12 months of running and audiobooks - Documenting my progress in 2023


Last update: Dec 31, 2023

I have so many books on my reading list, yet I barely manage to read more than 20 pages per week. That's why I decided to give audiobooks a try and combine it with running.

This year, I want to "read" 12 (audio) books in 12 months while running. I want to document my running journey and keep track of the books in this article.

I also want to significantly increase my running distance this year. In 2022 I ran 159 km (99 miles).

The goal for 2023 is: Run 1000 km (621,4 miles) and listen to 12 audiobooks.

This means, on average I have to run 83,4 km per month (52 miles). Since I'm just beginning to increase the training again, I will take it slow in the first couple of months, but I hope to have multiple >100km months later this year.


Sum: 1042 km (647,5 miles)

Update Dec 31: I did it!!! 🥳 Here's the yearly overview of my runs:

January: 75 km | Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Running: 75 km (46,6 miles)

Getting back into running. After one year of very inconsistent running, I managed to do consistent training with 3-4 runs per week. Mostly 5 km and the longest one was 10 km. The average pace was 6:25 min/km (10:20 min/mile).


(4km were not tracked in the app).

Book: Shoe Dog by Phil Knight.


Review: 5/5: Fascinating story of Nike’s history and profoundly inspiring.

February: 58,4 km | All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Running: 58,4 km (36,3 miles)

Funny enough, the average tempo is the exact same as in January. Unfortunately, I am currently slightly sick so I could not reach the goal of 80 km. Hopefully, in March I can catch up 💪 .


Book: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr


Review: 4,5/5: I really liked it. For my taste, there could have been a bit more tension building, and I could not fully concentrate and appreciate the beautiful language when listening to the audiobook during my runs. But overall it was a fantastic book.

March: 76 km | Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Running: 76 km (47,2 miles)

Pretty solid month. I increased the average pace slightly to 6:19 min/km (10:10 min/mile). The next step I want to do is to increase the long runs.


Book: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch


Review: 3/5: I liked the idea, but it was never really gripping and got a bit stupid in the end. Overall it was a solid thriller, though.

April: 72,9 km | Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Running: 72,9 km (45,3 miles)

My average pace decreased. The reason was that I spent the month in Thailand and it was extremely hot🔥. Still happy with the results:


Book: Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro


Review: 4.5/5: The story is about a robot with outstanding observational qualities (almost AGI) who befriends and observes the humans around it. It's a very quiet novel that offers a look at our changing world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator. Great read!

May: 50,3 km | Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Running: 50,3 km (31,3 miles)

I got very sick at the end of the month which lasted for 4 weeks 😢 A very weird cold or something that just didn't want to go away. I only did slow walks during this time.


Book: Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom


Review: 5/5: Loved it! One of my new all-time favorite books!

June: 29,8 km

Running: 29,8 km (18,5 miles)

Slow restart after a 4 weeks break.


I didn't manage to listen to an audiobook this month.

July: 85,6 km | To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee

Working my way up again! I'm trying a new training method (MAF method) where my heart rate should always stay below 148 bpm, that's why the pace is way slower than it used to be.

Running: 85,6 km (53,2 miles)


(4km were not tracked in the app).

Book: To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee


Review: 4.5/5: A classic that everyone should read once.

August: 114,8 km | Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Best months so far this year and the first time with more than 100 km! I could improve the pace a lot compared to July with my heart rate being in the same low zone.

Running: 114,8 km (71,3 miles)


Book: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury


Review: 4/5: Overall very good, but I guess I would have enjoyed it more as a normal book instead of the audio version.

September: 108,1 km | Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Again more than 100 km. Didn't improve as compared to last month but I'm glad I managed to be consistent even though I spent 2 (slightly unhealthy) weeks on vacation with friends.

Running: 108,1 km (67,2 miles)


Book: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin


Review: 4/5: A nice book about life, friendship, and love. Not my usual read but the story around three centuries of video games drew me in.

October: 121,5 km | Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

Pretty solid month where I could increase my long runs week-by-week. I did three longer runs of 16 km, 17 km, and 18 km. If I can keep this up (fingers crossed that I won't get sick🤞) I am on track to reach my running goal this year.

Running: 121,5 km (75,5 miles)


Book: Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr


Review: 5/5: A wonderful journey through centuries, part contemporary, part historical fiction, and part sci-fi. Thanks to Victoria for the recommendation🙏.

Small running highlight: I spent 2 weeks in New York where I could enjoy this view during some of my runs:

New York running

November: 171,7 km | A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

Best month by far with a 140% increase compared to October. Both recovery runs and long runs got a bit longer, and I even ran a training half-marathon🥳

Running: 171,7 km (106,7 miles)


Book: A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking


Review: 4/5: Fascinating book and I'd say a must-read for everyone interested in science and how our universe works. "Only" 4 stars because the explanations get quite complex in the second half and with the audiobook version I had a hard time following everything.

December: 86,1 km | Pet Sematary by Stephen King

I did it! I reached my goal of 1000 km with three weeks to spare in December! This month was a bit slower because of a mild quad strain, but I'm ready to pick up the pace again next year.

Running: 86,1 km (53,5 miles)


Book: Pet Sematary by Stephen King


Review: 4.5/5: Creepy and amazing. King books are just perfect as audio books.

2023 Overview and Conclusion

1042 km, 160 runs, 118 hours, 8 countries🇩🇪🇳🇴🇺🇸🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🇹🇭🇯🇵🇰🇷🇦🇱

I'm super proud I reached this goal. I've never run this consistently before, and I'm so glad I rediscovered my joy in running this year. It had a big positive impact on fitness, stress release, and overall mental health.

I definitely want to keep this up next year. So of you have book recommendations, let me know on Twitter under this tweet.




Hope you enjoyed the read!

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