Runner Beans Running & Fitness Book Club January Choices


I’ve recently been loving reading and listening to motivational fitness books that have inspired me to get up, lace up my shoes and hit the road even when I’d really rather not. I recently posted in a Facebook group that I’m part of asking if anyone wanted to be part of a running and fitness book club and got a great response…so here it is.

The idea is that we’ll choose a book each month, read it over the next 3/4 weeks, then I’ll post my review and link up to any blog posts about the book, encouraging people to post their thoughts in the comments. It would also be great to get a Facebook thread and/or Twitter thread going about the book too…

So, here are the January choices, of course they’re mostly running focused for the first month. I’ll be posting the review on here on the 23rd Jan….

What book shall we read as the first Runner Beans Running & Fitness Book Club?

Your Pace or Mine?: What Running Taught Me About Life, Laughter and Coming Last
In the Running: Stories of Extraordinary Runners from Around the World
Running Beyond: Epic Ultra, Trail and Skyrunning Races
The End of the World Running Club
This Mum Runs
Recovery Run: When cancer, cocktails and compression gear collide

Here’s a little round up of the books above to help you make your choice…

Your Pace or Mine?: What Running Taught Me About Life, Laughter and Coming Last

Lisa Jackson is a surprising cheerleader for the joys of running. Formerly a committed fitness-phobe, she became a marathon runner at 31, and ran her first 56-mile ultramarathon aged 41. And unlike many runners, Lisa’s not afraid to finish last – in fact, she’s done so in 20 of the 90-plus marathons she’s completed so far.

But this isn’t just Lisa’s story, it’s also that of the extraordinary people she’s met along the way – tutu-clad fun-runners, octogenarians, 250-mile ultrarunners – whose tales of loss and laughter are sure to inspire you just as much as they’ve inspired her. This book is for anyone who longs to experience the sense of connection and achievement that running has to offer, whether you’re a nervous novice or a seasoned marathoner dreaming of doing an ultra. An account of the triumph of tenacity over a lack of talent, Your Pace or Mine? is proof that running really isn’t about the time you do, but the time you have!

In the Running: Stories of Extraordinary Runners from Around the World 

Running isn’t a hobby, it’s a way of life.

Runners run to be the best they can be, to challenge who they are, to inspire others and to champion their cause.

From the woman who ran for three and a half days without sleep, to the 61-year-old man who broke records in an 875-km ultramarathon, this collection of unforgettable stories will inspire anyone who’s ever pounded the pavement to keep on running and enjoy every minute of this liberating sport.

Running Beyond: Epic Ultra, Trail and Skyrunning Races

Whether the adventure occurs on the twisting trails of the world’s mountain peaks, in the intense heat of desert sands or the gritty demands of rocky paths, running far and running hard is all about the journey. The sport of ultra pushes the legs, heart and lungs through some of the world’s most incredible locations, testing both body and mind to the limit.

Ian Corless has travelled across the globe to document the stunning beauty and incredible routes of some of the world’s most iconic ultra trails. From a hard, technical route through the Grand Canyon to the snow-capped peaks of Italy’s Dolomites, the physicality and intensity of the sport are brought to life through this stunning collection of photographs.

Exclusive interviews with the legends of the sport – including Kilian Jornet, Emelie Forsberg and Anton Krupicka – describe the technical challenges and emotional experiences of running to these extreme heights and endurance distances.

With maps and profiles for each race, and filled with striking and evocative images capturing the action and drama of the races – and the men and women who run them – Running Beyond is a beautiful homage to the sport of ultra. It is an inspiration for anyone who has ever dreamed of running beyond on the world’s most beautiful and testing races.

The End of the World Running Club 

When the world ends and you find yourself stranded on the wrong side of the country, every second counts.

No one knows this more than Edgar Hill. 550 miles away from his family, he must push himself to the very limit to get back to them, or risk losing them forever…

His best option is to run.
But what if your best isn’t good enough?

This Mum Runs 

‘Come-back races? I’ve had more than a few, the night of 10 May 2014 was the ultimate long shot. I was a forty-year-old mother of two who had given birth eight months before. I trained on a treadmill in a cupboard by the back door and I was wearing a running vest older than most of the girls I was competing against. Was I crazy?’ 

Jo Pavey was forty years old when she won the 10,000m at the European Championships. It was the first gold medal of her career and, astonishingly, it came within months of having her second child.

The media dubbed her ‘Supermum’, but Jo’s story is in many ways the same as every mother juggling the demands of working life with a family – the sleepless nights, the endless nappy changing, the fun, the laughter and the school-run chaos. The only difference is that Jo is a full-time athlete pushing a buggy on her training runs, clocking up miles on the treadmill in a cupboard while her daughter has her lunchtime nap, and hitting the track while her children picnic on the grass.

Heartwarming and uplifting, This Mum Runs follows Jo’s roundabout journey to the top and all the lessons she’s learnt along the way. It is the inspiring yet everyday story of a mum that runs and a runner that mums.

