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Running with Joy [Paperback]

Hall Ryan
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Jan 2011
From the fastest American-born marathoner of all time, here is an intimate, day-by-day account of what it takes - physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually - to be one of the best in the world. This journal chronicles Ryan Hall's 14-week preparation for the 2010 Boston Marathon, providing practical insights into the daily regimen of someone training at the absolute peak of human performance. It also reveals the spiritual journey of an elite athlete who is a follower of Jesus Christ. Readers will discover how Ryan deals with nagging injuries and illness, bad weather, disappointing workouts, and a slavish focus on results that can take the fun out of running. Ryan runs 140 miles a week, often at altitude and a blistering pace. Yet millions of everyday runners will identify with and appreciate his intentional return to running with joy and his lifelong goal of glorifying Christ on and off the racecourse.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest House (1 Jan 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736944125
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736944120
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 14.3 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 440,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Ryan Hall holds the American records for the half marathon and 20k, and his 2:04:58 marathon time is the fastest ever by an American. Ryan's wife, Sara, is also a professional runner. Their Hall Steps Foundation urges the running community to help end global poverty.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Running With Joy" by Ryan Hall 26 Dec 2011
Format:Paperback
On April 18, 2011, Ryan Hall will make his third consecutive trip to Beantown to toe the line at the 115th Boston Marathon. In an interview this week at the Endurance Live Awards Gala, Ryan said "Something about Boston grabs my heart. Runners are rock stars that weekend. I love when I'm standing on the starting line in Hopkinton. I feel like I'm living in a history book and I'm writing history." Many of us who treat the Boston Marathon like our personal Olympics feel the same way! "Running with Joy" really embraces Ryan's love of the world's oldest annual marathon and details his training from January 2010 up until the start of the race, where he concludes his first book with a recap of his race to Boston, where he finished 3rd overall in an American Record time (for Boston) of 2:08:41.

"Running with Joy" is a book for runners. Those that feel elite runners are too cryptic in their training methods and never let the public in enough to what they are doing will love "Running with Joy" as Ryan details every training run from January to April 2010 (most days are doubles) and doesn't hold back when something is bothering him. One more fired up moment of his account is when he is discussing the challenging winters in Mammoth Lakes, CA:

"Why do we live here? We could train anywhere in the world-Mexico, Columbia, Kenya-and yet we train here! Why?" I yelled as I slipped for the fifth time in that many minutes running through a blizzard with the team on Mammoth Scenic Loop. I knew I had a bad attitude, but I couldn't hold it in anymore. It was dumping snow, and with every slip I saw my journey to Boston crashing to a halt because of muscle spasms. I was sure I'd tear something before long.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting outlook on running 2 Aug 2013
By jason
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the way Ryan does his different runs but isn't caught up on his times. I constantly check my Garmin. I'm going to take a leaf out of his book.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Running With Joy" by Ryan Hall 27 Jan 2011
By Writing About Running - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
On April 18, 2011, Ryan Hall will make his third consecutive trip to Beantown to toe the line at the 115th Boston Marathon. In an interview this week at the Endurance Live Awards Gala, Ryan said "Something about Boston grabs my heart. Runners are rock stars that weekend. I love when I'm standing on the starting line in Hopkinton. I feel like I'm living in a history book and I'm writing history." Many of us who treat the Boston Marathon like our personal Olympics feel the same way! "Running with Joy" really embraces Ryan's love of the world's oldest annual marathon and details his training from January 2010 up until the start of the race, where he concludes his first book with a recap of his race to Boston, where he finished 3rd overall in an American Record time (for Boston) of 2:08:41.

"Running with Joy" is a book for runners. Those that feel elite runners are too cryptic in their training methods and never let the public in enough to what they are doing will love "Running with Joy" as Ryan details every training run from January to April 2010 (most days are doubles) and doesn't hold back when something is bothering him. One more fired up moment of his account is when he is discussing the challenging winters in Mammoth Lakes, CA:

"Why do we live here? We could train anywhere in the world-Mexico, Columbia, Kenya-and yet we train here! Why?" I yelled as I slipped for the fifth time in that many minutes running through a blizzard with the team on Mammoth Scenic Loop. I knew I had a bad attitude, but I couldn't hold it in anymore. It was dumping snow, and with every slip I saw my journey to Boston crashing to a halt because of muscle spasms. I was sure I'd tear something before long.

Powerful emotional outbursts like this help show the reader and more than likely, the runner, that even Ryan Hall has some bad days. He goes on to say that his then teammate, American 50k record holder, Josh Cox, helped him get to a better place mentally during that run and by the end of it, his attitude was positive again. This kind of run also possibly led to his departure from the Mammoth Track Club in October 2010 to train in various (and milder) locations like Flagstaff, San Francisco and most recently, Seattle. There is no doubt that Ryan is a free spirit of sorts, which makes him extremely relatable to me and likely to many that will pick up this book.

Another very important thing in Ryan's life is his faith. Many people have found Ryan to be a polarizing figure because of this, but I believe "Running With Joy" will show the reader where he is coming from. That is a good place. Ryan is using the bible to inspire himself and to do unto others. He and his wife Sara have established the Hall Steps Foundation to raise money towards Clean Water (through World Vision), fighting Human Trafficking (through International Justice Mission), and funding a home in a Rescue Center in Kenya through Global Children's Movement. Hall never comes off as preachy and only quotes scripture to inspire and help him understand his own personal growth, not to condemn others for their particular beliefs. There is an entertaining piece about Sammy Wanjiru in here, as well as former teammate, Deena Kastor, who is Jewish, that will show the reader a deeper side of his faith and values.

