Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Book Review: The Ultimate Beginners Running Guide
I had the opportunity to review The Ultimate Beginners Running Guide, by Ryan Robert. It is a book contains a wealth of information for newbies and veterans alike.
The one thing that stuck out to me when I first read the book from start to finish, was that there was no author biography. Truthfully, this kind of bugged me because I don't know if the author is a casual runner, an avid marathoner, or simply someone who has researched running on the Internet. Furthermore, he doesn't cite research to back up his statements. Nevertheless, I got past that and dove into the information he included in the book. It was like sitting down with a good friend to have them share all of their knowledge about a sport they loved.
The book is broken down into the following chapters:
Introduction: Why Run
This went over the benefits of running, both mental and physical.
Chapter 1: Getting Ready to Run
In this chapter he covers a lot of information....almost too much for one chapter. Everything from breathing, stretching, shoes, foot strike, heart rate, confidence.....etc. Though it was a bit overwhelming, there was a ton of great insight.
Chapter 2: Raising the Bar and Staying Motivated to Run
This chapter focused on taking running to the next level. I liked the information in this chapter but I felt it didn't fit in where he had the information.
Chapter 3: Nutrition, Hydration, Running in Adverse Conditions and Common Injuries
This was pretty straight forward. He had some great ideas about running in different climates. Again, a lot of great information, but a lot of information to process in one chapter.
Chapter 4: Running Inspired
A good reminder to keep the faith.
Chapter 5: Training Schedules
He included four types of training schedules in this chapter for Active Beginners, Non-Exercisers, Weight Loss, and for People Over 50. The training programs are 14-16 weeks long and the goal is the run at a comfortable pace for 60 minutes. The programs all looked like a good plan to use, but I don't know anything about how these programs were developed. The charts were also a little hard to read because I had to refer to the legend several times to understand abbreviations.
I do think the book been stronger in other areas such as photos for demonstrating the stretches. I thought that the chapters contained a little too much information and could have been broken down a bit further...but then again, I am ADHD. The nice part about the Kindle version is that you can jump right to the section that you want to learn about. Once again, I would have like to see the author's credentials and where he got the information presented in the book (I work in research, so citing sources is kind of a big deal for me).
While I am critical of this book, I liked and agreed with most of the information. Again, it was like listening to a friend give their personal account of running. Although I am not technically a beginner (even though I am starting over again), I found several of his tips useful. I loved the Visualization exercises at the end of the chapters. This is a huge part of running since the brain can make or break a run. The other topic that he covered that I have not seen in other running books was confidence. Confidence to take the first steps and to get over the self consciousness that can sometimes deter beginners from getting out there. It was a very quick and easy read. Long story short....it is worth reading.
You can purchase a digital copy at Amazon.com.
Disclaimer: I was given a digital copy of The Ultimate Beginner's Running Guide to review. The opinions expressed are my own.