I’ve recently been asked about what books I would read as a beginner runner and more specific: running in the winter. My first thought was to answer with, I didn’t read any books. I started with Runner’s World magazines.
I couldn’t be more wrong.
I took a look back on previous posts about my training to see exactly how I did it. Apparently, I decided to run my first race, after I’ve been running 17 kilometers in March 2010. I was being asked by other people in the gym what marathons I run and I looked at them like they were crazy. Their reaction? Looking at me like I was crazy because I spent so much time running and sprinting on the treadmill. It was at that point that I asked myself, “Can I REALLY run a half marathon!?”
So, how did I get to 17 kilometers? I just kept pushing myself. No plan. No books. No Runner’s World. Just the experience of being a competitive dancer, cheerleader, and a love for being fit. Every week I would add an extra kilometer onto my runs and didn’t do any research whatsoever.
It was once I started to add 5 more kilometers to my 17K distance and complete my first half marathon that I started reading RW religiously and adding more healthy grains, veggies, and fruit to my already health nut diet.
In my head, I was a beginner. Looking back, I wasn’t a beginner to running. I think I was a beginner to races because I have actually been running as cross-training to cheerleading. And I definitely wasn’t racing to win. I just wanted to cross the finish line at Disney and call myself a half marathon runner.
So how does this answer the question, “what books would you read as a beginner?”
- Runner’s World.
Diving into this magazine has taught me SO much. It’s my bible of running. I have learnt so many tips on “How to Train” which, I do think is important. Even though I didn’t follow a plan during my first 17K. I think it’s neccessary and RW gives great advice and tips on how to become a great runner.
- Read Other Runners Blogs.
I started by reading one of my cheerleading coach’s running blog: runnermama.com. Reading what others learn during their runs and how they are doing it gave me knowledge and a desire to really want to pursue running. I then started my own blog let me write down and reflect on why I love running, how much I have accomplished, and my goals. And now it has becoming a great community filled with new friends!
In March 2011, one year after the day I decided I was going to run the half, I read ZEN and the ART of RUNNING by Larry Shapiro. This was the first running book I have ever read and I loved it.
This book is great for runners of all levels. It’s a book that you can pick up and learn something new each time you read it because you will have a different way of thinking each time you pick it up. It helps you learn how to kick your butt out the door, keeping yourself motivated while running, and being zen about injuries.
As for winter running, I’m new to this. I’m a WIMP when it gets cold outside. Unless it has been cold for 3 months. Then my body starts to think it’s warm outside when the temperature starts to increase in February. At that point, I will run with ice and snow because I will be so excited to start running outside again.
So, I will have to get back to you on a better winter running answer!
For all my beginning runner bff’s, I always suggest giving yourself a distance goal or enter yourself in a race. This will keep you motivated to keep following your training plan. And the training plan is key. I ALWAYS use a plan. It keeps me focused and it’s the smart way to increase mileage.
What books do you suggest beginner runners to read?
How did you start racking up your mileage? A plan? Or go with the flow?