Monday, May 18, 2009

Runner's World: Complete Book of Beginning Running

Beginning Running I picked up this book over the weekend. It's written / put together by the Executive Editor of Runner's World, Amby Burfoot. I'm glad I grabbed it.

Usually I pick up books like this when I need a burst of inspir/motiv - ation. The thing is, once I've plowed through these books once, I never pick them up again. The Jillian Michaels' book, Winning By Losing, is a perfect example of that. Yeah, it psyched me up temporarily, but in the long run it didn't offer me anything truly useful. Just a bunch of rah-rah-rah. Which, fair enough, is what I bought it for.

But Beginning Running is great, especially if you're just starting out, like  me. It has tonnes of anecdotes to get you motivated, quick glimpses into the lives of people who have been running all their lives, and people who just, like me, decided to start one day. There were a couple of sections that really stuck with me, like what long-time runners wish they'd known when they had just started out (example: keep a training log! Do squats; they'll build your quadriceps which will protect your knees! take a rest if you need it! etc.)

But what I'm really liking is that there's lots of information that will be useful when (if?) I do eventually get into 'running', for real. There's info on how to get faster, how to do longer distances, how to treat or prevent injuries, nutrition, and even what I would consider relatively 'technical' info, about stuff like pick-ups and speedwork.

I guess what I'm saying is this is a book I can see myself turning to a few more times, as my running progresses.

The book also includes two training programs to get you started running: one is 8 weeks, and is similar to Couch To 5K, and the other is 24 weeks and is seriously designed for people who don't do any other activity. I really appreciate that -- I sort of hate how everyone acts like C25K is so accessible and that anyone could do it. No, sorry -- I know there are people out there who couldn't start there. In fact, not too long ago, I was one of those people. The 24-week program eases you in much slower.


From this I suppose you can gather that I'm still plugging along at the old Couch To 5K. I finished up week one on Friday, and started week two today. Let me tell you, running 90 seconds is a lot harder than running 60 seconds. Fifty per cent harder, to be precise. PHEW.