Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Runner's Reads

For me, "down time" is a rarity i have come to treasure.  I have subscriptions to Runners World, and Running Times, and honestly, they usually sit on my coffee table for weeks before i get the chance to read them.  During my total stress-fest last week, i took some time off from running to curl up on the couch with my laptop, and finish The Ultimate Beginner's Running Guide, by Ryan Roberts.  (a book about running.  Hey - i know what i like!)

Thats right, i don't have a kindle and had to use my 6 year old power book.  So sue me.  

Ryan actually contacted me as a fellow runner just to say, "Hey, i wrote a book - feel free to check it out as you sometimes claim to run on your blog"  (Well played, Ryan...)

Upon learning that he was living my dream life in Alaska, i had to check out what insights he might have for me.

To begin with, it is a beginning running guide - geared for people who might be considering their first race, who are maybe fit but haven't considered running, or people who have always wanted to run, but maybe not made the jump.  That said, I am a firm believer that as i (claim to) train for my 5th marathon, i am just as much a beginner as someone eyeing their first 5k.  I still make mistakes, and i still have a lot to learn.  I have learned some tips in the book that i will now take with on my runs, that i will get to in a second.

Primarily, the book is a confidence builder.  It breaks down the idea of running into a manageable task that any of us can do.  It even includes beginners training plans!  Granted, all running is is "left foot" "right foot" and repeat, but there is a lot of confidence-building, and instructional knowledge needed as well, and this is what the book provides.  In the book Ryan has multiple training plans according to fitness level, and i may or may not be blindsiding my mom with the over 50 plan in the near future.  The woman has always wanted to run, and always made excuses not to.  Honestly, the whole damn book could do her good now that i think about it!  

Some of my key takeaways as a clueless marathoner:
Take that, T-rex arm!!

  • How to banish t-rex arm.  I am a repeat t-rex arm offender.  It's embarrassing, especially in race photos.  My favorite method is "pulling the gun from the holster"  You'll have to read about it, but there is a good chance there will be reports of a rogue cowgirl on the lakefront path.  (of course he explains the benefits, and there are many, of why running like a damn T-rex is less than ideal.)
  • Visualize the success!  I actually learned this at my recent public speaking seminar, but as far as i can tell, visualizing yourself succeeding is a universal win!
  • And lastly, did you know that in hot humid weather, you want to wipe the sweat off frequently to cool yourself?  I was under the impression that the sweat on my skin was cooling me, so i would just let it sit there all grossified.  There is a good chance that this misinformation contributed to my heatstroke collapse at the Rockford Marathon.  Luckily, i now stand corrected!
People who are very new to running, or wanting to start running will benefit the most from this book because of the focus on motivation, nutrition, weather, confidence, shoes, gait, and detailed but easy to follow training plans.  But i think the devil is in the details in that there are key nuggets of knowledge in there that benefit any runner - you never realize how much you don't know until you know it.

So check out Ryans book here:
if you are interested, or know someone who might need a little motivation to take the plunge into the running world!


Most of you are probably way cooler than i and have kindles, but if not, there are free apps that can turn your old brick of mac into a large clunky kindle.   :)

And, i will end this with a question, and a popsicle joke.  Would you ever buy a beginners running book for a friend or family member? (without them directly asking for it)

As we all know, i have been having a terrible couple weeks, but i think this was my sign to  get back on that horse.  And also to stop eating so many popsicles in February....

16 comments:

  1. Love the popsicle stick joke, perfect motivation to get you going again!

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    1. What can i say, they know their market, haha

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  2. I agree .... even though I am not "really a beginner" I always feel like a beginner and that I have soooo much to learn!!

    I also have a nagging hip so the "constant twinge" doesn't help my motivation and visualization much.

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    1. Yeah, i suppose chronic injury is a whole different ballgame...but you could visualize your hip not hurting? haha

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  3. I am constantly making running mistakes, even though I pretend to think that I am immune to them! Anyway, not so fast on that wiping sweat conclusion. See this article, which says it is best to leave sweat on your skin: http://tinyurl.com/7wy8bap.

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  4. Hahaha love that joke! And I love running books...will definitely look into this one!

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  5. I love reading running books! I actually bought Kara Goucher's book last year and thought it was too novice for me so I gifted it to my friend who was training for her first marathon. She loved it.

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    1. I had wondered that about karas book, because it did seemed geared towards beginners. But i also love her....

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  6. I got this book from Ryan too and I LOVED IT. The visualization tips totally help and the trick about telling yourself lies to get you to keep running. I use that all the time and continue to tell myself 'one more mile'

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    1. Thats funny because i though of you! Kelly mentioned learning the one more mile trick from you :)

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  7. I love that popsicle stick! I just posted a book review of my own! http://www.laurenruns.com/2013/02/12/book-review-the-runners-guide-to-the-meaning-of-life/

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  8. That book looks so interesting..I want to read!

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