Feminist Review: Running like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley

 Book review | Running Like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley | 5 stars

Running Like a Girl
Alexandra Heminsley

Cover design: Richard Ogle
Cover photography: Colin Thomas
Windmill Books 2014
ISBN 978 0 09 955895 8



Alexandra Heminsley had high hopes: the arse of an athlete, the waist of a supermodel, the speed of a gazelle. Defeated by gyms and bored of yoga, she decided to run.

Her first attempt did not end well. But years later and with several marathons under her belt she agrees with her dad: you run with your head as much as your legs.

So, while this book is about running, it’s about much more – ambition, relationships, and willful boobs. But it’s also about realising what you can do if you want to.

Whether you’re in serious training or thinking about running for the bus, this is a book for anyone who thinks they might … just might … like to run like a girl.

Bullet-point review


+ emotional
+ realistic
+ practical tips
+ history of women and marathons
+ inspirational
+ even boyfriend wants to read

Full Review

„Running is awful. It feels unnatural, unnecessary, painful. It can hijack you with breathlessness, cripple you with panic and overwhelm you with self-consciousness. … But it is also the pleasure of being outside on a sunny day …“

This is exactly what I love about this book. It doesn’t start off saying everything about running is amazing, from the beginning to the end. It describes, in detail, how it’s terrible. How it can be terrible and scary in the beginning. It informs you furthermore how eventually, step by step, you might start to enjoy it. It doesn’t pretend that it’s all lovely from the very beginning, because, it’s not. And that’s okay.

Another point I loved, were the practical tips in the end. Everyone who starts of doing anything, has a lot of questions and is scared of doing it wrong, whatever it is. So, this little guide is very much appreciated.

I also enjoyed reading about the progression of women in running. How, for example, a couple of decades ago women were still not allowed to run marathons. And how those barriers were broken down. This really inspired me. Which is why I immediately made my boyfriend go running with my after I finished reading the book. Sure, I suck, but I did it!


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