When runners talk about books that inspire them, the list seldom includes Fred Rohe’s “The Zen of Running.” That’s a shame, because it’s of the few books about running that truly deserves the title “classic.”
Rohe started writing the book in 1969, and first published it in 1974. It’s been out of print for many years, but Rohe has made it available as a free-for-download PDF file on his site. If you’re into running as meditation, if you want to learn how to relax when you run, or if running for you is a discipline on the way to enlightenment, then you should download and print this book.
“The Zen of Running” won’t teach you how to go faster. It won’t tell you all you need to know about nutrition. It doesn’t contain any performance charts. It will instead show you how to get in touch with the elemental core of running. It will tell you how to connect to the earth you run on. It will teach you about opening yourself to the world around you. It’s sensual and beautiful, and a delight to read.