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The Complete Book of Running For Women

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A comprehensive guide exclusively for women who experience the pure joy of running or want to. More women than ever are discovering the unique benefits of running -- for stress relief, weight management, endurance, and self-esteem. Women's bodies are not the same as men's, and though we can train just as hard and with the same passion for excellence, we have certain special A comprehensive guide exclusively for women who experience the pure joy of running or want to. More women than ever are discovering the unique benefits of running -- for stress relief, weight management, endurance, and self-esteem. Women's bodies are not the same as men's, and though we can train just as hard and with the same passion for excellence, we have certain special concerns. It's the simplest, fastest, most accessible way to fitness and good health known to woman. You don't need a partner, equipment, or even much time. Now, Claire Kowalchik, former managing editor of Runner's World magazine, answers every question about the overwhelmingly popular activity that builds endurance, melts fat, and even prevents illness. In this total running book for women, you'll learn: -How to get started and stay motivated -What to eat for optimal nutrition -How to run during pregnancy and after menopause -Why running is the most effective form of exercise -How to prevent and treat injury -What to wear -- from sports bras to running shoes -How to prepare for everything from a 5K to a marathon Authoritative and friendly, The Complete Book of Running for Women is a sourcebook for both beginners and long-time runners. Along with wisdom drawn from the author's personal experience, you'll find advice from the experts: coaches, exercise physiologists, nutritionists, doctors, and other women runners. Including question-and-answer sections and a complete list of resources, The Complete Book of Running for Women tells you everything you need to know to be off and running toward better health and richer living.


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A comprehensive guide exclusively for women who experience the pure joy of running or want to. More women than ever are discovering the unique benefits of running -- for stress relief, weight management, endurance, and self-esteem. Women's bodies are not the same as men's, and though we can train just as hard and with the same passion for excellence, we have certain special A comprehensive guide exclusively for women who experience the pure joy of running or want to. More women than ever are discovering the unique benefits of running -- for stress relief, weight management, endurance, and self-esteem. Women's bodies are not the same as men's, and though we can train just as hard and with the same passion for excellence, we have certain special concerns. It's the simplest, fastest, most accessible way to fitness and good health known to woman. You don't need a partner, equipment, or even much time. Now, Claire Kowalchik, former managing editor of Runner's World magazine, answers every question about the overwhelmingly popular activity that builds endurance, melts fat, and even prevents illness. In this total running book for women, you'll learn: -How to get started and stay motivated -What to eat for optimal nutrition -How to run during pregnancy and after menopause -Why running is the most effective form of exercise -How to prevent and treat injury -What to wear -- from sports bras to running shoes -How to prepare for everything from a 5K to a marathon Authoritative and friendly, The Complete Book of Running for Women is a sourcebook for both beginners and long-time runners. Along with wisdom drawn from the author's personal experience, you'll find advice from the experts: coaches, exercise physiologists, nutritionists, doctors, and other women runners. Including question-and-answer sections and a complete list of resources, The Complete Book of Running for Women tells you everything you need to know to be off and running toward better health and richer living.

30 review for The Complete Book of Running For Women

  1. 5 out of 5

    Crystal Starr Light

    Bullet Review: Besides a basic "walk to 5K" that you could find for free on Google and a fantastic essay by Kathrine Switzer, the first official female runner in the Boston Marathon, this is pretty repetitive and meh. The science is old (yoga is bad for runners! Vegetarians will have trouble getting good quality calcium without red meat!), the book is outdated (no mention of smartphones, health monitors like FitBits and an archaic section on "safety"), the essays (except for Switzer) are what you Bullet Review: Besides a basic "walk to 5K" that you could find for free on Google and a fantastic essay by Kathrine Switzer, the first official female runner in the Boston Marathon, this is pretty repetitive and meh. The science is old (yoga is bad for runners! Vegetarians will have trouble getting good quality calcium without red meat!), the book is outdated (no mention of smartphones, health monitors like FitBits and an archaic section on "safety"), the essays (except for Switzer) are what you would expect from a junior in high school writing her "What I Did Last Summer" essay, and I'm clueless whether this is for new runners or people who already are fit. I dunno but a 27 min 5K is WAY BETTER than my best 5K time at peak condition. I recommend saving your money and googling running if you want to get started. Also, head to google and check out Switzer. She is STILL ALIVE. That incident with the Boston Marathon WASN'T THAT LONG AGO. People thought women running long distance (longer than a mile) would waste away our reproductive organs - as if that's the only thing women are good for!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Janet Gardner

