running books!

Last week I was blessed by a friend who generously sent me six running books that she’s read and enjoyed. As a newbie runner, I know nothing, so I really appreciated this info.  (Luckily I’m also a fast reader.)  I’m currently on the 4th book and thought I’d tell you what I think of them so far.

Galloway’s Book on Running is a great beginner book.  The author says one of the ways people can run injury-free is by taking regular walking breaks.   A beginner like me is advised to walk a minute for every two minutes of running, with more running and less walking as you get more fit.  Even someone who can regularly run an 8 minute mile is advised to walk 30 seconds every five minutes or so.  Galloway claims this will allow most runners to actually improve times (because when you’re running you’ll have more energy from your rests) and he says that varying pace is much better for the body.

I confess, I only skimmed Half-Marathon: You Can Do It because, umm, I can’t.  Yet.  (Did I just type ‘yet’?  Yikes.  What other craziness lurks in my head?) But I did appreciate a couple pages in the back of the book laying out good clothing choices for running in various temperatures.   I am hoping to run outdoors as long as possible this winter.  There were also some good-looking running plans to prep for a half marathon, just in case at some point in the future I do get that crazy.  (Doubt it, but ya never know.)

The Courage To Start: A Guide To Running for Your Life had me laughing out loud in the first ten pages.  John Bingham is a guy who started running at the age of 43 (same as me), when he was eighty pounds overweight.  His self-deprecating humor and emphasis on reality and moderation was a real encouragement to me.   Here are a few lines that resonated with me:

It never occurred to me that I would stick with it.  Why should this time be any different from the others?  But I found myself putting on my running shoes, heading out the door, and waiting for the urge to quit to overcome me.  As days passed, then weeks and months, I became perplexed.  Surely I would quit.  I always had in the past.

You’ll have to get the book if you want to read the rest of his story.  But I found it worth reading, enough that when I picked up the next book in my heap– Running for Mortals — I was pleased to realize that it was co-written by Bingham, along with a woman named Jenny Hadfield.  This one also also had a strong beginner-encouragement slant– lots of personal stories along with all sorts of information about getting faster, getting stronger, and training for 5K and 10K races.  Good stuff.

I still have two books to go– I’ll try to remember to let you know what I think of them too!

As for my running, this past week my stamina felt low. I was slow and after each run my knees ached walking down stairs for a day or so. Minor discomfort really, but it’s the first time in two months my knees have complained so I’m taking it as their request for a slow week.

I’m planning to take Sunday-Tuesday off, and will probably only run Wednesday and Saturday.  Makes me strangely jumpy to think of skipping that many days, but no way do I want to ignore little stuff and have it get bigger.  On the bright side I now have actual visible running muscles, a fact which is equally pleasing and shocking.


  1. Read Born to Run as well…..fab book!

  2. For your knees..if you ice them for 10 mins. right after you run it really helps to keep the achy knees thing at bay.

    You are doing great!


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Christina Ridgley, Anna Mackay. Anna Mackay said: running books! | Owlhaven: Last week I was blessed by a friend who generously sent me six running books that she's… […]