Reading Running for Mortals

August 5, 2012

I just finished Running for Mortals by John “The Penguin” Bingham and Coach Jenny Hadfield (yes, I know I’m supposed to be reading Infinite Jest and Mansfield Park — more on my book ADD at a later date).

It’s a really great book. Obviously I can’t recommend it to everybody ever because not everybody is looking to start running, but if you’re toying with the idea, I would definitely suggest picking this one up. These two make running seem approachable and, well, possible for the rest of humanity with more than 1% body fat and the usual scarring childhood gym memories.

My only real problem with the book is entirely personal and has to do with figuring out the program right for me. John and Jenny provide a bunch of tools throughout the book to help readers figure out just that, but I, being me, had to complicate things.

Had I read this book back when I bought it — some time in November 2011, I think — I would be completely new to running and able to accurately identify where I fit on the spectrum they lay out. But, being the overenthusiastic person I can sometimes be, I threw myself full-force into running and kind of forgot about the book and the training programs it offered. Fast forward however many months, one 5K and a few months of sitting on my butt. Now I don’t know where I fit in. I’m not entirely new to running, but I have been inactive for a while. I do want to run to lose weight, but I want to get other things out of it as well. I have a history of injuries, but they’re as under control as they can be. I have a chronic illness, but it’s under control. The book gives answers, but I’m a weird exception. I want to just call them up and lay it all out for so they can tell me what to do:

Hey, so basically my body decided to enact a coup against me. My doctors used drugs to brutally crush said coup. Now I’m working on picking up the pieces and trying to make friends with my body. Cue “can’t we all just get along” theme music.

And now you know more about me than you ever needed or wanted to. Ah, the magic of the internet!

Anyway, back to Running for Mortals. I think I’m the exception, not the rule. Most people will probably have very little difficulty figuring out which program to follow, and as far as I can tell, they’re all well laid out. They also provide strength training and flexibility exercises to incorporate into training and explain why all of it is important.

Running for Mortals is really just your comprehensive How-to running guide.

I’ve finally realized why I’m so glued to the Olympics: I generally missed the summer games as a child since I was usually at camp. Now I’m making up for lost time or something. In any case, I’m basically glued to my television during prime-time broadcasts and am trying to start running again, but I will be getting back to my regularly scheduled reading soon.

Is anyone else turning into an Olympics-zombie (despite the terrible coverage in the States), or is it just me? Also, a moment for the amazing-ness that is Jessica Ennis. I pretty much want her to come to New York and be my best friend/fitness fairy. Just saying. Is that weird? Probably.

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