Recovery Run: When cancer, cocktails and compression gear collide

Written by one of the ladies in the Run Mummy Run group that I’m in (yes they let non-mummies in)

Recovery Run will make you laugh out loud and make your eyes leak. It’s the story of the girl who, along with her partner in crime, Marc and daughter Cleo, totally bitch slapped cancer to oblivion! A hilarious and heart-warming recollection of how, against the odds, her love affair with running saw her through her darkest days and gave her the fighting spirit to conquer 3 London Marathons and umpteen Half Marathons. Imagine Bridget Jones takes up running and hallucinogenic drugs and you’re on the right track, except this Bridget is real, has already found her Mr Darcy and there’s a happy ending! Some people talk out of their arse……. she talks about her arse…. a lot! This is a Triumphant, no-holds barred story of courage, strength, hope, stupidity, love and stubbornness beyond belief told by Nicky in all her magnificent, hairy glory… Recovery Run is not the story of my life, I’m not done writing that yet. But it does tell the story of what happened when I was diagnosed with cancer then inexplicably decided to take up running (please someone explain that to me because I’m still clueless!) It opens on 1st January this year with my ludicrous thoughts about fitness resolutions and half baked plans for the year. Each entry thereafter reflects on either a run I’ve done that day or a particularly noteworthy one from the past six years including three London Marathons through chemo, five Great North Runs and a ton of other escapades. I share the challenges and difficulties I’ve had to face during my treatment whilst simultaneously talking about runs that I have attempted with colossal hangovers or the many insanely misjudged situations I’ve found myself in. It’s also a story of my love of two cities, Liverpool and Newcastle and of my life with my sidekicks Marc and Cleo along with some of the brilliant characters we’ve met over the last couple of years. If you’re looking for a technical running book that’s going to talk to you about the finer points of hill sprints, negative splits and nutrition then you’re going to be seriously disappointed. I’m just a girl who got cancer and had to do something to teach me how to survive. But if you want to read about the absolute love of running, the days you think you’ll never run again and the moments you feel completely invincible then this is the book for you. After all, you may not realise it now but if you’re anything like me, running might just be the thing that saves your life.

Would LOVE to have you in our virtual book club… click on the book above that you’d most like or leave a comment below. 



    • charlotte
      December 6, 2016 / 3:08 pm

      Thanks Bernadette!

  1. Diana Johnston
    December 6, 2016 / 2:22 pm

    I love this idea!! All of these books sound great. When are you going to be posting the winner? I’d love to have something to read over the Christmas holiday.

    • charlotte
      December 6, 2016 / 3:03 pm

      Will announce at the beginning of next week – then you can still add it to your christmas list!

  2. December 6, 2016 / 2:48 pm

    such a fun idea! i voted for the end of the world running club. sounds like a great read. xx

  3. December 6, 2016 / 2:57 pm

    Great idea, excited to be part of this. I’d read any of them but I voted for the first one.When/how will you let us know which book ‘won’ so we can read it in time for the review?

    • charlotte
      December 6, 2016 / 3:02 pm

      I’ll announce it next week so there’s time to add it to Christmas list! Glad you’re taking part Cathryn!

  4. December 6, 2016 / 3:12 pm

    Great idea, I’d love to be involved! Maybe there could be a blogger linkup? I actually already read End of the World Running Club earlier on in the year,but would absolutely love to read Jo Pavey’s book! x

  5. Lizzy
    December 6, 2016 / 9:23 pm

    Fab idea!

  6. Catherine
    December 6, 2016 / 9:43 pm

    This is a fantastic idea, can’t wait for 1st book 2 be picked. I love reading all you blog posts and really enjoyed your YouTube vlogs, will you be doing anymore?

    • charlotte
      December 7, 2016 / 12:42 pm

      Thanks so much Catherine – I’m actually working on a weekly Tokyo marathon training vlog at the moment – first one should go up on Sunday/Monday! xx

  7. Viki
    December 6, 2016 / 10:02 pm

    This sounds great! ?

  8. December 7, 2016 / 1:44 pm

    Great idea, I’ve voted for the first one!

  9. December 7, 2016 / 11:48 pm

    I love it! I love reading, running and blogging so this is perfect!

  10. Hannah
    December 8, 2016 / 10:10 pm

    Brilliant idea Charlie 🙂

  11. December 11, 2016 / 4:46 pm

    Really looking forward to this one Charlie! It’ll be a little light relief from all my uni books 🙂 x

  12. Tiffany Bell
    December 12, 2016 / 11:34 pm

    I will download the book – will you be putting a link up for the Facebook group?

  13. Lucy Miller
    December 16, 2016 / 8:33 am

    It’s so hard to find a decent running book that is full of insuring ideas and a great storyline. This is a fab idea. Looking forward to discovering some great reads.

  14. December 17, 2016 / 9:20 pm

    So glad to have discovered this! Is there any way to sign up?

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