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Publisher's Summary

A journey into Japan's fabled running culture from the award-winning author of Running with the Kenyans.

Welcome to Japan, the most running-obsessed nation on earth, a place where a 135-mile relay race is the country's biggest annual sporting event. Thousands of professional runners compete for corporate teams in some of the most competitive races in the world. Marathon monks run a thousand marathons in a thousand days to reach spiritual enlightenment.

Adharanand Finn spent six months immersed in this unique running culture to discover what it might teach us about the sport and about Japan. As an amateur runner about to turn 40, he also hoped to find out whether the Japanese approach to training might help him run faster. What he learned - about competition, teamwork, form, chasing personal bests and himself - will fascinate anyone keen to explore why we run and how we might do it better.

©2015 Adharanand Finn (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about The Way of the Runner

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book is as fascinating as Japan and running

Another great facet of running. A slow but long distance running, endurance is what you need and endurance is what you get. A country that respects the hard work and team spirit and goes far beyond the marathon distances, ignores it's sprinters, gives them no stardom. A country that watches distance running over their national television during prime time..
for them, it's always above and beyond the physical endurance, it's about spiritual enlightenment. It's a country where the most respected monks run a thousand marathons in thousand days.
Overall the book is as good as the earlier one 'running with kenyans'. I simply loved it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-07-19

Great listen

Great listen. I enjoyed Running with the Kenyans more, but I still enjoyed this book thoroughly. Finn informs us about the strange world of Japanese running culture while on his own running journey.

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  • Vivienne F
  • 23-07-18

Another fascinating study of a running nation

I loved 'Running with the Kenyans', and was thrilled to discover that Adharanand Finn had conducted a second one-man study, this time based in Japan. I love the fact that his wife and children are fully involved in these excursions, which really adds an extra dimension. This was another fascinating observation on a country's culture and attitude towards running, as well as a contemplative study of the author's own running. Interesting and engaging in equal measures, and inspired me to keeping looking for better form in my own running, even though I have no aspiration to win (or even enter!) any races.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-09-16

loved it!!!!!

if you love running you will love this book. full of tips on improving techniques

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  • Joe Tietjen
  • 30-07-20

Doesn’t have much to say in the end

The culture of running in Japan is incredibly strong, but they are stuck in an old fashioned approach of just pounding out the miles - it means they produce lots of very high level runners, but no great ones. They need to modernise their methods - that’s it :)

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  • Matthew
  • 22-08-16

Excellent.

Brilliant listen, very enjoyable. Fascinating insight into Japanese running which was little known to me. Also highly recommended Running With Kenyans.

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  • Jonny
  • 15-06-21

Good performance but no real substance

The book was enjoyable, but it was not what I was expecting. I was hoping for more tips and techniques on how to improve my running. This was more of a story of how the author went to Japan and networked and ran. However, the narrator was pleasant to listen to.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 03-03-21

Fascinating and inspiring

This is third of Adharanand Finn's book I've listened to and the first he hasn't narrated. Derek Perkins does a decent job but it's not quite the same.
I'm a reluctant runner at best, I listened to this while cycling, but there is something inspirational about Finn's books, partly his enthusiasm, part his desire to learn and improve. It give an insight in to the culture of Japan and how that culture drives their long distance running performance. It's a fascinating listen, I'd love a sequel to see if the traditions of training has continued or the new wave of coaches hinted at by the book have started to shake Japanese running in the last ten years.

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  • M I
  • 13-02-21

Awful

Worst audio book ever. Avoid. There is absolutely no structure to it. All over the place and narrator is dreadful. Complete waste of money.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-02-21

arigato gozaimasu

A fascinating book about long distance running and Japanese culture. I'd like a sequel based on the Tokyo Olympics but Covid has probably ended interest.

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  • Alice Lane
  • 10-02-21

If you're a runner, you'll love this

Really enjoyed this. The author's account of his experience running in Japan with the Japanese was really fascinating. Loved the whole story about his journey there and how the family adapted to life in Japan for 6 months. Never realised that Ekiden was essentially a Japanese term for a relay race.

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  • I Love Energy
  • 05-12-20

If you like running, you have to read this book!

A fascinating story and insight into the world off Japanese running. Like a long run, it had its ups and downs however overall, a unique and honest book that i thoroughly enjoyed

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-04-21

Very Interesting Book

A good book, and like Running with the Kenyans, a little self obsessed. However, being a middle aged runner I get that. It just seems to me that the vast majority of club runners already know what it is to run in a relay (Ekiden), have felt the pressure of running for a team, etc. So this 'novelty' is not so unique to Japan. The background on their coaching attitude, professional running, monks etc was great. Don't get me wrong, this book is well worth the time.

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  • Faizan
  • 15-01-21

Good insights

Detail insights of the Japanese culture of running, the reason I listen to it was to get to know different cultures too which is a plus.

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  • MICHAEL R CAVANAGH
  • 25-10-18

Inspiring stuff, and fascinating, too.

Hard to believe this fanatical culture exists in Japan and the rest of the world is oblivious. Finn has found a perfect balance between travel and culture writer and running nerd. Good running literature can be hard to find. New book please, Finn, and soon! There must be more exotic running cultures out there to discover.

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  • Dan
  • 24-06-16

Another cracker from Aharanand Finn! Great read!

A great read and another really interesting insight into a new world of running. Check it out fo' sure!