Book review: ‘The Runner’s World’s Big Book’ gets people on the right foot

More and more people are turning to running as a way to lose weight, relieve stress, stay active, gain confidence and live longer. Because of this, Rodale Inc., the publishers of Runner’s World have put together “The Runner’s World Big Book of Running for Beginners.” I thought this was perfect timing for this book since the weather has now changed and more people want to get out and hit the trails (or the pavement).

This is not just another “how to” book. It is definitely a resource for runners and those who are aspiring to become runners. I could have benefited from this book when I first started my running journey, especially the section on running terms.

Did you know what the term “Athena” refers to during a race? I didn’t even know there was such a term. And yes, a fartlek is a legitimate running term.

I had to chuckle as I read the section on yoga etiquette. I’m sure we all know someone who has broken a few of those rules.

Even though this book title suggests that it is for beginners, I assure you that every runner, no matter how long they’ve been out there, will find it helpful in some way.

A few sections of the book include:

1. The basics: What to wear, pacing, differences in running surfaces, treadmill tips, running with your dog, running with others, running hills, cross training, FAQ about training, running/race etiquette, etc.

2. Become a runner in five easy steps: Training Plans, race prep, etc.

3. Motivation: Getting out the door, getting out of a rut, etc.

Sections four and five: Nutrition and weight loss: So much information here – losing weight and keeping it off, best foods, worst foods, grocery shopping, reading food labels, pre and post run foods, etc.

6. Run safe and injury free: Breathing, stretching, chafing, side stitches, heat, cold and snow, mean dogs, etc.

7. Preventing and coping with injuries: Touches on all the most common running injuries.

The book is authored by several leading folks in the running industry. Bart Yasso, author and chief running officer at Runner’s World; Amby Burfoot, editor at large of Runner’s World and winner of the 1968 Boston Marathon; Jennifer Van Allen, running coach and special projects editor of Runner’s world; and Pamela Nisevich Bede, RD, CCSD, sports nutrition expert.

In addition to advice from the experts, this book is full of testimonials from the average run of the mill runner. You’ll read about success stories and answers to questions you may have been too afraid ( or embarrassed) to ask.

Whether someone is starting on their running journey from scratch or they are trying to pick up the pieces of a running career that may have gotten sidelined due to an injury, a hectic lifestyle or other obstacles, “The Runner’s World Big Book of Running for Beginners” will be sure to provide motivation and inspiration to get one started out on the right foot.