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No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running Paperback – April 20, 2002


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No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running + The Courage To Start: A Guide To Running for Your Life + Running for Mortals: A Commonsense Plan for Changing Your Life With Running
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (April 20, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579544290
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579544294
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.4 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #258,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

You don't have to run fast to be a real runner!

John Bingham, "the patron saint of the back of the pack," commands "The Penguin Brigade" -- those thousands of dedicated runners who have learned that the greatest joy in their sport comes not from how fast they go or how thin they become, but from simply having the courage to take the first step.

Now Bingham shares the wisdom that took him from couch potato to columnist for Runner's World magazine. No Need for Speed explores both the why and the how of running for the rest of us. With information both practical (how to find the right running shoes for you, when to enter a race, what to eat before a run) and inspirational (focus on where you are instead of where you want to be, accepting the body you have, the beauty of being realistic about goals), Bingham extends a trusted hand and expert advice to beginners and veterans alike.

John "The Penguin" Bingham writes "The Penguin Chronicles" for Runner's World magazine, is a regular speaker on the prerace pasta dinner circuit, and teaches the basics of running to adult-onset athletes at his popular Penguin Flight Schools. He lives in Tennessee.

From the Back Cover

No Need for Speed
A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running

"You don't have to run fast to be a real runner!"

John Bingham, "the patron saint of the back of the pack," commands "The Penguin Brigade"-- those thousands of dedicated runners who have learned that the greatest joy in their sport comes not from how fast they go or how thin they become, but from simply having the courage to take the first step.

Now Bingham shares the wisdom that took him from couch potato to columnist for Runner's World magazine. No Need for Speed explores both the why and the how of running for the rest of us. With information both practical (how to find the right running shoes for you, when to enter a race, what to eat before a run) and inspirational (focus on where you are instead of where you want to be, accepting the body you have, the beauty of being realistic about goals), Bingham extends a trusted hand and expert advice to beginners and veterans alike.

John "The Penguin" Bingham is a columnist for Runner's World magazine. He's a regular speaker on the prerace pasta dinner circuit and teaches the basics of running to adult-onset athletes at his popular Penguin Flight Schools. He lives in Chicago, where he rides motorcycles and plays the trombone.

More About the Author

John is one of the running community's most recognizable and popular personalities. He was a featured columnist in Runner's World magazine from 1996-2010. John now writes his monthly column The Penguin Chronicles" in Competitor Magazine.

His break-through first book "The Courage to Start" and his best selling "No Need for Speed", John "the Penguin" Bingham inspired hundreds of thousands of men and women to run for fun, fitness, and self-affirmation. His book, "Marathoning for Mortals", co-authored by Coach Jenny Hadfield, revolutionized long-distance running and walking. With "Running for Mortals" John and Jenny brought the joy of running to everyone.

Once an overweight couch potato with a glut of bad habits, including smoking and drinking, at the age of 43 Bingham looked mid-life in the face--and started running. Since then, he has completed 45 marathons and hundreds of 5K and 10K races--and developed a whole new outlook

John is the National Spokesperson for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training Program and is the voice of the Competitor Group's Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Highly recommended for all runners!
M
This book has been great with motivation to keep going.
Happy Yogi
I finished the 26.2 miles in just under 5 hours.
Vincent Fisher

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Vincent Fisher on January 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
I used to hate running because I wasn't very fast, it hurt, and it was boring. Bingham's book changed all that. I'm 38 now, I still don't love running as much as the author, but his advice and words helped me incorporate running into my life. It also gave me the encouragement to train and run regularly and tell people that I am a runner.
It encouraged me to enter races, not to win, but to get the feeling of being around other runners. Finally it encourgaed me to train for a goal - a marathon. With this book and "The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer" (Whitsett) book I began a solo sixteen week training program to enter and finish a marathon. That was the goal, just to finish and become a marathoner.
I finished the 26.2 miles in just under 5 hours. I was 890th place out of 1100 runners, but I felt like I'd won a gold medal. This book taught me that "you don't have to run fast to be a real runner." I may or may not run another marathon (1/2 marathons are more tolerable), but I will keep running as part of my lifelong fitness plan, because I am a runner.
Bingham's first book "The Courage to Start" is also a great book and I frequently re-read both of his books. In "The Courage to Start" he states, "The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." If you want to start feeling better about yourself and start taking steps to become a runner, there is no better book.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By S. Ward on April 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
Bingham's book is much more than I expected. I am a 32 year old who has run off and on since high school. Over the last few years I have been prone to injury and decided that I needed to rethink my running habits. What I expected from Bingham was a brief book with some good motivational passages and some practical tips for adult runners.

What I received was a brief book *packed* with great information. His injury prevention section is far superior to the one found in "The Runner's World Complete Book of Running" and so is his beginning runner's workout advice. He also includes highly practical advice and examples for cross training.

If you are not a profesional runner, but an adult with all the responsibilites that go with it (kids, job, spouse, community involvement) this practical book will keep you moving.

He also has some nice motivational material (but nothing to cheesy).

I gave the book 4 stars because of some annoying typos and a few places where his advice doesn't quite make sense (particulary on how to do leg lifts). The fault lies with the editor more than the author.

If you are an adult with lots on your plate who wants to stay physically active, you need this book.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Candace Scott on September 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a fun little beginners guide to the joys of running. In fact, this just might be the best and most complete book on running since Jim Fixx's mammothly successful book 25 years ago. What I like best about the Bingham's book is that it has something in it for every beginning runner, from the casual jogger to the total coach potato. Each chapter focuses on a special area of the sport: injuries, mileage, women's running, seniors, masters runners, even children developing into competitive athletes.
The title is instructive: there is an emphasis on competitive running, with the focus primarily in 10K road races to the marathon. Several of the elite and most popular marathons are discussed at length, incuding Boston, L.A., New York and Chicago. There are some useful tips on how to increase your weekly mileage, avoid injury, carbo loading before the race and recovery afterwards. Having completed marathons, I can tell you that it's easy to do than you think and once you start completing the 26.2 mile courses, you'll be hooked for as long as your body will hold out.
Running is a joyous activity and one which brings many individual rewards. If you're a serious, addicted runner, you'll love this book, but the beginners will also reap great rewards because the book it geared towards the novice. It's well-written, fun to read and instructive. Highly recommended.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
I was working out at the gym but too self conscious to start running. This book motivated me to hit road. I bought running shoes, read the whole book and went running the next morning. Highly recommended, the pounds are falling off already.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By C. Schomaker on July 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
Of all the running books out there, from by-the-numbers training plans to dense physiology tomes, none provide the uplift and motivation needed by average "non-athletic" mortals better than the two written by John Bingham. In his newest, Bingham, long associated with his "Penguin" philosophy through Runner's World Magazine, inspires with his personal story. Only this isn't an Olympic athlete's heroic quest, but an average, vice-ridden everyman's transformation from overweight couch potato to athlete. In a conversational, non-preachy tone, Bingham writes for the majority of runners and fitness walkers-- the back two-thirds of every road race.

No Need for Speed contains much useful and up-to-date advice for beginning and intermediate runners and walkers, of course, including equipment, training and technique. Frequent sidebar entries from real citizen-runners also share lessons learned by average joes and janes while morphing into athletes. But by far the BEST thing about this book, and the most encouraging to newer, older, heavier, and/or slower runners, is that Bingham manages to legitimately drape honor and glory to "back of the pack" athletes. You don't have to be lightning-fast or whippet-thin to call yourself a runner. To anyone stuggling to get in shape, survive a road race (or finish it in less than a day), and feel good about being in the game, Bingham's words are priceless.
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