This book should be banned. Just over a year ago, I innocently picked it up with the vague idea that
sometime I should start running. And what happened? Well, I started, and thanks to Bob Glover's insidious inspirational tone, I haven't stopped.
Some books about running seem to give you a stitch the minute you begin reading them, but not this
one. The Runner's Handbook gently coaxes you out on to the roads for ten minutes at a time, then 15, then 20, until one day you find yourself running non-stop for half-an-hour or more, three days a week.
But that's not enough. Oh no. Soon, you're taking Coach Glover's expert advice on how to run a 10K. You tuck the book under your arm when you go buying running shoes. You steadily alter your eating habits, so you feel leaner, more nimble. You even alter next year's holiday plans so you can fit in the Madrid Marathon. Worse still, in the evening you find yourself laying aside the new E Annie Proulx in favour of Bob's chapter on Running in Cold Weather.
This is the first time I've actually read A Book That Changed My Life. And sure, I'm fitter now, I'm healthier, and I've lost 25 pounds.
But that Bob Glover's got a lot to answer for.