Haven’t felt like running lately? The author best known for his eccentric brand of literature is your unlikely running motivation
Photo by Patrick Fraser/Corbis Outline
The Japanese writer Haruki Murakami has written over a dozen books—all of which are beloved, critically acclaimed bestsellers that have been translated into 50 languages. He is also a marathoner, ultramarathoner, and a triathlete. He loves running so much that he wants his tombstone to read:
Writer (and Runner)
At Least He Never Walked
Best known for his surrealist plotlines and eccentric characters, Murakami has written about a wide variety of topics including long distance running, which has since made him an unlikely inspiration to runners. His 2007 memoir, “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” documents his experiences as a runner and a novelist, and how the two seemingly disparate fields often intersect.
This book—while reasonably lacking much of Murakami’s signature literary oddities, and written in a more straightforward, sparse style (similar to that of Raymond Carver, from whom the book’s title is derived)—is a compelling meditation on running as a way of living a purposeful life. Murakami is wise, funny, self-effacing, and wildly passionate about running and the many unexpected ways it ties in with a person’s inner life. So if ever you’re in need of inspiration, pick up and read this book. Here’s a sample of what you can learn from Haruki Murakami: