Over 20 million Americans run recreationally, but doing it right is more than a matter of buying an expensive pair of shoes and heading for the track. Building on the popularity of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook, this practical, easy-to-use guide provides a step-by-step program for running a half or full marathon for the first time. It shows readers how to get motivated and set realistic goals, choose the proper shoes, eat right, build strength and endurance, and avoid sore muscles and injury. The book includes tips from elite runners on such subjects as staying motivated when the weather is extreme, running technique, running with a dog, and running partners. Finally, the book describes strategies for the race, what to expect on race day, and the psychological effects of finishing a half or full marathon. Most importantly, it includes a full training program designed to ensure that that crucial first race is a winner.
With proper training, most people can successfully run (or walk/run) 13.1 or 26.2 miles (a half and full marathon, respectively). This very basic, nonthreatening guide is great for first-timers who don't care about how long it takes them to do so and just want to finish "with some degree of grace." Caron and her colleagues at "SportMedBC" lay out a 26-week program that combines walking, running and an in-between step called the shuffle, and involves three days of such activity a week (other days are for resting or cross-training). Profiles of everyday runners, tips from elite athletes and mini-lists punctuate the text. The book is best for those who have never run a race before (others will already know, for instance, that "female runners will probably want to consider a sport bra"). Chapters explain proper "fueling," mentally preparing for a distance race, cross training, including one's family in the training and, of course, dealing with the pains that will inevitably arise.