The way of the runner A journey into the fabled world of Japanese running

Adharanand Finn

Book - 2016

It may come as a surprise to many people, but Japan is the most running-obsessed country on earth. A 135-mile relay race, or "ekiden" is the country's biggest annual sporting event. Thousands of professional runners compete for corporate teams in some of the most competitive races in the world. The legendary "marathon monks" run a thousand marathons in a thousand days to reach spiritual enlightenment. Yet so much of Japan's running culture remains a mystery to the o...utside world, on par with many of the unique aspects of contemporary Japan. Adharanand Finn, the award-winning author of Running with the Kenyans, spent six months immersed in this one of a kind running culture to discover what it might teach us about the sport and about Japan. As an amateur runner about to turn 40, he also hoped to find out whether a Japanese approach to training might help him run faster. What he learns--about competition, team work, form, chasing personal bests, and about himself--will fascinate and surprise anyone keen to explore why we run and how we might do it better.

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Subjects
Published
New York : Pegasus Books 2016.
Edition
First Pegasus Books hardcover edition
Language
English
Physical Description
ix, 326 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9781681771212
1681771217
Main Author
Adharanand Finn (author)
Review by Library Journal Reviews

It is no surprise that Kenyans and Ethiopians dominate long-distance running around the globe; however, it is less known that the Japanese follow closely behind. Finn (Running with the Kenyans) finds that statistically, Japanese athletes are among the best in the world, with a greater number completing marathons with faster times—yet they are not always winning races. Fascinated by these statistics, the author wanted to experience Japanese running firsthand, moving his family to the country for six months to explore the question: "Why aren't they better?" Finn discovers that far more attention is placed on running in Japan than in the Western world. Sports events are typically broadcast on primetime television, often times bringing in higher ratings than the U.S. Super Bowl. Plus, there is a greater emphasis placed on running as a team sport; many perform professionally on corporate teams, allowing runners to continue their career after college without financial pressures. VERDICT Finn's explorations of Japanese running culture will be fascinating to anyone who enjoys the sport or is interested in learning about life in Japan.—Melissa Keegan, Ela Area P.L., Lake Zurich, IL [Page 100]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The author of "Running With the Kenyans" turns his attention to Japan, the most running-obsessed country on Earth, revealing a running culture that explores why people run and how it can be done better.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The award-winning author of Running With the Kenyans turns his attention to Japan, the most running-obsessed country on earth, revealing a running culture that will fascinate and surprise anyone eager to explore why we run and how we might do it better.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

It may come as a surprise to many people, but Japan is the most running-obsessed country on earth. A 135-mile relay race, or "ekiden" is the country's biggest annual sporting event. Thousands of professional runners compete for corporate teams in some ofthe most competitive races in the world. The legendary "marathon monks" run a thousand marathons in a thousand days to reach spiritual enlightenment. Yet so much of Japan's running culture remains a mystery to the outside world, on par with many of the unique aspects of contemporary Japan. Adharanand Finn, the award-winning author of Running with the Kenyans, spent six months immersed in this one of a kind running culture to discover what it might teach us about the sport and about Japan. As an amateur runner about to turn 40, he also hoped to find out whether a Japanese approach to training might help him run faster. What he learns--about competition, team work, form, chasing personal bests, and about himself--will fascinate and surprise anyone keen to explore why we run and how we might do it better.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Welcome to Japan, the most running-obsessed nation on Earth and home to a unique running culture unlike anything Adharanand Finn, author of Running with the Kenyans, has even experienced.It may come as a surprise to many people, but Japan is the most running-obsessed country on earth. A 135-mile relay race, or "ekiden" is the country's biggest annual sporting event. Thousands of professional runners compete for corporate teams in some of the most competitive races in the world. The legendary "marathon monks" run a thousand marathons in a thousand days to reach spiritual enlightenment.Yet so much of Japan's running culture remains a mystery to the outside world, on par with many of the unique aspects of contemporary Japan. Adharanand Finn, the award-winning author of Running with the Kenyans, spent six months immersed in this one of a kind running culture to discover what it might teach us about the sport and about Japan.As an amateur runner about to turn 40, he also hoped to find out whether a Japanese approach to training might help him run faster. What he learns&;about competition, team work, form, chasing personal bests, and about himself&;will fascinate and surprise anyone keen to explore why we run and how we might do it better.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

It may come as a surprise to many people, but Japan is the most running-obsessed country on earth. A 135-mile relay race, or "ekiden" is the country's biggest annual sporting event. Thousands of professional runners compete for corporate teams in some of the most competitive races in the world. The legendary "marathon monks" run a thousand marathons in a thousand days to reach spiritual enlightenment.Running with the KenyansAs an amateur runner about to turn 40, he also hoped to find out whether a Japanese approach to training might help him run faster. What he learns—about competition, team work, form, chasing personal bests, and about himself—will fascinate and surprise anyone keen to explore why we run and how we might do it better.

Review by Publisher Summary 6

Running with the Kenyans