    When this book arrived in the mail, my husband took one look at the title and said, “Why would I run for women? I’ve already caught one.” Yuk-yuk. Anyway, while I confess that I skipped a few bits (like the chapter on running while pregnant and the training schedule for a marathon), I found it full of helpful and motivating advice on everything from buying running shoes, to what and when to eat, to increasing mileage without overdoing (particularly as an old fogey--there was even a chapter calle When this book arrived in the mail, my husband took one look at the title and said, “Why would I run for women? I’ve already caught one.” Yuk-yuk. Anyway, while I confess that I skipped a few bits (like the chapter on running while pregnant and the training schedule for a marathon), I found it full of helpful and motivating advice on everything from buying running shoes, to what and when to eat, to increasing mileage without overdoing (particularly as an old fogey--there was even a chapter called “Over 50”). Mostly I liked it, but I did find one thing frustrating: Kowalchik’s years as a serious runner leave her a bit out of touch with those of us who are at a much lower level. The book is supposed to be for everyone, including beginners and women with physical limitations, and sometimes it hits that mark. But at other times Kowalchik will casually toss off lines like, “It doesn’t matter if your 5K time is 17 minutes or 27…” (Um…how ‘bout 37 on a good day, Claire?) or “Sooner or later you’re going to want to run a marathon.” (Really? Ya think? ‘Cuz I don’t.) Then there’s the time she refers to running “an easy three miles” (as if such a thing existed) as “a day off.” Riiight. Still, I learned a lot and got some motivation for my current running program, so it’s all good.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Starfire

    Reasonably good, but pitched a bit above my ability level, despite the blurb. Ssorry, but when the writer describes something as being valid "even if you're only running a slow, relaxed 10-minute mile - which equates to 9.6km/h in metric" , and I'm struggling to manage 8-8.5km/h, then, yeah, that's going to make me feel crazy slow. That said, there's good information in that really is female-focussed - running during pregnancy or menopause; potential issues with amenorrhoea; women-centred clothin Reasonably good, but pitched a bit above my ability level, despite the blurb. Ssorry, but when the writer describes something as being valid "even if you're only running a slow, relaxed 10-minute mile - which equates to 9.6km/h in metric" , and I'm struggling to manage 8-8.5km/h, then, yeah, that's going to make me feel crazy slow. That said, there's good information in that really is female-focussed - running during pregnancy or menopause; potential issues with amenorrhoea; women-centred clothing/gear issues - as well as general stuff like nutrition 101, dealing with injuries, and the ubiquitous 5k, 10k, half and full marathon training programmes. My general response to it as a beginner's running guide is yeah, sure, read it and suck up the information it provides... but at the same time, remember that it's OK if you're a true beginner and still wembling along at 8, or even 7.5km/h... you're doing what you're doing, and if it's more than you were doing before, then don't forget to tell yourself that you're doing good.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Krischelle

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I think I have more enthusiasm for running than I have for this book, but it did add fuel to the fire and provide me with some good facts and training programs. There is definitely information in there that I will revisit every time I want to get to a new level of training. In that sense, it's like a women's running bible. On the other hand, it probably has more impact for a woman who is not already running or isn't active at all. It could be very inspirational - after all, it's about an inspiri I think I have more enthusiasm for running than I have for this book, but it did add fuel to the fire and provide me with some good facts and training programs. There is definitely information in there that I will revisit every time I want to get to a new level of training. In that sense, it's like a women's running bible. On the other hand, it probably has more impact for a woman who is not already running or isn't active at all. It could be very inspirational - after all, it's about an inspiring topic! As cheesy as it is, I like Kathrine Switzer's chapter (the final one) about how running makes everyone feel like a hero. It may be corny as hell to say it, but it's true. That's why we all love it so much.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

