"Build Your Running Body" (Book Review)
As a runner and a researcher, I’m always on the lookout for science-based training manuals for running. There are a lot of running books out there, but the good ones are few and far between. The perfect blend of technical, accurate, comprehensive, and easy-to-read had eluded me until I read Build Your Running Body.
A Stand-Out Training Manual
As Dr. Armando Siqueiros, coach of the Cal Poly Distance Club, wrote in the forward, his first thought when receiving this book was, “Oh no, not another training manual.” Like Siqueiros, I've come across plenty of manuals that bored me to tears. But also like Siqueiros, I soon realized Build Your Running Body was something special.
"From priming your energy systems, to finding the ideal weight to run at and how to get there, you’ll find a host of topics here. The authors truly left no stone unturned."
Part of the reason for that is the team of authors who wrote Build Your Running Body. You’ve probably heard of Pete Magill before, but if not, he is a writer and elite runner. Thomas Schwartz is a physiologist and running coach. The third writer, Melissa Breyer is a writer and a columnist for a Discovery Channel website, but her focus is on nutrition. This group of writers brought their blend of experience and knowledge together to create this book.
What You'll Find in This Book
Build Your Running Body opens with a section for people who are new to running. If you’re an experienced runner, though, don’t be scared off, because the book has a lot to offer for people of every experience level. After the intro, the book goes into several sections on preparing for racing, and covers topics like gaining strength, building resistance to injury, preparing yourself psychologically, and developing your energy systems.
This is followed by another section that details how to build a program from the ground up. You’ll find information on creating your schedule and learn how to recover from your workouts.
"This book isn’t only among the best of its kind, it’s also reasonably priced. It’s the first book I’ve reviewed in a while for which I’d pay more than what they charge."
After learning how, where, and when to run and prepare for running, you’ll learn how to eat to run. From priming your energy systems, to finding the ideal weight to run at and how to get there, you’ll find a host of topics here. The authors truly left no stone unturned.
Because of both the quantity and quality of information found in this book, I expected it to be a pricey one. That does seem to be the unfortunate trend with fitness books these days. But this book isn’t only among the best of its kind, it’s also reasonably priced. It’s the first book I’ve reviewed in a while for which I’d pay more than the list price.
The only possible downside I can say about the book is that true beginners may get a bit overwhelmed. Magill and the other writers do their absolute best to resolve this issue, with sections and portions of sections dedicated to helping beginners learn about running.
It’s not that this book isn’t for beginners – it definitely is – but it’s also for advanced runners, and the abundance of information might be too much for some readers. That said, the only “problem” of this book is a good problem to have. Having too much information is better than not having enough.
Although elite athletes and coaches may get more out of textbooks on endurance training, this is probably the best all-around guide I’ve seen for all skill levels. Build Your Running Body provides beginners with many years' worth of solid information to continue their advancement in running for a long time to come.
"Build Your Running Body" is available for $13.88 at Amazon.com.