Review

Don’t Stop Me Now Book Review

Don’t Stop Me Now Cover

Don’t Stop Me Now is a book written by BBC sports journalist Vassos Alexander and is available in paper, Kindle and Audio book formats.

Blurb:

“This is a celebration of running – and what lots of us think about when we run. Part escape, part self-discovery, part therapy, part fitness. Part simple childlike joy of running when you could be walking.

Vassos Alexander shares the highs and lows of falling in love with running, from his first paltry efforts to reach the end of his street to completing ultra-marathons and triathlons in the same weekend.

Each of the 26.2 chapters also features a fascinating insight into how others first started – from Paula Radcliffe to Steve Cram, the Brownlees to Jenson Button, Nicky Campbell to Nell McAndrew.

Also includes a foreword by Chris Evans.”

Structure:

Each chapter of the book represents a mile in Vassos Alexander’s Ironman Triathlon journey. He writes about his experience of the Ironman as well as his training runs and progress. Each chapter finishes with a short message from someone in the sporting field, including Paula Radcliffe, the Brownlee brothers, Jenson Button and other relevant figures such as sports scientists.

Review:

I listened to the audio book version of this title all whilst treadmill training and found it to be an inspiring and funny book. There are interesting stories which are shared by Vassos about his training and how he became a runner, and it was actually funnier than I expected. I ended up smiling to myself a lot whilst running as a lot of the things he talks about were very relatable to myself.

Vassos writes in a gently self-deprecating manner and it makes him come across as a very down to Earth gentleman. He has a real passion for running since being bitten by the running bug, and that is evident throughout. The book talks about his difficulties with training, injuries and overall progress towards completing his biggest ever challenge, the Ironman. He describes his race experiences along the way as he enters his first half marathon, marathon and then ultra-marathon in preparation.

With audio books, I usually find that I start one, get a few chapters in and then forget all about it. Don’t Stop Me Now was very much different as I looked forward to continuing listening. The audio book version made my treadmill sessions more bearable as I listened to the struggles that Vassos faced and some of his awe-inspiring running stories.

In one chapter, he writes about how he travelled for his first ultra-marathon and forgot to pack his running shoes so he had to complete his longest ever distance in a pair of old trainers. His job with the BBC as a sports journalist gives him the freedom to travel and train in different countries, leading to some interesting tales.

I found the book to be inspiring as Vassos describes the difficulty he experienced through the Ironman, and how each mile became a struggle. Does he manage to complete the Ironman or will he have to pull out on the advice and pleas of his wife and friend?

Conclusion:

Don’t Stop Me Now is a well-written book by Vassos Alexander which documents his journey from couch potato to ultra-marathon runner. The book is well-written and very easy to read as the chapter structure makes it simple to pick up as every chapter starts a mile in his Ironman journey.

The insights from well-known and relevant people in the field are interesting as they share their passion for running. It makes a nice change of pace to find out how top athletes discovered their love for running and how they still run even after retiring from competition. Snippets from sports scientists who have their say on popular news headlines, such as “too much running is bad for you”, also make for an interesting read and are a great inclusion.

The audio book version is narrated by Vassos himself and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it. I have never really been a fan of Vassos when I have heard him on the radio, however this book changed my opinion.  You can feel the passion that he has for running and how it has changed his life. He has inspired the people around him to also start running and regularly takes his children to their local Parkrun.

As only the second audio book that I have made to the end, I would definitely recommend this book. It’s a great read for those who are new to running and may need that extra inspiration to lace up their trainers and head out of the door. The stories shared are funny and insightful, giving tips along the way which would be of use to the more novice runner. For the more experienced runner, the stories shared are insightful and funny, and are definitely relatable.

You can purchase the book in any format from Amazon.

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