Friday 5 May 2017

Book ~ "The Beginning Runner's Handbook: The Proven 13-Week Walk/Run Program" (2012) Ian MacNeill

From Goodreads ~ More than 20 million North Americans run recreationally - an astonishing figure that shows just how popular running is as a method of improving fitness. Whereas most running books are directed at the more advanced runner, this tightly written, absolutely basic guide offers a proven program perfectly suited to the beginning runner seeking long-term fitness.

New to this edition is an expanded training chapter including all-new material on running faster and farther; maintaining fitness while vacationing; building toward half and full marathons; running with the family, including running during pregnancy and after the baby arrives; coming back from injuries; and the latest on nutrition and running. 

I've never been a runner but have always wanted to be.  I recently started a Couch to 5K program (I have the app on my phone).  It's been tough but I made it to day 2/week 5 (yay me!).  When I tried to do day 3/week 5 on Thursday (walk for 5 minutes, run for 20 minutes, then walk for 5 minutes), I found it really hard ... I thought it was a big jump to go from running for 8 minutes twice with a walking break (I found this to be an effort!) to 20 minutes straight so did 5 minute bursts instead (at least I did something).  Plus I find running really boring (I need to listen to a book while I'm doing it to distract myself).

I got discouraged and was going to give up on the whole running idea.  Instead I thought I'd read a couple books about running for beginners to find inspiration and guidance.

This book is for beginners wanting to ultimately do a 10km run.  The chapters cover:
  • Why run?
  • Getting ready to run
  • On the road
  • The 13-Week RunWalk Program - there are three sessions a week and they take between 31 to 76 minutes each
  • The psychology of running
  • The family that runs together
  • Becoming a better runner
  • Fueling the body
  • Common injuries and recovery
  • Preparing for a 10K event
  • What's next?

The appendices include stretching exercises, the 13-Week RunWalk Maintenance Program, the 13-Week Fun Faster Program, and resources and references.  In each chapter, there are tips and advice along with "runner profiles".

Though the book was updated in 2012, it's still a bit dated as there is no mention of running apps or distance run apps, etc.  Also the author assumed that all running would be outside ... I've been doing mine on a treadmill at the gym.

Reading this book made me realize that instead of giving up because I can't do my 5km program in the eight weeks, I can take my time and do what I can as I can.  If I have to repeat week 4 (five minute runs with walking breaks for 30 minutes total) until I feel comfortable to move on, that's okay (I don't physically feel like I can move on yet).  At least I'm moving and getting a good cardio workout.  And I've come a long way from a couple months ago when I could barely run for 90 seconds!

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