Paul Tergat: Running to the Limit Paperback – Apr 30 2005
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"This marvellous book is a combination of biography and training manual - and much more. Very highly recommended."
About the Author
Jurg Wirz can claim for himself that he knows Paul Tergat like no other journalist. They first met in Nairobi in 1992, where Tergat participated at the national Cross-Championships for the first time. Since then, Wirz has visited him often in his home.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
So if you want a big bang for your buck go the "Kenyan Way" and purchuse RUNNING TO THE LIMIT .
I really, got carried off on a tangent there, but this book does discuss many details such as that; it is jammed with photos of Tergat and those usually carry his indelible smile and when I say jammed with photos I mean there must be at least a hundred on a conservative estimate. The book in some ways, is like reading a magazine article complete with photos except this article is over some 200 pages.
The book also details some of the training regimens of Kenyan runners complete with schedules and here, I believe some clarification is needed. It is indeed, learning to run the "Kenyan" style. Though, I would not consider myself a real real runner and certainly not a marathon runner which this book seems to emphasize, I can compare it though with the numerous books out there on how to run, how to prepare for a marathon, 10k, etc. and it treats the subject very well. I do not know the book "The greatest" on Gebrselassie but another track book to which is compares favorably too, is by US standout Michael Johnson "Slaying the dragon." In fact, what I would like about this Tergat book, is that it is printed on a paper similar to your standard magazine, slick paper and includes the photographs in color. Though the book is by Swiss journalist Jung Wirz, included are many paragraphs verbatim from Tergat on running, training and even on life and his life growing up. I did a double-look to see if he was listed as a co-author because really, it is very close. These quotations of Paul's are always in blue. A very well done book.
Tributes to Tergat, his endeavors such as publishing the magazine, "Athlete" a Kenyan track magazine, discussions of his doctor Rosa etc. makes this book very complete.
However I once met some Kenyan runners, training in a "high altitude" location. The book mentions the diets of Kenyan runners and to me is almost worthy of purchasing on that basis alone because of their graces, they allowed me to dine with them a few times and that is priceless? I was generally aware of their diet, but had some questions. Mursiik is sour milk, maziwa lala is a fermented milk. The runners I met, always had buttermilk. Perhaps there is a slight difference. The book does not call it buttermilk, but as to my own thoughts, I wonder if these are one and the same? At times, in this book, I do wonder, if the Swiss writer, Wirz always uses the most appropriate English translations but it does not stand in the way. It is probably correct in fact. Kenyans in the US will eat spinach but the related plant back in Kenya may be slightly different and has the name Sukuma Wiki.
Tiny details I have singled out, is why this book is also very fascinating to read just in order to get a background on Kenya and its culture. Yes, surely, a "Wazungu" like me and many others would appreciate this book.
As it is written by a journalist... it definitely reads like one. Tergat comments after each chapter's text. There are a lot of photos in the book too. The book probably could have been 2 pages long...
Moral of the book: eat Ugali, listen to your body, rest, and run with all you got when you do run!
But the parts of the book written by Wirz are rife with spelling and grammatical errors. Worse, Wirz is whiny and focuses too heavily on Tergat's losses. The book has one excuse after another. The worst is when he discusses Tergat's rival Gebrselassie's chances in the marathon. He says that Gebrselassie's bouncing style is made for artificial tracks and will not make it in the marathon. Gebrselassie has already had a decent amount of success in the marathon, running 2:05 in Japan last year. Tergat would never say something unsportsmanlike about Gebrselassie, but it comes across like Tergat sanctioned this whiny accusation.
Again, the parts of the book that are in Tergat's words are great. And the pictures, especially the pictures of his post-World Record celebration in Kenya, as well as the one of Tergat's father presenting a goat to his coach, make the book a worthy buy. Too bad a better author didn't write it.