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Running for Mortals: A Commonsense Plan for Changing Your Life With Running Paperback – April 17, 2007
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About the Author
JOHN "THE PENGUIN" BINGHAM writes a column for Runner's World magazine and teaches the basics of running to adult-onset athletes. The author of No Need for Speed and coauthor (with Jenny Hadfield) of Marathoning for Mortals, he lives in Chicago.
JENNY HADFIELD, MA, CPT, is a fitness expert who has trained thousands of walkers, run-walkers, and runners of all levels. Her gentle yet uncompromising approach to training combined with her unique insights into the human body and mind will help readers discover their inner long-distance athlete. She lives in Chicago.
Top Customer Reviews
'Running For Mortals' contains quite a lot of practical information. I was interested in the discussion of the different rates at which your cardiovascular, muscular and skeletal fitness/strength develop and how awareness of this in the early stages can help to prevent injury. The chapter on stretching is well set out and I learned some new exercises (including a stretch to help avoid the dreaded ilio-tibial band syndrome that so many runners complain of). The chapter on strength training is similarly well set out with exercises that don't require costly equipment.
Some basic information is provided to help navigate the confusing world of running shoes but I think it would have been useful to have some discussion about rotating different pairs of shoes. The authors emphasize the value of going to a specialist shop for expert fitting.
The training programs included with the book are well set out and cater for a range of existing fitness levels and running goals. If you are looking to intersperse some running into your walks, or build up to continuous running, or your main aim is weight loss, then I think you will find these programs well structured and achievable. But if, like me, you are an early-stages runner at a slightly higher fitness level (e.g. you can run for an hour or two continuously and without undue stress) then only the 10km training program will be of interest. The authors suggest that their earlier book Marathoning for Mortals is intended for folks at this and higher levels and this is the one I'll be buying next.
Why only three stars ? Several reasons. Firstly, while both authors write clearly and engagingly, the text shifts from sections of first person singular voice, where it is sometimes clear who is writing and sometimes not, to first person plural. I found this a bit awkward at times. Secondly, there is some padding - a prime example being the chapter 'Becoming your own coach' which consists of a series of short character sketches linked to each of the training programs. I didn't find that this added any useful information. Thirdly, although this may be an unfair criticism, the book lacks the magic of 'The Courage to Start' which has an often zen-like discussion of runner's mind and how running can enrich your wider life emotionally and philosophically. The short 'Penguin Pearls of Widsom' at the head of each chapter in 'Running For Mortals' give some flavour of this, but for those teetering on the cusp of running I'd strongly recommend that you chase up a copy of 'The Courage To Start' first.
I got this book because it was recomended to me.
I just started to get active again. I, like the author, was aging, overweight, and couldnt play with my kids without getting out of breath.
I started dieting, changing my lifestyle, and running.
The running part, was the hardest part.
This book, explains everything that will happen to your body. Lays it out, it plain terms, and really inspires you once you know what is happening to you, is normal.
I got this about 2 months into my running lifestyle. The first 2 chapters, all I kept saying is, "Woah, THAT'S why my legs hurt when I did this, Ohhhhh, that's why I felt I could go longer, and physically couldn't."
This book is a must have for the beginning runner.
If you are teetering on this, let me break this down honestly.
In Aug 08, I was 283 pounds. Today, 11/13/08 I am 240, and I ran my first 5k this weekend in 29 mins. My blood pressure and cholesterol have dropped DRASTICALLY.
I owe it all to running.
After reading through the first half of this book, I came to realization that I really don't know what I'm doing as a runner at all! I wish that this book existed 10 years ago when I first started running - I'd be in much better shape than I am today.
This book is geared for beginning runners, but you might be surprised at what you can learn, even if you've been at it for a while.
Last, this book is fun to read and I'm finding it to be quite inspirational.
But millions of us put on our sneakers and headed out and plodded along and entered races. I was terrified when I entered my first race as a middle-aged, overweight individual. But I entered and started. I also finished with some not too embarrassing finishing times.
The book strikes a reasonable balance between telling stories and giving guidance on running. It’s for people who don’t know how to set up a training routine. It gives advice on very rudimentary aspects such as how much water to drink.
The author has been criticized for not being competitive about his running times and not trying to get better times. So he doesn’t fit everyone’s ideas of what a runner should do and want to be. I appreciate that some of us are never going to be at the front of the pack, but that doesn’t mean we have to get off the course and stop trying. I just start at the back of the middle and finish there or maybe move up a little. And this book helped give me the courage to start.