    "The strength [that comes from running] permeates the rest of your life." I found this book on a friends bookshelf, it was published in 1999 and despite having a few antiquated parts—like keeping a running log on paper—it's a pretty good read. There's a lot of aspects to running in here that I found motivating and informative which perhaps might change my casual jogging mindset into something more dedicated and purposeful—a runner, in pursuit of whatever level of runner I choose to be. Novice run "The strength [that comes from running] permeates the rest of your life." I found this book on a friends bookshelf, it was published in 1999 and despite having a few antiquated parts—like keeping a running log on paper—it's a pretty good read. There's a lot of aspects to running in here that I found motivating and informative which perhaps might change my casual jogging mindset into something more dedicated and purposeful—a runner, in pursuit of whatever level of runner I choose to be. Novice runners beware: For me, the “beginner” pace times casually mentioned in the book seem slightly haughty and aggressive for a REAL beginner. If you're just starting out or just plain slow like me, the pace times feel a little humiliating. But keep reading and keep running. I’ve decided to let it motivate me to train a little harder and work towards upping my pace. There's an eye-opening chapter at the end of the book (chapter 30) about the history of Women's running that is awesome. I was really inspired and proud to be a women—throughout history women have often been told what we can’t do, and it's no different in the sport of running. I realized with greater clarity that the History of Women in Running has been hard earned. You feel a deeper sense of gratitude for those who’ve paved the way. I began to recognize that being able to run is really a privilege in so many ways. After reading this book I’m looking at so many more components to running. I now wonder how my grandmother or great-grandmother (and those women far before) may have felt both physically and mentally if they had lived in an era when running for health was commonplace. With this in mind, instead of mindless jogging, my runs have become a time for me to rediscover again and again the benefits that running can impart to so many facets of my life. Overall, this read encouraged me to just keep it going, but in a more focused and consistent way. A few of the most compelling ideas: Changing your self-image. The absolute difference between the mindset of calling yourself a "jogger" verses a "runner". Run your body depending on how it feels that day. Often after a couple of miles, the way you feel may change. Don't just jog, improve your running with long runs, pace workouts. The fragility associated with old age is due to lack of exercise more than age.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    I'm yet again trying to become a runner. For those unaware, I hate running, but I feel like I need to overcome that hatred, so every couple of years I try to like running (and this time I might have succeeded). Anyway, after some of my own weird injuries from life in general and hearing horror stories of gnarly injuries from former runners, I'm determined to do this whole running thing the right way, and this book frequently popped up in my attempts to find a good manual for beginners. It's not. I'm yet again trying to become a runner. For those unaware, I hate running, but I feel like I need to overcome that hatred, so every couple of years I try to like running (and this time I might have succeeded). Anyway, after some of my own weird injuries from life in general and hearing horror stories of gnarly injuries from former runners, I'm determined to do this whole running thing the right way, and this book frequently popped up in my attempts to find a good manual for beginners. It's not. It was published in 1999, which makes some of the incorrect information that much more difficult to understand as its information that the fitness world had already embraced by the late '90s (and could cause runners serious problems). Even excusing the errors (admittedly, I skimmed the latter half of the book), the organization is a mess, it at times reads more as propaganda than anything, and some of the sections had abysmal editing. The redeeming factor for reading to the end? The history of women running, but otherwise, very much not recommended.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    This book was okay. At first I liked that it seemed to be geared towards women intimidated by exercise, and addressed the psychological barriers and issues many women face, but after awhile I got frustrated with that. Although I personally have about 26.2 tons of issues surrounding exercise and my own complete lack of athleticism and physical coordination, I also like to push myself and get bored quickly without a sense of challenge. Like a lot of female-geared sport stuff ("Good job!"), the ton This book was okay. At first I liked that it seemed to be geared towards women intimidated by exercise, and addressed the psychological barriers and issues many women face, but after awhile I got frustrated with that. Although I personally have about 26.2 tons of issues surrounding exercise and my own complete lack of athleticism and physical coordination, I also like to push myself and get bored quickly without a sense of challenge. Like a lot of female-geared sport stuff ("Good job!"), the tone of this book felt a bit too coddling and slow-paced for me, as an intermediate runner, when I read it. Honestly, I just didn't find this book very inspiring (it's not an accident that I use that word in every single one of my exercise book reviews, because that's the only standard by which I judge them). However, I definitely think it could be inspiring for someone else, probably someone newer to running. If I'd come across it a little earlier, I probably would've benefitted from it more, before I worked through some of these issues on my own (e.g., identifying as "a runner") and learned the standard information about the logistics of running. I'd recommend this to women who're intimidated by the sport, but would like to get into it. You should!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kezia

