Liza Howard

Liza Howard

Liza Howard is a national champion runner with multiple records in distances ranging from marathons to 100 mile trail races.

June 2017
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The Trail Runner’s Companion: A Step-by-Step Guide to Trail Running and Racing from 5ks to Ultras


I don’t read much these days.   Bedtime and naptime stories to Ruby. Articles about running. That’s about it. I aspire to return to my former bookish ways though. A pile of 15 books on the nightstand. A book in the car just in case. Time lost amongst library and bookstore shelves. Thinking new thoughts or thinking old thoughts better.


So I was really happy when Sarah asked if I’d read her book and write a review.   Sure The Trail Runner’s Companion: A Step-by-Step Guide to Trail Running and Racing from 5ks to Ultras is about running, but it’s an actual book! And Sarah is a lovely writer. I figured it might be just cover-to-cover read to jumpstart my old passion.


And I was right.


That’s the first thing you should know about this book. If your reading has been kid or social media driven, Sarah’s book will remind you how fun it is to delve deeply into something.   It’ll also remind you how satisfying it is to read something that has been put together thoughtfully and is well written.


The book has all the information someone new to trail running might need to run trails safely and successfully. Novices won’t have any trouble understanding and remembering Sarah’s guidance. (I loved the vocabulary list!)


Sarah’s deftness at weaving stories and examples throughout the book really makes it an engaging read for long-time runners too. Its layout is superb, and it’s easy for runners to find specific information. The scope of the book is so broad, there really is something for everyone. As a warm-weather runner, I appreciated all the cold-weather running guidance.


Sarah also captures what makes the trail running community special.  Understanding that is just as important as the technical knowledge of trail running. Her emphasis on trail safety, Leave No Trace ethics, and personal responsibility is also spot on.


If you have a friend who wants to get into trail running, get them The Trail Runner’s Companion. If you want run longer distances on trails or race in different environments, this book is a great resource.   And if you’re looking to read a book cover-to-cover to get yourself reading books again after a reading hiatus (and you like trails and running), read The Trail Runner’s Companion.

Comments 1
  • Pommers
    Posted on

    Pommers Pommers

    Reply Author

    Will look it up Liza – although I do have a rather large pile of books to get through already! 🙂