reading vs running

Although I struggle to find time to exercise, I always have time for reading. No matter how tired I am , there’s always enough energy for 5 to 10 mins reading before bed. I’m happy to spend hours reading at the weekend. If I ran like I read, I have no doubt that I would be an Olympian! So what has made me such a prolific reader?

As a child I saw my mother reading a lot, and I wanted to read.

We joined a library when I was a pre schooler, so although we couldn’t afford to buy books, there were plenty available to me.

Because I was exposed to lots of books I was able to find a genre that suited me and that lured me in to try other types later

Reading was encouraged and praised at school

Reading  well meant that I had a head start in all other reading related activities

Reading gave me pleasure and became a daily habit.

Because I have put in so many hours of practice I’m good at it, quick, and can read many types of writing.

My whole life has benefited from my ability and enthusiasm for reading.

I am sure that there are people who can substitute the words sport, or exercise, or running where I have put reading and it has shaped their lives in a similar kind of way. Or maybe not. Is sport encouraged in schools? Can you join a free sports centre? (Not when I was a kid, it was a 3 mile walk to the leisure centre and prohibitively expensive)

When it comes to exercise though, I’m definately an adult learner!

However, reading about running is a great help and motivator for me so although my blog is supposed to be about running I probably write more about what I have read about running than about running!

This week is no exception.

It’s been a busy week so I haven’t done much reading or running, but I am slowly making my way through this:


He has some interesting things to say about the balance between life and training and over training. Something that interests me, because I feel that I have experienced it, is his concept that both life stress and the physical stress of exercising can add together, so in effect you can do yourself harm by ‘ overtraining’ and you have a lower threshold for overtraining if you have a stressful life. He gives examples of CEO’ s who do iron man type events, but I think the same would apply to any full time job which takes lots of time and energy, or being a full time carer.

he calls it adrenal fatigue (which as a medic I am obliged to be skeptical about) and goes on to describe how in the early stages you carry on by using sugar and caffeine,  then you use all your spare time for recovery, sleeping in at weekends, holidays just spent recovering from work etc. Feeling exhausted much of the time… It did sound a bit familiar! Anyhow I have spent the whole weekend trying not to have a nice sugary latte in response to this!

The book also covers some more familiar ground, heart rate training bands, training smarter not harder, recovery and its importance and nutrition. He looks at everything! Evidence for compression garments, ice baths, electrical stimulation, hypoxic training and much of it outside my sphere of being ( or interest actually).

Its an interesting read, if you like to read about all the theories. It’s  come at the right time for  me , concentrating as I am on ‘quality’ not quantity. But more about that later!

do you like to read? Or just get on with it and go for a run?😊


About mawil1

Hi my name is julie and I took up running at the age of 46! Hence 'mawil' Middle Aged Woman In Lycra. I did it at first because someone asked me to do a charity run with them. I couldn't run at all, but pride wouldn't let me be seen to be unable to run so I started a walk run programme. I stuck with it and to my surprise I found that I liked it- after a couple of weeks of progress I was hooked! My blog is about my progress in running and how I fit it in with the rest of my life.
This entry was posted in book reviews, fitness, habits, running and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to reading vs running

  1. CeeJayKay says:

    Hmmm thanks for that… I think I may just read that… Looking for a book to read… Read all my mags cover to cover… also Running Mags, I find them motivational 🙂 LOVE them! Xxx

    • mawil1 says:

      Enjoy! It s interesting, a bit off the wall sometimes, a lot of information some of which I have skipped with a view to coming back if I ever decide to try it and links if you want more.
      I think if someone had given me a decent book on learning to run as a teenager I might have given it a go sooner!

  2. oscardiamond says:

    Yes, from a very early age, reading gains you entry into other worlds, whether fiction or non fiction and it’s wonderful when family, friends and education encourages and facilitates this. I feel very uncomfortable when I go into a house with no visible books or papers. What can they be doing with their time? Reading, of course, takes precedence over running and doesn’t create such a palaver! As for running books, I’ve got a few but they are written by men who are too competitive and take running too seriously. I’ve started running backwards so they can put that in their pipe and smoke it!
    Your featured book sounds interesting. I didn’t like the example of a CEO doing an iron man. Didn’t Michael Marmot demonstrate with his Civil Service studies that it wasn’t the high achievers who suffered the most stress and had heart attacks but those much lower down the ladder that had little control over over their work place practices and felt they had no power?

    • mawil1 says:

      Both reading and exercise are really important for children, both are tools for empowernent, though education and physical strength. I’ve read some fun running books but usually they are written by people who seem to make rapid gains in fitness! In the book he gives 2 case histories on the surface both successful people both career wise and sportswise, but one a type A (works hard) and one a type b ( works smart). As time goes by type A gets worn out and unhealthy , type B doesn’t. At the end of the day stress is stress, and it is recognised that the greater stress is experienced by those who feel that they have no power to change things. Whether 40 hrs of dismal work with the rest of your time being your own is more stressful than 70 hrs of autonomous but responsible work with less truly free time probably depends on the individual. As I hinted in my blog, the people who are the most stressed are probably full time carers who often have no free ‘me time’ at all. But it’s not a competition! It’s about individuals being able to do what they can to help themselves. I haven’t finished the book yet, but step 1 to dealing with stress is – wait for it- take a deep breath! Most of us can take control of our breathing, no money or equipment required!
      There’s a lot of what I consider to be OTT stuff in there too, but that’s for the obsessives and I like to think I’m a long way from that!

  3. CeeJayKay says:

    yoga baby… yoga is my ‘ME’ destress time and i go to great lengths to attend every single Thursday night class… and you are right, breathing is key! when i have a bad night and cannot get back to sleep, i do a few breathing exercises, not sure how long they take because i always fall asleep during them.

    • mawil1 says:

      Yoga is surprisingly good isn’t it?ive been doing it once a week but missed a couple of sessions due to social events and boy could I feel the difference when I went back!

      • CeeJayKay says:

        hell yeah! *lol* i hate when my yoga teacher goes on holiday! i just know how sore im going to be when he gets back *lol* try as i may i never get an hour and half done on my own at home to keep it up either. I took a year off yoga once and OMG it took me a year to get back to where i was!

  4. Sounds like a good read. Interesting about stress levels and over training. As a librarian it’s good to hear about your early love of reading too 🙂

  5. It’s interesting to see that we’ve been reading and liking the same books! I haven’t read ‘racing weight’ yet and will get my hands on it, as soon as I finished reading your blog.

    • mawil1 says:

      A kindred spirit! How exciting! Thank you for reading my blog, and thanks to cee Jay for linking us up😄😄

      • I love the racing weight book! Got the tip from you. It really is interesting to none elites. Can’t stop putting it down and think it might be the answer to my current struggles – having reached my previously set goal weight and thinking ‘now what’? So thanks 😀

      • mawil1 says:

        You’re welcome! (You read fast!) I think it’s the same general principle of if you eat healthily and train steadily, your body will adapt itself accordingly. I notice that you are a vegan, have you read Scott jurek’s eat and run?

      • Yes. And ‘finding ultra’ both of them did help me with arguments with other people. I did find recovery much quicker. It does take time to figure things out, but in the end it is much quicker now to get it right.

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