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Don’t Stop Me Now 26.2 Tales of a Runner’s Obsession By Vassos Alexander

Release date: 30th December, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury

List Price: £10.99
Our Price: £8.99
You Save: £2 (18%)
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January is traditionally a time when membership numbers at gyms, outdoor exercise classes, swimming clubs and various other fitness-related organisations soar as many of us, disappointed with our excessive festive season consumption, show a sudden propensity to ‘get fit’.

Yet there’s very little need to spend money on what remain relatively expensive fitness regimes when the answer to losing weight and getting fit is simplicity itself: eat less, move more.

None the less, in case wannabe runners, swimmers or gymnasts needed any further new year inspiration to get up and get going, Vassos Alexander’s Don’t Stop Me Now is ideal reading material. As the book’s cover says, it’s “the perfect read for anyone with well-worn trainers by the door (or thinking of buying a pair...)”.

Alexander clearly loves running and there’s a resemblance between his book and Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.

Most runners have an objective when they set out on their first tentative steps to building an Adonis-like body. Most aspire to attain a level of fitness last experienced some years ago; others, like Alexander and Murakami, realise that being sat down all day does little for the girth, while many start in order to eventually tackle a specific challenge.

Both men consider running a means to achieving fitness, but they also appreciate that it can stir something altogether more spiritual and meaningful. To achieve this, the runner requires purpose, determination, and a willingness to make the mind and body do things they don't really want to do.

It’s here that Alexander scores. Not only does he offer details of his own motivations, but weaves in similar details from the likes of Paula Radcliffe, Steve Cram, the Brownlee twins, Jenson Button and a host of others over 26.2 chapters (geddit?).

The author also emphasises the fact that running is a very simple sport, one that can be enjoyed by everyone, including those with limited resources.

We're right at the start of the 'I must get fit' season, when the familiar sound of newly kitted-out joggers and runners pounding and wheezing their way through parks and along footpaths resonates across the land. It's a time when regular runners are joined, for a while at least, by new year resolutionists, many of whom will discard their colourful tracksuits and expensive running shoes before the end of March. If you need any further motivation to eat less and move more, however, Alexander offers a comforting read, ideally after you’ve completed your daily run.


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