ignore it, and that makes his book enjoyable.
To Be a Runner is part instructional, part inspirational, and part autobiographical. Dugard discovered a love of running early, and through various stages of his life moved in and out of competitive running, at one time training for the Olympic try outs. There are also portions of Dugard’s life where he is depressed and over weight and returns to running. Finally, Dugard has slipped comfortably into the role of coach and mentor for a future generation of runners. His book reads like a man who enjoys running and wants to share what it means to him on a fundamental level. The book felt like a series of essays, sometimes disjointed and sometimes fitting together with a comfortable symmetry. At times Dugard gets preachy or advice-y and I am not sure if all his advice is useful to someone in my particular circumstances.
As I sit here I think of the audience for this book. The focus is fairly narrow and I don’t imagine non-runners being terribly excited about Dugard’s anecdotes, or his philosophies. Within the running community, perhaps a narrower group of people that really enjoy a memoir type running book. I liked the book. Dugard writes clearly and isn’t overly florid, but I can’t imagine I would recommend this book to very many people. Not because it isn’t good, it just fits into an awkward niche.