    I'm giving this one only 2 stars. Any beginning runner who read this book would quit I'm sure when they look at the time statistics and goal paces. This book is not for the beginner. I've been running for 4 years and I find the goals intimidating. The author should concentrate more on getting women to try running. Also found the information regarding whether to do or not do yoga false. In one sentence she says don't do yoga, it keeps the muscles soft and supple which is not what a runner wants. I'm giving this one only 2 stars. Any beginning runner who read this book would quit I'm sure when they look at the time statistics and goal paces. This book is not for the beginner. I've been running for 4 years and I find the goals intimidating. The author should concentrate more on getting women to try running. Also found the information regarding whether to do or not do yoga false. In one sentence she says don't do yoga, it keeps the muscles soft and supple which is not what a runner wants. Then in the chapter that illustrates the kinds of stretches a runner should do, almost all of the stretches I do in my bi-weekly Yin Yoga class. I also find the training schedules extremely unrealistic.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Chicklit

    I recently started running again after a long, long hiatus. I'd run in grad school, but running then was more about getting together with a friend to unwind and vent about our classes than it was about improving endurance or speed. This time around, I'm more interested in all aspects of running, so I picked up this book to tell me how it's done. The book contains a lot of useful information for beginners. I especially found the stretching and strength training info helpful. It also gave great inf I recently started running again after a long, long hiatus. I'd run in grad school, but running then was more about getting together with a friend to unwind and vent about our classes than it was about improving endurance or speed. This time around, I'm more interested in all aspects of running, so I picked up this book to tell me how it's done. The book contains a lot of useful information for beginners. I especially found the stretching and strength training info helpful. It also gave great information about the different kinds of of workouts - hills, tempo, intervals. Up until reading this my running workout had consisted of one strategy: run. My favorite parts were the personal stories in the book. They were usually interesting and inspiring and livened up the load of information. Overall, it's a good resource for beginning women runners. That said, I had a couple of issues with the book. First, it is outdated. It doesn't read as such until one of the workout strategies has you make a mix tape. I think the last time I made a mix tape was 1995. It's a little detail, but it does call attention to the fact that the book hasn't been updated in over 10 years. Given the number of events that are listed in the book, I think an update would be a good thing. Second, for a book about beginners it's slightly degrading to slower runners like myself. For instance, the pace chart in the appendix does not account for finishing a race at anything slower than a 10:30 pace. And several times throughout the book either the author or a contributor refers to a 10:00 min mile as slow or, (my personal favorite) "lumbering." I can understand how established runners think a ten-minute mile is slow, but for those of us still trying to break the our 11:00 min pace, this can be a little discouraging.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Judie Holliday

    This book was really just okay in my opinion. I'm a sometimes runner. I really enjoy running but often a minor injury or busy life will put me off running for weeks and sometimes longer. When I get back to running, I like to read something that encourages my state of mind as well as my body. I don't think the book is meant for runners like me - there is too much time spent on getting faster, running longer, training for races and being more competitive. At my fittest, I run 5k three times a week This book was really just okay in my opinion. I'm a sometimes runner. I really enjoy running but often a minor injury or busy life will put me off running for weeks and sometimes longer. When I get back to running, I like to read something that encourages my state of mind as well as my body. I don't think the book is meant for runners like me - there is too much time spent on getting faster, running longer, training for races and being more competitive. At my fittest, I run 5k three times a week and that's enough for me. I suspect that the book is dated now, too. The edition I read was published over a decade ago and hasn't been updated. All this information is now available on the internet and is likely easier to access there. The book is in need of an update. I'm not always happy with Kowalchik's attitudes, either. She spends a lot of time encouraging women to feel good about themselves and their bodies no matter what their body type - unless that body type is thin. I'm not thin, but even I cringed when she suggested that very thin women were 'stick figures' and that their 'gaunt faces, bony limbs and flat chests' were unattractive. The message is love yourself no matter what, unless you are very thin.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Vicii

