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Run Your Butt Off!: A Breakthrough Plan to Lose Weight and Start Running (No Experience Necessary!) Paperback – March 15, 2011
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“Run Your Butt Off! is not just another diet book; it's a gateway to a running-based lifestyle that can work for anyone. Thank you, Runner's World, for this valuable tool in the ongoing national fight against obesity and inactivity.” ―Mary Wittenberg, President and CEO, New York Road Runners Race Director, ING New York City Marathon
“One of the keys to getting through that first step of training is to break running down into manageable bite-size pieces, which is exactly what Run Your Butt Off! has done.” ―Ryan Hall, Olympian and American record holder in the half-marathon
About the Author
SARAH LORGE BUTLER is a Runner's World contributing editor who has covered the racing, training, and nutrition habits of runners of all abilities, from beginners to Olympians.
LESLIE BONCI, mph, rd, is one of the country's most recognized sports dietitians and a consultant for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates, and other professional and amateur teams.
BUDD COATES, ms, has a degree in exercise physiology and is a member of the Runner's World advisory board.
RUNNER'S WORLD is the worldwide authority on running information. With a goal to inform, advise, and motivate runners of all ages and abilities, Runner's World aims to help runners achieve their personal health, fitness, and performance goals, and to inspire them with vivid, memorable storytelling.
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My biggest problem with running was always that it was too hard. I never was a natural runner; everybody was always faster than me. Running the 1.5 mile PRT in the Navy always left me out of breath, gasping for air. I realized with this book that I was going about the entire running thing all wrong.
Instead of expecting you to be able to run like the wind at the beginning of this book, it just has you going for a short time. It tells you to run for either 30 seconds or a minute (I can't remember). Over time, this book has you building up until you can run for 30 minutes straight. From there, you can increase your running if you wish, slowly. This book also doesn't focus on the speed that you run. This is perfect for slow people like me. This book also doesn't force you to progress any faster than you're comfortable.
I was able to skip past the first week, which requires that you can walk for an hour. I had been walking for at least a couple of years, but I wanted something more challenging. Once I transitioned to running, that first minute was hard. In the book, you walk between your bursts of running. I was so happy at first for those walking breaks.
I injured my foot in the first week or two of this program, and had to temporarily suspend this program. I was able to get back into it after I healed, and now I am running again. I am on week 6, which has you running for 7 minutes and walking for 3 minutes at a time as a rest. That might not seem like much to some people, but as someone who would gasp for breath running up and down the street one time, this is a major thing for me. After the seven minutes, I'm not gasping for air either like I used to be.
Even though there have been times in my life where I had to run, this is the first time in my life that I run and kinda like it. I'm not the fastest runner in the world, but I'm doing it; I'm really proud of the slow improvement that I've been seeing.
As other reviewers have said, this is not a book for advanced runners. That's not the purpose of this book. This book is for those people who wish they could run, but never thought that they could because it is too hard.
This one is definitely geared to the total newbie runner, but that's what I wanted. I've done up to 10 milers in the past and I know that every time I start a 'program' I manage to hurt myself. Add age and increased weight and I knew I needed a different approach. This book certainly came through. It has a 'plan' that is not unfamiliar, but I've never tried before--it is a walk, then walk-run program that is EASY TO FOLLOW.
I've read many plans and some are incredibly convoluted and detailed...just not necessary. This one breaks 30-34 minute exercise periods into varying blocks--starting with 1 minute intervals of walking and on up until you are running 30 minutes straight in 12 phases. The phases can correspond to weeks, or you can spend more time in each phase as needed. Some of the jumps between times seem more challenging when reading about doing it, but by the time you are there, you really are ready.
Each phase corresponds to a chapter--there are nice motivational comments by people (realistic people!) who have done the program.
Also, as the title points out, one of the points of this is to lose some weight. We are not talking gimmicks here, just a bunch of sound advice regarding what goes in vs. what comes out. Even if the weight doesn't change overly much, the measurements just might. Also, there is an emphasis on calories in vs. calories out, with room for you to make your own decisions about specific meal philosophies.
One big plus, and something I've not been good about before, was the emphasis on logging. It's one of those things I knew I 'should' do and this was very motivating to do it. (I started using one of the many online versions of this) and boy did that make a difference when it came to the weight loss aspects! Even though I was mostly after the fitness, the eating modifications (and weight loss) really made a big difference.
All in all this is eminently suitable to the new runner (and YAY a book that doesn't insist you buy fancy shoes until you are at a point when you might start actually needing them). As with most exercise books, I do wish a little more time was spent on the importance of a proper bra (need one of those sooner than the fancy shoes...). Very non-technical and a program that is easy to follow. I have found my 'run' again--no injuries and I'm back up to 30 minutes of running again...and looking for more. No pain, and lo-and-behold, this time I think I really do like the running.
JTG (well the non-greyhound in the family anyway!)
Oh, and I also found a free app for my phone that I could plug the phases into and that makes the interval times even easier to follow.