- Author Charlie Spedding
I have a love / hate relationship with books about running, because whilst I enjoy reading about other people’s adventures with the sport/exercise that has grabbed my attention, I am always insanely jealous of those who are actually quite good at it. This was an autobiography of sorts from Charlie Spedding, bronze medal winner in the marathon at the Los Angeles' Olympics.
He’s also done a lot more than that, and we get extensive detail of the races he ran and how he trained his way towards the top. Where I thought it was most interesting though was the psychology side. Spedding readily admits that he is a good runner but may not be naturally gifted in terms of speed. However, having the right philosophy turned his career around. The chapter where he sits with a beer and talks himself into what I can only clumsily call positive thinking was just marvellous to read.
Unlike some biographies I have read, although Spedding does go through the “I did this, I achieved this, I was the best at this” details, it does feel more level-headed and down to earth than some sportspeople. The section at the end about how to improve sport in schools and encourage more competition in athletics verges on a little bit preachy, but proves just how much he cares about the subject.
Overall a good read. I can see it being a bit too much detail for the average reader/runner, but I found the majority of it interesting.