The Complete Book of Running for Women
By Claire Kowalchik
This book has so much information in it. I don't think I can give a full summary of the book, except that it has everything you need to know about starting to run. I whole-heartedly recommend this book for any woman starting to run. I did breeze through the chapters on menopause, pregnancy, running over 50. But the chapter on running with family was super helpful--even just reading about other moms who really have to work to fit running into their day. And about getting your kids involved in the sport. It's an easy read, and despite being 413 pages, it only took me a couple weeks to get through it.
Some of the things I found particularly interesting were the Parts titled Why Run, Becoming a Runner, and Getting into Gear.
Because it's good for your body and your mind. It helps relieve stress, facilitates interruption-free thinking, and helps you lose weight and maintain good health. It's easy to start, and you don't need any special gear. You can do it anywhere in any weather, with or without friends. It doesn't matter if you're fast or slow--you can run, and you'll feel good.
Becoming a Runner
If you think you're a runner, and you feel like a runner, then you're a runner. Again, it doesn't matter if you're doing 10-minute miles or 6-minute miles. If you run consistently, you're a runner. Kowalchik writes about changing your self image from "fatty, out of shape mom" to "getting in shape, runner in training." And it works! It changed how I view myself on the treadmill and in races. I'm not thin and fast (yet), but I'm working on it, and a positive mindset is huge in meeting that goal.
Getting into Gear
Shoes, shirts, shorts, running skirts, socks, hydration belts, hats, sunglasses, tights, GPS watch. For a sport that you can do it whatever clothes you have laying around, there are tons of options for running-specific gear. And the more serious a runner you become, the more you enjoy the special gear.
I have these running shorts that I've tried out a couple times, and I love them. They don't ride up between my legs at all. They don't chafe. They are slinky and smooth. And I feel like a real runner when I wear them. Same with my new lock laces. My shoes never come untied anymore, and I think I look like a pro. Next on my list is a hydration belt, watch, and a running skirt.