    I bought the Kindle version of this as I thought is would be a great reference book to have with me constantly. It is a good book and I would heartily recommend it for beginners to running or for people that want more information. However as a subscriber to Runners' World magazine I am aware of most of the information within this book and it didn't contain much new material. It is also written by an American and refers to American races, clothings and foodstuffs/drinks - which isn't so good livin I bought the Kindle version of this as I thought is would be a great reference book to have with me constantly. It is a good book and I would heartily recommend it for beginners to running or for people that want more information. However as a subscriber to Runners' World magazine I am aware of most of the information within this book and it didn't contain much new material. It is also written by an American and refers to American races, clothings and foodstuffs/drinks - which isn't so good living in the UK. It also seems to be out of date and I was constantly wondering when it was written and why it hadn't been updated. For example I understand that yoga is a good way of ensuring that runners are flexible and to help with stretching and have taken it up myself, however in the book is says that yoga is of no use to runners, runners shouldn't be too supple and that no top runners practice yoga! Overall I would imagine that there are better books available (I get this mainly because it seemed the best available on the Kindle) but it would be adequate for a beginner.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Raechel Brunig

    A little dated Great motivation and training tips/regimens. Only drawback is that many of the studies quoted were from 1990s, although I smiled a bit every time she mentioned I shouldn't run with a cassette player. Parts seemed repetitive and there seemed to be periods with little to no new information. All and all I still felt the book offered motivation and solid information.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Walter Adamson

    I only started running at Xmas time 2018, so that's about 15 months ago. I'm probably not what runners call a runner. I run 5km twice a week to supplement my gym exercise program. And although I've perused many articles online, I've never read a running book. So what possessed me to buy Running for Women? I'm a curious person. Running For Women popped up as a suggestion in my Thiftbooks app (because of the many other exercise and fitness books I've bought). I thought to myself, why not learn more a I only started running at Xmas time 2018, so that's about 15 months ago. I'm probably not what runners call a runner. I run 5km twice a week to supplement my gym exercise program. And although I've perused many articles online, I've never read a running book. So what possessed me to buy Running for Women? I'm a curious person. Running For Women popped up as a suggestion in my Thiftbooks app (because of the many other exercise and fitness books I've bought). I thought to myself, why not learn more about running, and also from a woman's perspective to see what differences are important to know (and might give me extra knowledge to help others). I'm glad that I did. It's a very practical book. Here's a summary of things I think it covered really well: - It is very practical - realistic solid advice - Mindset is addressed first - that's an important way to introduce a new practice, such as running - It lays the foundation of motivation and keeping at it - Very practical advice about food and nutrition - and good discussion of focusing on body composition - The "Healthy Way To Lose Weight" was very clear and straightforward advice - Helpful and motivational advice about body image - The special concerns of women are carefully and thoroughly addressed e.g. amenorrhea, running while pregnant, and osteoporosis - Clear explanation of the importance of running shoes and foot motion - The "Running Enhancement" and particularly the Strength Training is really on the ball as far as I am concerned, and something most women that I observe as runners don’t give enough attention in their program - How to begin racing, the 5-K and the 10-K, made total sense to me - especially since I pay particular attention to routines to build stamina in my own running, - Understanding and dealing with injuries was useful and educational, and - Training for older runners all made great sense to me, concurring with my own general training experience. In other words, for me, this book offers absolutely nothing to lose if you are interested in running, or if you are a casual runner like me. While I knew about the Female Athlete Triad from my education in sports and exercise nutrition, I had no idea about how to breathe effectively when running. Rhythmic breathing ... involves coordinating your breathing with your stride cadence such that you inhale and exhale over an odd number of foot strikes. During a relaxed run, you want to inhale for three steps and exhale for two steps (a 3:2 ratio). I have now put the breathing technique into practice and found it very helpful. I recommend this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

