With a few big races now under my belt, sometimes I forget how scary it was to transition from being an every-once-in-a-while jogger to a real race runner who trains for months and obsesses over finding the perfect pre- and post-run noshes. But I remember a time when I didn’t know what a tempo run, splits or even striders were—and I was always in awe of all of the hip (as in cool, not where the thigh bone connects) runner’s lingo. Over the course of a year, I went from running newbie to lingo-dropping pro by reading multiple books about running and reading every word of every issue of Runner’s World for an entire year. You know what would have been a whole heck of a lot easier? Reading this book.
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Running (third edition) is a fantastic primer for getting your run on. While not quite as motivational as this running book I recently fell in love with or as juicy as this other book in the same series, it does a fantastic job of teaching you all that you need to know about running. (Hence the Complete Idiot’s Guide part, eh?) From the gear you need to finding the perfect stride to signing up for your first 5K (along with training plans for a number of different race distances), this book hooks you up. It’s like a beginner runner’s encyclopedia of knowledge. With handy[-]dandy chapters on nutrition, stretching and preventing injuries, you can’t go wrong with it.
I especially enjoyed how much the authors (who are both accomplished runners themselves) even got into explaining the science behind running, fitness and weight-loss. Sure, some areas of the book get a little heavy in the fact-department, but with an easy-to-use index, glossary and runner’s pace chart, it’s a fantastic reference book for runners!
Want to win this running book for yourself? Leave a comment with why you like to run (or want to get started!), and we’ll select one lucky U.S. reader to win a copy. The winner will be notified by email in about a week. Good luck, runners! —Jenn