By Kate Dzienis

With the thought provoking question of ‘has running become more like a chore than the delight it once was’, The Happy Runner by David and Megan Roche reiterates, and reminds readers, of loving the process again to get faster and run longer.

I mean, it seriously doesn’t get any better than the first sentence on page one:

Every runner has the same finish line: death.

Morbid enough for you? It shouldn’t be, because despite the truth behind those words, the Roches make a clear point of thinking about it now so it becomes a constant reminder of your own mortality.

Yes, The Happy Runner talks about the bad stuff when it comes to running, because according to the authors, running is like the flight path of a drunken duck that swerves and then crashes into a lake. Does the analogy somehow, in some way, sound familiar at all? The book itself is full of humour with stories that help you learn something about yourself – it’s a great mix of theory, science, reasoning and jokes.

Yes, it covers the same essentials as in other great running books, such as knowing your ‘why’ and the magic of having a long term, as well as short term, plan (or goals). But one slap-in-the-face section discusses the pitfalls of chasing results, whilst another creates powerful realisation that in reality, we live in a universe characterised by chaos and entropy – meaning there are factors we can control, and then factors we simply cannot.

The Happy Runner features a lot of personalised stories and whimsical analogies, but when it comes to the nitty-gritty of training, you close the book feeling like you are worth it.

You put away the bookmark knowing that you should prioritise being a well-rounded athlete.

You loan the book to a friend, remembering that you can develop self-belief as well as make positivity your default setting so you can reach all your goals.