Running Like A Girl by Alexandra Heminsley

running-like-girlPhysically, I hate running. Philosophically, I think it is the perfect sport. It is cheap, environmentally friendly and feeds my desire for solitude. That is why I sought out Running Like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley. I want to love running. I want to feel the joy that my friends feel when they’re running. I want to push myself to the limit (kind of).

Like me, Heminsley was an unlikely runner. Perhaps a bit of a party girl, she was not given over to athletic pursuits. And then she decided to run the London Marathon. This is a big ask. I’m not interested in running any marathons, though a 10k might do me nicely. Running Like A Girl outlines her journey from being a total non-runner to becoming a runner of multiple marathons.

Running Like a Girl is very anecdotal. It was an amusing read that did a lot to make me believe that I can run. I have two legs, so why not? I would have liked a little more about training schedules or some such thing, but alas.

Heminsley does a great job of outlining women’s history of running. To this day, running is a male dominated sport. Maybe that’s because the women’s marathon wasn’t even an Olympic sport until 1984. She takes a look at the forerunners (ha ha) and trailblazers who brought women’s running to where it is today.

Who would like this book?ย Many runner like books on running like Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. I don’t think Running Like A Girl is going to scratch that itch. Instead, it is the book for the individual who thinks maybe, just maybe, I can do that too. It will hopefully get you off the couch and out into the world, running. I think I’m going to follow this up with Girl Runner by Carrie Snyder, a novel about a former Olympic Athlete looking back on her journey.


  1. This sounds like a fun book for anyone. I think I would be most interested in reading about the history of running. It’s crazy that it took so long for women’s events to be included in the Olympics. Girl Runner will be a great follow-up to this book, for that reason. I hope you enjoy it!

  2. I used to hate running, like you. But then I persisted with it for about a month and suddenly something clicked and I started to look forward to my evening runs as a way to switch off from the day, and my body started feeling healthy & full of energy. Of course, then I got pregnant and had a baby and seven months later I haven’t started it up again….

  3. You totally captured my attitude to running. I want to need to run. But when I tell myself to do it, I find lots of reasons not to. I like it when I do it but I’ve never got to the point where I need it. Maybe this book will get me there. I hadn’t heard of it yet so I’m glad I read your post!

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