The Way of the Runner

Adharanand Finn

A fascinating and personal exploration of Japan’s obsession with running by Adharanand Finn, award-winning author of Running with the Kenyans.

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Welcome to Japan, the most running-obsessed nation on earth, where: a long-distance relay race is the country’s biggest annual sporting event; companies sponsor their own running teams, paying the athletes like employees; and marathon monks run a thousand marathons in a thousand days to reach spiritual enlightenment.

Adharanand Finn – award-winning author of Running with the Kenyans – moved to Japan to discover more about this unique running culture and what it might teach us about the sport and about Japan. As an amateur runner about to turn forty, he also hoped find out whether the Japanese approach to training might help him keep improving. What he learned – about competition, about team work, about beating your personal bests, about form and about himself – will fascinate anyone who is keen to explore why we run, and how we might do it better.

Critic Reviews

What an adventure! From the first page, I was hooked. Way of the Runner is a heartwarming journey into a wonderful world that I never knew existed until Adharanand Finn swept me up and brought me there.

Christopher McDougall, author of Natural Born Heroes and Born to Run
Critic Reviews

Brilliant ... Funny, charming and wise. Finn shines a light on a way of life that puts serious running at the heart of its culture and shows why the way of the runner: the racing and preparation, but also the culture, diet and lifestyle, is really a way of life - one that all of us, runners and non-runners alike should all aspire to.

Robin Harvie, author of Why We Run
Critic Reviews

Insightful ... packed with tips for runners.

Critic Reviews

Combines great storytelling with immersive research ... Finn, a lovely, anxious narrator as he approaches his 40th birthday worried about his race times, discovers how utterly ingrained in the Japanese psyche running is - as a mainstay of both community and psychology ... Useful as a fresh perspective on your own running.

Alexandra Heminsley (author of RUNNING LIKE A GIRL), Independent on Sunday
Critic Reviews

Brilliant, superbly written and a cracking read.

Kate Carter, Guardian Running Blog
Critic Reviews

A great look at Japanese distance running and will provide an interesting read to anyone who wants to know what makes a particular running community tick ... if you liked Running With the Kenyans then you will definitely enjoy this.

Athletics Weekly

Adharanand Finn is the author of Running with the Kenyans (2012), The Way of the Runner (2015) and The Rise of the Ultra Runners (2019). The first of these was the Sunday Times Sports Book of the Year, won Best New Writer at the British Sports Book Awards and was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book Award. He is…

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