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The Courage To Start: A Guide To Running for Your Life Paperback – April 7, 1999
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From the Back Cover
Has the idea of running crossed your mind, but you haven't acted on it because you don't think you have the body of a runner? Have you thought about running but quit before you started because you knew that you would be breathless at the end of your driveway? Well, put aside those fears because you can do it. John Bingham, author of the popular Runner's World column "The Penguin Chronicles", transformed himself from an overweight couch potato who smoked into a runner who has completed eleven marathons and hundreds of road races.
Forget about the image of a perfect body in skintight clothes, and don't worry about how fast or how far you go. Bingham shows how anyone can embrace running as a life-enhancing activity -- rather than as a competition you will never win. In an entertaining blend of his own success story and practical advice, Bingham provides reasonable guidelines for establishing a program of achievable goals; offers tips on clothing, running shoes, and other equipment; and explains how anyone can prepare for and run distances ranging from a few miles to marathons.
After all, in running and in life, the difference between success and failure sometimes comes down to a single step. Waddle on, friends.
About the Author
More About the Author
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.
Top Customer Reviews
This book is a must read for runners of all ability levels, from beginning runners to those who have been running for decades. Bingham gives practical advice to beginning runners, as well as showing how running transcends from a physical activity to a self-discovery of yourself. His revelations are insightful and motivational. Once you start reading this book, you will not be able to put it down.
Bingham began running in 1992 as a 43-year-old, 240-pound, couch potato. His first run consisted of sprinting down his driveway for about 30 seconds. That was all his legs, lungs and ego could take. But unlike many other times in his life when he had given up, he didn't quit this time. For some reason he stuck with running, and managed to run ¼ mile, then ½ mile, a mile, and increasingly more. As the months passed and he shed the excess weight, he found himself running 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, and eventually, full marathons.
He first began to tell his story on the internet via the Dead Runners Society (DRS). He sent out an e-mail telling about a race where he nearly finished last, but was finding himself a happier and healthier person because of running. Much to his surprise, he received responses from readers that said he had told their stories. They said he had managed to put into words what they were feeling about themselves, and about the metamorphosis that running was causing in their lives.
From these initial e-mails, "The Penguin Chronicles" was born.Read more ›
The author makes you realize how anyone can enjoy, and even become addicted to this elusive, seemingly insane activity. Unlike many other running books, he doesn't ever say "you just have to really want it", he just tells his story, in which, after many years of inactivity and weight gain, he took up running at age 43.
The focus of this book is on enjoying the process, not the end result (how many min. it takes you to run a mile) of running. If you are looking for nutrition or speed advice, this is not the book for you. If you want an inspiration easy read, this IS the book!
I've been running for five months now. And I don't think I would have ever had the courage to step outside my door, take a deep breath and start jogging without this book
Bingham discusses what is the essence of running - pushing through discomfort to become more content. He is funny, eloquent, and willing to be proud of his accomplishments. The Courage to Start is a book that I wish everyone would read just once. There is something in it for everyone - from the 15 minute 5Kers to those who seek a more active and healthy lifestyle. The book conveys a message that so few people in America don't hear enough - go for your dreams and don't be afraid to fail. I highly recommend this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the best books to get you motivated. Even if you don't run, it helps get you motivated to do something to change your health and activity level.Published 2 days ago by Goddess Nevermind
Old but still relevant. An inspirational book for anyone wanting to start running. Good read!Published 26 days ago by Yonatan
The "bible" for anyone thinking of running for the fist time; I have purchased probably 7 copies to give as gifts.Published 27 days ago by 2nd time not a charm
GREAT read. Especially for those who want to start running but don't believe in themselves. Trust me, you really can do it....and this book motivates you to do so!!Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
John Bingham is in "partnership" in keeping me off the couch and on the trails and an antique endurance athlete!Published 3 months ago by walkin'reader
What a great book! I could relate to the author in so many ways! This is definitely a motivating book! His stories were funny, courageous, heart warming, and relatable. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Brazz