Runners’ Blood by James Fischer – Review

I rarely read novels and was quite skeptical when my brother recommended this book. If you read much of my writing, you’ll see where I spend most of my “leisure” reading time. But, since it was about running I thought I’d give it a go.

The novel is written by Dr. James Fischer who happens to be a reknowned cancer researcher and Chairman of the Department of Therapeutic Radiology at Yale University School of Medicine. He is also a runner – a marathoner. Though the book was published in 2000 I think it was overlooked by most runners.

This mystery includes murder, theft, and secret deals set in the world of elite Olympic level competition. It plays on the technical research most large countries do on their elite runners – all trying to find that edge that gets them an Olympic medal. Ok, the protagonist even has a beautiful teammate – Susie – who gets in on the action.

Given the author’s background it is no wonder that the story line is based on a scientific breakthrough that enhances running performance. I found the early scenario of an Olympic favorite (Sean Rourke from Ireland, living in the US) being beaten in a small road race by a middle-aged man dressed in blue. (Funny, I could easily put myself there as that middle-aged guy… well fantasy anyway.) The event raised some questions since the time was very fast and no one knew who “Blue Guy” was.

The book has detailed elements of science, biology, physiology woven throughout. This will appeal to anyone who really likes the CSI TV or similar forensic research programs. In fact, it is so scientifically and clearly stated I had to question myself as to whether something like this is in fact being developed. If you don’t get too bogged down in trying to actually learn it all like a text book, you’ll do best. Read through it. If you don’t like this kind of writing (like my brother) skim them or just skip over those passages. I think you will still get a really good read from this.

Finally, because I really don’t care for novels, the point for me that makes this a recommended book is the real plausibility of the whole plot. Get this book for the runner in your life. I give it a three and a half out of five shoe rating for most runners and a four out of five shoe rating if you get into techie-type information.

shoe-1_edited-dark.jpgshoe-1_edited-dark.jpgshoe-1_edited-dark.jpgshoe-1_edited-light_1_half.jpgshoe-1_edited-light_1.jpg 3.5/5 Shoe Rating

Want to read it for yourself? Go here.


About Dean Hebert

I’m a mental game coach, author and speaker. I work with individual athletes, parents, coaches, and teams on sports performance enhancement. Beyond my academic post-graduate work in sports psychology - the psychology behind athlete performance – I am a certified Mental Games Coaching Professional (MGCP) and certified hypnotherapist. I’ve authored several books and hundreds of articles. “Coach, I didn’t run because…” (2008) is a seriously light-hearted look at making excuses not to workout and how to overcome them. “Focus for Fitness” (2009) and “Screw the Goals Give me the Donut” (2010) are two of my eBooks on mental game approaches for the everyday athlete. I wrote these because I believe that everyone can benefit from the powerful mental techniques that the world’s best athletes use. I have been cited in Runners World, Best Health magazine (CN), SWEAT Magazine, and the Washington Examiner amongst many other publications. I have been a featured mental games coach in Runner’s World and for the internationally acclaimed trail running resource - I also regularly appear on sports and fitness talk shows such as LTKFitness, Runnersroundtable and for more than three years I have co-hosted a weekly video series with Coach Joe English for I specialize in mental toughness training. My clients include tennis, synchronized swimming, golf, race-kart, soccer, motocross, volleyball, MMA, cycling (road, off-road, time-trialist), running, duathlon and triathlon, basketball, football and baseball athletes. I have coached world-class athletes and athletes internationally. I have a passion for working with youth athletes and helping them apply mental game skills and techniques to all areas of life. Most importantly, my aim is to have people enjoy sports and life to their fullest through peak performances.
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One Response to Runners’ Blood by James Fischer – Review

  1. Pingback: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall – Review « The Running World According to Dean

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