A couple of weeks back I received an email from author Ryan Robert who asked if I would be interested in reading and doing a review of his book on my blog. I was honored that he asked and said that of course I would be happy to read the book.
The Ultimate Beginner’s Running Guide: The Key To Running Inspired was a very easy book to read and while there was a lot of dry, detailed material I felt that over all if you are looking for a guide book this is a good fit. I tried to read this book with the mindset of what I remembered as a beginning runner. It’s hard sometimes to think back to a time when running wasn’t so ingrained into my life but it’s true, there was definitely a starting point and I at one time was very unsure of this sport as a whole.
I think that my favorite part of the whole book actually was his introduction; he really brought to light the “running inspired” part of his title and I felt deeply motivated. The opening quote by T.S. Eliot was perfect:
What we call the beginning is often the end.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.
This quote was so true as to how my running journey began and I really felt like this was the perfect way to talking about running inspired.
I would say that the first three chapters he really lays the ground work on form, technique and learning your heart rate and how to prevent injuries and such. I think this is very important and while he didn’t waste any time diving into important topics some of it felt very heavy and almost overwhelming, even to me who is more than just a beginner runner. There were several explanations of the foot strike and proper form that really confused me and I thought that definitely having diagrams would have been very helpful.
One nice thing that he did at the end of several chapters was have a visualization portion where the idea is to help you find the right mindset to get you out the door and running. I have to be honest and say that I was hoping by the title of the book that there would be more inspiration things like this rather than lots and lots of information.
Chapters 4 and 5 he really hit on the confidence factor and motivation behind running. I think that over all these were great chapters, however if I were writing the book I probably would have just said, “GO RUN! Just Do It! And it will change you!” (but there’s probably a very good reason I don’t write books). All of his tips, while at times redundant were things I think would be extremely helpful to someone looking to run but lacking confidence or motivation.
Chapter 6 is a definite necessary in all fitness books and while it’s hard to comprehend and overwhelming for everyone, beginner and experienced runners and athletes alike it’s important to learn about. Ryan hit on the key points and seemed to have a good grasp of the subject. However I would definitely encourage anyone to seek out more knowledge on this subject and learn from many sources. You should learn about your own body and what’s best for you and making you the best runner out there.
The remaining part of the book is talking about running in adverse conditions, which is quite necessary for many people, at least if you want to be consistent, as well as training plans that he suggests. I personally was not a huge fan of the training plans that he suggests – however, I do think that he gives a great variety of options and really allows you to build up. There are plans there that are truly beginner related as well as a little bit more advanced. My main issues with them is how frequently he has you running, especially as a beginner. But again, that’s just my opinion. Just like with nutritional needs I think that doing research and trying different training plans and methods is good; it helps you learn about the sport and learn about yourself and it will help you be more inspired to run.
Over all I think this was a well written book and I would recommend it to anyone that is interested in doing some reading on the topic. For me, when it comes to running I’m more of a get out there and do it kind of person but I know that there are many people out there who like to read and research before they do something and if that’s you then this is a good book for you.
Thanks, Ryan for letting me read your book, I really enjoyed it. If anyone is interested in reading it for themselves you can find the Kindle version of it here. And if you have any specific questions for Ryan just let me know and I’ll help you get in contact with him.