If ever there was something you should be required to read before you start training for races, it is Build Your Running Body: A Total-Body Fitness Plan for All Distance Runners, from Milers to Ultramarathoners; Run Farther, Faster, and Injury-Free. (affiliate link) I found this book while surfing around Amazon one day, trying to figure out how I could become a better runner. It was pretty cheap (as of today’s blog posting, the paperback version is just $14.29) and because I have Prime, it arrived very quickly!
Now that I’ve finished the book, I can say: This book has essentially become my encyclopedia for running.
It is packed with just over 400 pages worth of information, for both the novice runner, and the expert. It goes through everything, from nutrition, to what you should wear, to marathon training programs. It really is a great resource for runners!
The book is broken up into five sections. They are:
- Build Your Running Knowledge
- Build Your Running Body – Components and Workouts
- Build Your Running Program – Principles and Schedules
- Build Your Running Diet – Protein, Carbs, Calories, and Nutrition
- Build Your Race Strategy
Since I reference the book fairly often now, the organization of the book makes it much easier for me to refer back to certain workouts, or running programs, or whatever it is I’m looking for. I’ve looked up different exercises, running terms, and training programs – in the last week alone! Like I said, it’s become an encyclopedia for me.
The Runner 360 workout is one of my favorite features of the book. It’s a great all-over body workout that is supposed to take just 12 minutes. I actually completed the full workout during the last major snow storm, joined by my brother and future sister-in-law. The photos in the book literally illustrate important points and exercise form, which really helped when completing the Runner 360 workout, for example. They were able to get some pretty high-level runners to pose for the photos, which was super cool, and also shows that the exercises work!
I love that there are race training programs in the book for people with varying amounts of time to train. Since I’m planning to run my first marathon this fall, I have been using this section of the book to map out my marathon training strategy. It has shorter training programs in the book as well, including, for example a 5-week 5k training program for intermediate and advanced runners.
I really enjoyed the scientific portions of the book. I love learning about the human body, and it’s really fascinating to learn about how running at different speeds and for different distances can impact your body. The nutrition segment of the book is also helpful. My parents have always made nutritious meals for our family, so I know how to eat healthy. This book demonstrated how eating certain things can also benefit your fitness. It has made me more conscious about how much protein I’m eating daily, for example.
I really wish I’d read this book before I even considered running my first race. There is so much to learn about running! I have a long way to go before I start hitting some of my goals, but this book has helped put me on the right trajectory for success.
TL; DR: I highly recommend this book! You’ll find yourself referencing it from time to time, even after you’re done reading it. Pick up a copy of this book! It’s great!
Have you read any good running books lately? Do you have any good running book recommendations? What’s a good book you’d recommend for a new runner?