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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
65
No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running
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on June 19, 2016
A lot of beginning runners start with the idea that they have to run fast and win races right from the beginning. That attitude sometimes leads to injuries and many times leads to frustration and new runners quitting quickly. This book dispels that attitude. Not everyone is going to be a fast, competitive runner, but everyone can be a runner. When you learn to set realistic goals based on your own real abilities, you learn to celebrate your own victories, be they achieving a long distance or a faster pace.

This book is a great beginners book because it dispels the myths of what a runner is and it provides inspiration for everyone. The author does provide some information about avoiding injuries and what to do if you are injured. And he does provide some suggestions on training if you want to run a half or full marathon, but that information can be found in any running book. What John "The Penguin" Bingham provides in this book that sets it apart from any I've read before is the complete acceptance and celebration of those of us in the back of the pack; the ones who run slower than a ten minute per mile pace. He is telling us that we are runners too and can love running as much as any of the leaders. And he does it with a sense of humor. If you want to run, but think maybe you're not 'good enough,' you need to read this book. You are good enough. Just make the first step. In the words of the author, Waddle on friends.
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on August 3, 2014
I LOVE this book!! The author John Bingham wrote this book about his life and experiences; but I feel as if he was talking about me. I have never been an athlete, or "in shape", and this book helped me to realize that it's ok. Like many others who were never athletes, we often think that we need to have a certain body type, or that we have to be fast in order to be a runner...NOT TRUE!

John dismisses all of those preconceived ideas we have and helps you feel comfortable about starting to run. He writes it in plain english and doesn't bother with a lot of flowery language and running jargon. It's like he says time and time again in this book. In order to be a runner, all you have to do is put on your shoes and go. It doesn't matter if its 5 miles or just to the end of your street. John explains that the running community won't shun you if you are overweight, in poor health, or if you're not wearing the "right gear". Other runners will understand that you took a huge leap just by being out there and putting one foot in front of the other.

To be honest, I haven't laced up and gotten out there yet, but this book helped me to understand that what it means to be a real runner, that it's ok to be an "adult-onset athlete". It's introduced me to an entirely different perspective on running and that it doesn't matter what age you are, how you look, how you feel, how you run or how fast or not fast you are.

This book is filed with Johns life experiences, tips, techniques, advice for proper clothing, as well as lots of testimonials from other runners and their experiences. For anyone who has wanted to understand running and why people do it; for anyone who wants to run or run-walk to improve their health but have felt scared or embarrassed of the thought of being out there with other "runners", or being the person in the back of the pack; this book will help you!! John Bingham is a great writer and has a way of putting you at ease. THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS BOOK JOHN!! Waddle on my friend...waddle on.
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on May 14, 2010
I'm a beginning runner just ending my 5th week of training. When I started out, I picked up a lot of literature on the topic to learn new things that may help me progress. "No Need for Speed" was one of those items.

The author has a very laid back writing style that I found appealing. He also has a sense of humor and knows how to laugh at himself while giving helpful advice to others. I found it amusing how he refers to himself as a "penguin" because they waddle when they try to go fast.

I could really relate to his story about how he used to be unhealthy, overweight, smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, and didn't even like the thought of exercising, let alone going out and doing it. He shared how he got into walking, biking, and then running, which led to 5Ks and marathons.

He shares stories of his times trying to complete races but having to stop midway through because of an injury. He was embarrassed to have to stop until he met with the others who had to stop as well and they cheered at him for being smart enough to quit before he caused a permanent injury that may end his running career. He uses this background to show the reader it's okay to stop when you're feeling pain. You don't have to push yourself through it. He uses his personal stories for background a lot to illustrate a point he wants to make, and I think it really adds character to this book.

He gives a lot of good advice that people should take to heart, such as accepting and enjoying the body you have now, not the one you're aiming for in your mind. He says to enjoy where you are in your progress rather than focus on where you want to be. That sort of thing.

John Bingham is a very smart, humorous, and insightful person. I recommend his book to anyone who's interested in getting into running but not sure where to start or if they'd even be any good at it.
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on February 28, 2016
Good, inspirational beginner's guide. I wish it went more into the intermediate stages of running though. I can only seem to find books for 100% beginners, or for people who are serious races and need high-level training. Not much for casual runners like me, who want to run well and avoid injury, but aren't looking to win any races.
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on May 19, 2014
John Bingham was nicknamed the Penguin for being slow, but he has finished a lot of marathons. This is a great book for anyone who is focused more on the joie de vivre of running and runners - blistered toes, plantar fasciitis, dehydration and all - than on beating a time at this race or that one.
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on June 28, 2015
I bought this book and "Running for Mortals" at the same time. I recommend reading this one first. It has motivating stories and anecdotes that I found very helpful as a new runner. This book caused a huge shift in my thinking. I no longer think of myself as a slow runner,or a jogger. Instead, I just think of myself as a RUNNER.
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on August 2, 2017
Love this book! So inspiring, funny, helpful. This author welcomes average people to enjoy running.
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on March 2, 2009
The Penguin's No Need for Speed is not an in depth book but it'll get you up off the couch and into those running shoes.

For my taste, he repeats points too much, saying an idea three or four times when I got it the first time. But the point of the book is to convince you to get out there running and not to worry about looking too dumpy or running too slow or even walking rather running.

The point is to motivate you and reassure you. So I suppose telling an idea two or three different ways with an illustrative story thrown in for good measure makes sure it finds the right message to appeal to a reader. Anyway, it's a fast read and a fun read with some practical advice for the beginner about buying shoes, putting together a schedule, etc. And having fun.
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on October 8, 2012
This book helped me transform from a 20-year smoker to a 5K finisher. The author's advice is solid and practical, and he helps to ease those of us who used to sneer at joggers into our own pair of running shoes. Running has definitely added quality to my life, and this author is responsible for introducing me to the subject.
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on September 1, 2017
love this. inspirational
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