- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: The Experiment (August 23, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1615193111
- ISBN-13: 978-1615193110
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Born Again Runner: A Guide to Overcoming Excuses, Injuries, and Other Obstacles―for New and Returning Runners Paperback – August 23, 2016
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“This road map to enjoying a healthy life is highly recommended for anyone serious about beginning and sticking to a running program.”—Publishers Weekly
“Myths are busted and excuses are denied. . . . This book is just loaded with information. . . . It will be pretty difficult to deny Magill, so just get out there, start, and stay with your running regime.”—Portland Book Review
“As a running author myself it pains me to say this, but if you're a new runner or returning to the sport, The Born Again Runner is the only book you need. If it doesn’t get you up and running, nothing will. Pete Magill smashes myths, bats down excuses, and demystifies everything from training to diet to injury prevention. It’s the smartest, easiest-to-follow blueprint I’ve ever seen for anyone who wants to become—and remain—a happy, healthy runner.”
—Mark Remy, Runner's World columnist and author of Runners of North America and The Runner's Rule Book
“Whether you're just starting out as a runner or starting afresh, you can do no better than heed the guidance of running's ultimate comeback kid, Pete Magill, as presented in The Born Again Runner.”—Matt Fitzgerald, author of How Bad Do You Want It? and coach for Team Iron Cowboy
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Top Customer Reviews
Pete Magill calls this book, THE BORN AGAIN RUNNER because that’s exactly what running did for him. The author was warned by an E.R. doctor that he would not be living too much longer—especially with his abusive lifestyle. The doctor predicted that "you won't live to see your son graduate from high school." That stern warning delivered in the emergency room did the trick. Pete Magill changed his life: "I conjured a practicing runner from the mess I'd made of my life." And now, the author wants to encourage you to similarly--and drastically change your life for the better.
Of course, Pete Magill is a well-known name in running circles. He is also the author of my #1 favorite running book of all time, Build Your Running Body: A Total-Body Fitness Plan for All Distance Runners, from Milers to Ultramarathoners_Run Farther, Faster, and Injury-Free. I have used the author's prior book extensively.
THE BORN AGAIN RUNNER is quite different than the author's first book. This book is more of a motivational book, to help readers who are thinking of taking up the challenge to begin running, or for those just needing encouragement to begin again. It’s more focused on beginner runners.
This book spends a lot of time discussing injuries, and how to avoid them. I applaud the author for taking such care to ease the reader into running. One great section is called "Injury Prevention 101." It discusses the common running injuries, and how best to avoid and treat them. The author is well aware of injuries suffered by runners. Pete acknowledges the statistics showing that the majority (50-80%) of runners get injured each year. This is greatly preventable, Pete claims. For one thing, novices should begin very slowly. And so his plan, "First Workout," has simple, gradual exercises just for former couch potatoes.
The author discusses some common reasons to avoid running. For example, "Running ruins your knees." (Myself, I avoided running my whole life because of that belief.) Not only does running NOT ruin your knees—it’s the very opposite. Runners are so fit that they need knee replacements at 7-fold less frequent than non-runners. One of the best graphics depicting the benefits of running is entitled, "Heart Attacks per Year." There, Pete shows how runner have drastically fewer heart attacks.
One feature I really like about this book is the end of each chapter, in a section called "Chapter Takeaway.” These summaries provides a nice digest of the chapter. For example, in one early chapter, Pete again cautions sedentary folks to start gradually. The “Chapter Takeaway” urges moderation: "It's counterproductive to start a running program by mapping out a challenging training schedule. Your body isn't ready for that. Your muscles, bones, and tendons are too weak."
The book is filled with numerous testimonials from runners, in sidebars called, "Becoming a Runner.” Most of these accounts are stories of transitioning from terrible health problems to a life of regular running and health improvement. Many of these testimonials are from seniors, or those who had to overcome severe obstacles, such as substance abuse.
Don’t miss this: My favorite part of this book is Chapter 9: "Create your Personal Action Plan." Pete encourages the reader to set up (and write down) goals related to exercise, diet, and lifestyle. For example, he suggests the use of the familiar "running log" to help the beginner be disciplined in their new exercise. (I got that idea from Pete's first book--and I do it!) The author also includes detailed plans for preparing for a race, as well as suggested exercises when faced with an injury.
All in all, I found THE BORN AGAIN RUNNER to be an encouraging--even an inspiring read. I enjoyed hearing about other ordinary people, often seniors, who took up running and made huge changes in their lives. One caveat: Realistically speaking, can this book really be as good as Pete’s first book? Well, probably not; few books will ever match the author's first book. However, I found THE BORN AGAIN RUNNER to be a good, practical book, especially for beginning runners. It’s also useful for anyone reluctant to start running for fear of injury.
Advance Review Copy courtesy of NetGalley
I should start by making it clear that what you will find at the core of this book are insights on training, physiology, nutrition, injury prevention etc. that I think should keep even the most ambitious beginning runner learning, re-reading and discovering new things for a long time. Sure, as someone that has "caught the bug" in a pretty severe way, I am exploring more "specialist" books and other resources in addition, but I find that the information given in this book on a really wide range of topics, and more importantly, the underlying principles that tie everything together, serves me as a rock-solid foundation to build on, and come back to when the hordes of contradicting online gurus make me confused. If the cover image makes you think that this is some kind of lightweight introduction-only for the most severe coach potato cases, think again.
Having said that, it has ALSO been a fantastically inspiring, friendly, funny and uplifting book for the chain-smoking, saggy belly heap of bones me that picked the book up some months ago. Mr. Magill's personal story, as well as the stories of all the other folks with varying challenges becoming runners and building wellness for themselves are really great. Should I ever bump into any one of them, they're up for a big hug.
Ok, that's it. Just buy it.
I like the persistent focus on starting easy and slow, which is something a lot of beginners do not realize or simply forget. The biggest mistake for any runner is in the actual training itself. In the book Magill talks about how in the beginning programs people should spend the first three weeks walking. I think this makes sense for those who are "couch potatoes" and are just getting out and being active. This; however, will be extremely frustrating to active people who want to start running. The training schedules focuses on time rather than mileage. This makes sense for those who are beginning. I like that he recommends strides and hill sprints for speed workouts.
The sections on "mythbusting" and on running and racing etiquette are nothing an experienced runner does not know, but useful for the real beginner. The section on "mistakes" is something even experienced runners could use a reminder on, and the injury prevention exercises would be useful to all runners.
I received this book from The Experiment via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.