In Run Simple, A Minimalist Approach to Fitness and Well Being, Duncan Larkin says that American runners needlessly complicate running, which should be the simplest of sports. Instead of being content with the essentials–a road, shorts, shirt, and (for some) shoes, we think we need to buy hundreds of dollars worth of gadgets, specialty clothes, and food cooked in a lab.
Larkin says that this extra stuff doesn’t help, but distracts, even hurts, and can take the joy out of running. And it sure doesn’t make us faster:
“If you want to run faster, you have to realize that you only need a few things: your legs, lungs, heart, and a positive attitude.”
Besides telling readers why and how to simplify running and save money, Larkin gives lots of other helpful information: training plans, racing strategies, mental tips, and even a Kenyan recipe for a dish to fuel runners. Larkin is someone to listen to; he has lots of marathons behind him, including a 2:32. But he also quotes and interviews several elite runners to strengthen his arguments.
Run Simple is helpful, enjoyable, and, best of all, makes me want to strip off the gadgets and hit the trails.