My Review of THE BIG BOOK!
Build a base.
Make the time.
Think about training plans.
Set realistic training and race goals.
All great advice, especially good at this time for those of us doing fall races. I’m planning for the Runner’s World Half on October 21st and I know many of you will be there also.
We are now 13 weeks from race weekend, and since most half-marathons training plans are 12 weeks long, this is the week of do some research, look at some plans and think about your training for more than 2 minutes.
I’ve suffered through enough races over the years to know that planning is wise! So now I’m looking at my calendar and thinking about my overall schedule (because I do have a life outside of running) and I try to plan out my long runs. Sometimes I’ll do them on the weekend, but if my weekends are busy (gotta party sometimes) then I plan to do them midweek.
Recently I read The Runner’s World Big Book of Marathon and Half-Marathon Training and it is a perfect book for beginning to intermediate runners to read a few months before a race and then to keep close by if you need to refresh some info and/or get some motivation during the weeks you are training.
For starters, I like the bold, large font of the book (yes, showing my age) and I like the parts and chapters the book is broken into. It covers everything from thinking about what race you choose, the training needed to make it happen and what to expect on race day.
Then it also covers nutrition and injury prevention, both which are overlooked too often, but are a major key to have a successful experience. The cool thing is, the book doesn’t insist that you do this or that or else you will die. It suggests various options for everything from stretches to cross-training to food choices to remedies to race plans.
It even includes advice on washing/drying your running clothes… after all, you have to get the stink out and you want them to last as long as possible.
The book is a collaboration from three folks very familiar with running… Jennifer Van Allen, Bart Yasso and Amby Burfoot. The sidebars are full of easy-to-read advice..
Amby’s Advice on jumping into doing a half or full marathon soon after you start running: Be realistic about your expectations. Unless you’re young and fit, you’ll have to do most of your training on a run-walk pattern…. don’t be afraid—just have reasonable expectations. And follow a solid training program that builds up your miles. They can be slow miles, but you gotta do them. (See the full quote on page 4)
And sprinkled through-out are stories from everyday runners like you and I. They include personal stories of success and also some tips on what worked and what didn’t.
Read about Jeremy and how running helped him deal with fatigue and depression while undergoing cancer treatment.
And be encouraged by Belynda’s story… she was so tired of being sick and tired, so she started moving and with the run/walk method, she lost 100 pounds.
Christopher’s story of becoming symptom-free from chronic disease is very inspiring. Running liberated him from the debilitation effects of Tourette’s syndrome and the side effects of the medication.
And Tammie shares how people close to her thought she was a nutcase for wanting to run, but connecting with other runners at races unlocked a whole new world of incredible people who made her feel normal because they were runners also.
And read how Mary, an attorney and mother of four finds time to train for marathons even with a busy schedule.
The sidebars include great advice from Bart Yasso..
Bart Says… It’s easy to get discouraged when you see the pack disappearing in the distance. This is hard, no bones about it. Just remember that everybody who is ahead of you has been the beginner at some point—and probably finished near the back of the pack when they were—so everybody knows what it’s like to be in your shoes. (See the full quote on page 51)
The book finishes with some menu options, along with marathon and half-marathon beginner, intermediate and advanced training plans.
So whether you are training for a particular race right now or not… here’s some more great advice from The Big Book:
Watch your form.
Warm up and cool down.
Start slow and build gradually.
Alternate between hard and easy efforts.
Check out more info about The Book here and if you have any running/training questions… order yourself a copy and enjoy!
Buying yourself a copy means you’ll have all the info needed to train and join me and many others at the Runner’s World Half and Festival Weekend on October 19-21… here’s more info.. Disclaimer: I received a copy of The Runner’s World Big Book of Marathon and Half-Marathon Training from Rodale Press to review, but this review is solely my own… because no one tells me what to do! (just kidding mom, I quit saying/believing that years ago, but in this scenario it’s appropriate.) .