I must admit I am no runner. I have knee issues (thank you very much, zumba), laziness and an astonishing lack of willpower when it comes to exercise. However, I recently moved to the seaside and with so many “along the water” paths, parks and beaches I have been tempted to take up running. This past weekend, I put on my running shoes and headed for a run. I lasted 2 minutes as it daunted on me that some kind of training and preparation would be required. I obviously turned to my favorite resource: books.
There are countless books available for runners or wannabe ones (like me). The Beginning Runner’s Handbook: The Proven 13-Week Walk/Run Program by The Sport Medicine Council is a great tool for those trying to take up the activity and set up a training schedule. The For Dummies and Idiot’s Guide series also have several books on the topic, including some on running barefoot.
For more advanced runners Runner’s World Magazine has published several books on the topic. One I liked was Runner’s World Complete Book of Women’s Running: The Best Advice to Get Started, Stay Motivated, Lose Weight, Run Injury-Free, Be Safe, and Train for Any Distance by Dagny Scott Barrios.
Other books that may help runners improve their performance are The Competitive Runner’s Handbook: The Bestselling Guide to Running 5Ks Through Marathons by Bob Glover and Shelly-lynn Florence Glover, (includes advice on choosing our routes, exercises and even footwear) and YOU (Only Faster) by Greg McMillan.
If injuries have been plaguing your run, books like Running Anatomy by Dr. Patrick Milroy and Joe Puleo and Running Injury-Free (Revised Edition): How to Prevent, Treat, and Recover From Runner’s Knee, Shin Splints, Sore Feet and Every Other Ache and Pain by Joseph Ellis may give you some insight on identifying and treating the problem.
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall has gotten a lot of attention lately. It is the tale of McDougall’s journey to Mexico’s Copper Canyons. There he studied the Tarahumara Indians, known for being superb runners. The book has become a source of inspiration for running enthusiasts all over the world. Along the same lines, Running with the Kenyans: Discovering the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth by Adharanand Finn describes the author’s journey to a small village in Kenya, known for its fast barefoot runners.
For hardcore runners and ultramarathonists (definitely not me) there are also many resources. My favorite and winner of the best title ever is Never Wipe Your Ass with a Squirrel: A Trail Running, Ultramarathon, and Wilderness Survival Guide for Weird Folks by Jason Robillard.
Finally, if you are looking for a gift for a runner check R is for Running by Ray Charbonneau, which according to the author is a “(…) lighthearted lexicon that spells out what it means to be a runner. It’s 26 smiles of running enjoyment!” It has plenty of puns and fun.