The Beginning Runner's Handbook

An excellent guide for the new runner

When a friend persuaded me to try a sprint-distance triathlon, I knew I could complete the swimming and cycling legs. However, I doubted my ability to complete the 5k run, as I have NEVER been able to run for more than a few minutes — not when I was 15, and not now when I’m 35.

The Beginning Runner’s Handbook appears to be changing that. I’m now in the fifth week of the program, and I’m finding that it’s working. This week, I’ll be running 13 three-minutes segments, for a total of 39 minutes running. This is a major accomplishment for me.

The book begins with a concise overview of running, including its appeal, the importance of gradual training, and some common-sense tips. The discussion is helpful since the authors have really worked to refine their program and, overall, they have a very positive, encouraging approach.

The real value of the book, though, is the program itself. It begins with very short running segments and gently builds up to longer runs. Each increase is just enough to challenge you, and then subsequent runs ensure that your body has time to adjust to the new routine.

All in all, this book has been the perfect tool for getting me going and feeling good about my progress. I am sure it would be helpful to anyone for whom running just doesn’t come easily.

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