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The Beginning Runner's Handbook: The Proven 13-Week Walk/Run Program Paperback – February 2, 2005
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I would recommend figuring out how you like to run. Some people like to run outside (my daughter does this) - others prefer the convenience of a treadmill (that's my choice - I love watching DVDs while running). Some do a combination - outside in nice weather and inside during bad. Don't give up, though - keep trying and I guarantee that this book will make a runner out of you.
I started at week one with the 1 min of jogging and 2 min of walking. I was getting some soreness and stiffness in my knees and shins. It sure does give you a wakeup call on how unfit you really are when you can barely run 1 minute without huffing and puffing. I got through week 1 then started week 2 with the 2 minutes of running. I got through the first day's training. My knees (mostly at the back of the leg) got very stiff and sore and had to quit the training for now. This partly may be due to not wearing proper shoes.
It has now been one week of rest. I am still a little stiff and sore, but much better. Yesterday I tried a 30 min walk (with new shoes). Had pain the whole time, but walked through it. Came home, stretched, and took some ibuprofen. Today I cannot believe the difference. I am feeling no pain at all just some minor aching.
What I am saying here is that EVERYONE is different. If you are getting pain after week one, I would rest, then cut the program in half for the running time and more gradually build up. You have to realize that in total for the first day you are running for 12 minutes. This may be too much for some people.
I am going to do a 60 minute walk on one day - pain free, then start another with a 30 second run and see how things go.
I bought another book - The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer - which is very good. It also has a beginner schedule in the Introduction (Page 9) which does not start any running until after WEEK 4. Then starts jumping very quickly. This is a 10 week introduction before you start the formal training in the book.
In summary, I wish that the Handbook had explained some alternatives if things do not go well your first week - things to be aware of if you need to cut back and take it slower.
The Beginning Runner's Handbook appears to be changing that. I'm now in the fifth week of the program, and I'm finding that it's working. This week, I'll be running 13 three-minutes segments, for a total of 39 minutes running. This is a major accomplishment for me.
The book begins with a concise overview of running, including its appeal, the importance of gradual training, and some common-sense tips. The discussion is helpful since the authors have really worked to refine their program and, overall, they have a very positive, encouraging approach.
The real value of the book, though, is the program itself. It begins with very short running segments and gently builds up to longer runs. Each increase is just enough to challenge you, and then subsequent runs ensure that your body has time to adjust to the new routine.
All in all, this book has been the perfect tool for getting me going and feeling good about my progress. I am sure it would be helpful to anyone for whom running just doesn't come easily.