Book review: This Girl Ran – Tales of a Party Girl Turned Triathlete

This Girl Ran

One of the things that I’ve been missing most about my pre-baby life is the ability to sit down and read a book when I need some down time. I’ve realised that I’m spending too much time staring at a screen, so I’ve been avoiding the TV in the evening and spending more time reading.

This Girl Ran

One of the books that I’ve just finished reading is This Girl Ran. This book was only released on February 8th, so it’s hot off the press!

I was keen to read this memoir as parts of Helen Croydon‘s experiences resonated with me. She went from a relatively sedentary life to becoming an athlete. However, one of the most impressive facet’s of Helen’s story is that she went from being somewhat of a socialite to an age group Team GB triathlete in just two years!

“Four years ago I was a glamorous city girl who wouldn’t even walk to the tube in the rain in case I ruined my hair. Two years later I’d qualified as a Team GB age-group triathlete and was fixing punctures in hailstorms.”

The writing style and narrative really drew me in. I was completely hooked and read the entire book in the space of 4 sittings. I would probably have devoured it whole if I didn’t have a tiny human to look after!

Helen’s story starts when she joins a local running club after the end of a relationship. Previously, her social life had revolved around boozy nights out with friends. She realised that something was missing from her life and set about trying to correct the balance.

A key difference between my story and Helen’s narrative is that despite her initial propensity for late nights and alcohol, her journey started at a much fitter point than mine. She admits that although she’d never done cross country, she did frequent the gym. However, this brings its own challenges. She describes wearing her designer gym kit with gold quilted coat to her first mud-fest.

Something that I could empathise with was Helen’s struggles as a novice cyclist – who hasn’t had to deal with a puncture in the rain, or getting lost on a long ride?

Helen tells her story with great humour. The speed with which she took on challenges is impressive with a huge range of single and multisport events in her first two years, culminating in the World Championships triathlon in Chicago.

Helen Croydon competing at London Triathlon
Helen Croydon competing at London Triathlon

The backdrop of Helen’s story is her encounters with other athletes and a ‘will they, won’t they?’ friendship. 

Further suggestions

Until I read This Girl Ran, I was unaware that Helen had written two other books:

I really enjoyed Helen’s witty style. I think I’m likely to read these two books, even though they’re not what I would usually read. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a novice triathlete, if you’ve got any interest in multisport events then you are likely to enjoy this book.

I’ve got an exclusive article by Helen Croydon coming up very soon. Make sure you keep checking back (or subscribe), so that you don’t miss it.

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