No matter what you believe, if you believe in the run, you will take something away from "Running With Joy." This is a book that I will not be passing on to a friend, because there are too many good workouts and ideas for training weeks/months, that will provide an excellent reference as I continue to train for this years Boston Marathon myself. I enjoy reading running books to learn some new tricks. Here's a few I picked up from Ryan:
He drinks 20 ounces of water when he wakes up in the morning.
He coats his feet in vaseline before runs (and puts band-aids on his nipples).
He does easy runs in the Asics Gel-Cumulus, faster runs in the Asics Gel-DS Trainer, and tempos/races in the Asics Gel-Hyperspeed.
He takes his easy runs easy (after hammering in college and losing steam at the end of seasons). Many runs are around 7:00-7:30 pace.
He focuses on a healthy diet and eating every few hours to maintain racing weight.
He wears the Garmin Forerunner 110 and brings gum to the starting line (in case he "gets parched").

What's next for Ryan? Before heading back to Boston, he'll be tackling the best in the nation this weekend in Houston at the USATF Half Marathon Championship, the place where he set the set the American Record in 2007 (on a slightly different course). Houston is also the place where this 2012 Olympic Trials Marathon will take place a year from now, so that should provide for some extra excitement.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marathon Bible for Runners, Godly Poetry for Everyone Else 5 April 2011
By k b - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I met Ryan last fall so I knew this book was on the horizon. I had it pre-ordered by a family member who gifted it to me for Christmas. I couldn't wait to read it. Then, when I got it, I devoured it in just a couple of days. It's an easy read and there's a lot to learn from a spiritual runner. The cool thing is, I've re-read parts of it several times over because it helps me put into perspective my own training, walk with God, and daily journey en route to the Boston Marathon. I can't relate to 100+ miles week of training but I can relate to the mentality of a dedicated athlete. I'm floored that Ryan is so open about his life, his training program and diet, and freely shares it with all. I recommend this book to everyone. Other God-followers have told me they love it! I'm still awaiting feedback from other marathon friends. Ryan is the real deal, a model to everyone who walks this planet.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Honest Journal 22 Mar 2011
By JamieoftheNorth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm not a religious person at all, but as others have mentioned Hall does talk about his faith quite a bit in his book. That didn't bother me. It was just an honest look at Hall and who he is. I didn't think he was being preachy, he just speaks of Christianity as it pertains to him. If that's a big part of who he is, I would expect him to write about it, pure and simple.

Most of the book is a day-by-day running journal as he trains through the winter for the Boston Marathon. If you're a runner, there is so much great information in his entries. For example, I was amazed at how easy he takes his easy days, and also how often. It underscored that it's okay for me to do the same, and not worry about what my buddies are doing with their own training.

I'd consider this a must read for any runner, especially if you're doing the Boston Marathon or have an interest in doing so. Plus, proceeds from the book go to charity, so on top of a great read it's also money going to a good cause.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for runners 17 Feb 2011
By seasidejennie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am writing after being surprisingly inspired by the training journal of a marathon runner. I myself am a watercolor artist. Alone in my world of paints and far from his paths tracked in competitive miles and seconds, I found common ground between my paintbrush and Ryan's running shoes. How refreshing to be reminded that it is not in the results that true value is measured but in the very moments spent in the companionship of my Creator. I believe that this new season of painting with God, not just for God, will take me to places once thought only possible in my dreams. I'm so thankful that Ryan took the time between his training runs to make notes of what God was making of- and in -him. Running the race that truly counts, what a message!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Run with Joy, "win" or "lose" 21 Aug 2011
By Bobby Newman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ryan Hall's Run with Joy is a diary/training log detailing his training for the Boston Marathon. He gives you the specifics of his training, with speeds for distance that most of us could only do on a bicycle. The book, however, is far more than just miles logged. Ryan gives us his view of running as a Christian in the deeper sense of the word. Not only is Jesus Christ the driving force in his life, he seeks to emulate what he believes Jesus would want of Ryan Hall and speculates what Jesus would think (e.g., would Jesus be in the race to beat other people?) and uses it as a guide. I don't share Ryan's faith, although I do confess I am envious of the peace that he describes it bringing. What was truly refreshing was the honest assessment of the need to win versus the need to enjoy what you are doing. To paraphrase, only one person wins the marathon, did all the others lose? In a letter in a recent running magazine, Ryan Hall was criticized for a lack of killer instinct. His reply would certainly be a smile and a "you nailed it in one." Of course he loves to win, as we all do, but he describes encouragement for all and a deeper sense of purpose and gratitude for being allowed to live the life he does. Ryan is introspective (should he have stopped a training run to sign an autograph and the guilt he felt for not doing so) and does not paint himself as perfect. I personally did not feel that Ryan was hitting me over the head with his religion, although the more sensitive among us on the issue of religion might; witness a question asked in an interview if Deena Kastor, another amazing marathoner who is Jewish and is a training partner, has any difficulty with his outspokenness about his religion. Ryan assures us that Deena and he get along nicely, but there are others who love to pick a fight about religion. Know what you're getting going in, and enjoy. The timing on the book was great for me personally. I just finished a 10 mile race in Prospect Park this morning, with hills that led to a time that was a good 30 seconds slower per mile than I'm used to running. This message of the book is very helpful after a disappointing performance and reminds me to keep up my own marathon training without being so concerned with what the clock tells me.
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