Saturday, March 17, 2012

Book Review - The Ultimate Beginner's Running Guide

The Ultimate Beginner's Running Guide: The Key to Running Inspired
By Ryan Robert

I got this book for my Kindle via the Amazon store. It's $2.99 for the Kindle version, and it doesn't look like there's a print version.

This is a good book. I just read a different guide to running book, so I didn't know if I needed another one right now. However, I'm glad I read it.
First a note about the Kindle: reading on it is so easy. I love it! I love having so many books to choose from right at my fingertips. And it's so easy to read while I'm on the treadmill. In days gone by, I had to either hold a book in both hands and turn pages all while trying not to fall off the treadmill. Yesterday, I walked for 70 minutes (at 3 mph) and read half of this book. It was so easy to hold the Kindle in one hand and use my thumb to "turn" pages. 
This book was so easy to read. I breezed through it and felt very motivated and encouraged when I was done. It's truly a book for beginners who need the confidence boost to get out there and get running.

I think my only complaint is that Chapters 1 and 3 cover so much information and are so long. I wish they had been broken up into smaller pieces. It was sometimes hard to follow, because I didn't remember what section of the chapter I was in.

I enjoy and plan to utilize his Visualizations at the end of Chapters 1, 2, and 3. This type of focused energy really helps me perform well.

Introduction: Why Run?
This introduction is super motivating. Everyone knows that running is a good cardio workout: that you will lose weight, lower your blood pressure, and have a healthier heart. The mental benefits are less concrete, but may be even more important: lowering stress and increasing confidence.

Chapter 1: Getting Ready to Run
This chapter is very long, almost half the book (to 53% on the Kindle). There is a lot of information here. I mean, a lot. And it's good stuff. The tips on arm positions was especially useful to me.

Chapter 2: Raising the Bar and Staying Motivated to Run
In this chapter, the main focus is adding hill workouts and intervals to your running routine to better your performance. The tips to stay motivated are all great ideas.

Chapter 3: Nutrition, Hydration, Running in Adverse Conditions, and Common Injuries
Again, this chapter is super long and feels like it should be a few different chapters. I always enjoy hearing different perspectives on nutrition and hydration during practice and races. And the tips on running in extreme heat, cold, and rain were right on. I tend to get shin splints, so it was good for me to read about icing and doing some cross training.

Chapter 4: Running Inspired
After starting the book off with a great positive message, giving load and loads of tips and expertise, this chapter gets back to motivation and encouragement. You can do it! And it'll be great!

Chapter 5: Training Schedules
These training schedules look good. I've already committed to a different training plan for my half-marathon in May, but one of these plans look like a great way to maintain fitness. I think it's better for me to be on a plan than to just go out and run. I need someone to tell me what to do.

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