    Oh, THIS old chestnut! The most actually-helpful pieces of info are the 3:2 breath pattern and the idea of holding eggs in one's hand, both of which have stuck with me in the 10 or so years since I first read this. Kind of fun to get back out and page through, like visiting an old friend. If only she had an easy cure for the dumb sciatic nerve pinching thing. CORRECTION IT'S BEEN FIFTEEN YEARS since I first read this. I'm an ancient crone near death

  15. 5 out of 5

    Teri-K

    Worth getting from your local library, this book emphasizes running for enjoyment and health benefits, not to get skinny. There's a great section on women and body image that confronts what the media tells us we should look like. Other than that it's a friendly and encouraging look at running for women who are just starting out.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    A really great resource to have in hand for nutrition, training plans, strength training program, injury prevention, etc. Could benefit from some updates but largely still very valuable and relevant. Loved the ending with a brief history of women in running and an essay by Katherine Switzer - so inspiring!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    As several other reviews have noted, this book is a definite mixed bag of outdated information and still-useful tidbits, and is also quite out of touch with what it’s like to be a beginner. Find a more up to date book at your local library, and skip having to research what advice is still valid.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie Zink

    A bit dated in some parts, but an overall good read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    My second time reading this book to maintain my running motivation. The simplest reminder is my favorite: just a 20 min. run 3x a week will give a person a gazillion health benefits.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Whitney

    Here's to good sports bras! In 1997, Moving Comfort (manufacturer of women’s sports apparel) introduced the Athena Bra for women with a C, D, or DD cup who participate in such high-impact sports as running. Its design separates and supports the breasts with two form-fitting cups. It provides good coverage and is made from a nylon/Lycra mesh lined with breathable fabric that provides good motion control and doesn’t chafe. Champion offers an underwire support bra in seizes 32 to 42 and cups C to Here's to good sports bras! In 1997, Moving Comfort (manufacturer of women’s sports apparel) introduced the Athena Bra for women with a C, D, or DD cup who participate in such high-impact sports as running. Its design separates and supports the breasts with two form-fitting cups. It provides good coverage and is made from a nylon/Lycra mesh lined with breathable fabric that provides good motion control and doesn’t chafe. Champion offers an underwire support bra in seizes 32 to 42 and cups C to DD for women who need maximum support, and Title Nine Sports has created the Frog Bra “so you can leap without bouncing.” It’s made with a woven fabric that provides better control than do the knits used in many sports bras; plus, it contains 32% Lycra for excellent compression. Page 198 Here's to being able to really relate! Running on a treadmill at my usual 9-minute pace feels so much harder than when I’m running outside. Why is that? It’s a matter of perception, according to exercise physiologist and runner Ken Sparks, who does all his speed training on the treadmill. Nothing is moving around you; your brain notices that you’re working really hard to go nowhere. The perception principle works in reverse during the evening runs outdoors. In semidarkness, the landscape appears to be moving by you so quickly that you feel like you’re running faster than usual without any additional effort. It just goes to show you the powerful influence the mind can have on the body. Pp 252-3 Here's to new knowledge! For Relaxed Running With all of your runs, except speed workouts, your effort and breathing should be comfortable so that you can inhale for three steps and exhale for two steps (a 3:2 ratio). For Fast-Paced Running When you are running intervals or a race, your breathing rate is much faster, so you will be inhaling for only two steps and exhaling on one (a 2:1 ratio). Pp 280-1 Here's to new vocabulary! Fartlek Swedish for “speed play,” fartlek really is fun because it is so random and spontaneous. You head out on one of your favorite training runs, preferably one with few hills or this won’t be so enjoyable. After you’ve warmed up with 10 to 15 minutes of relaxed running, pick a point in the distance – a tree, a mailbox, a street sign – and then run fast (hard but comfortably) to that point. Slow down, and then when you’re ready to run hard again, pick another landmark and go. Continue in this way, alternating fast and slow running as many times as you desire, and finish with 10 to 15 minutes at a slow pace. You can double the fun by doing a fartlek run with a friend, taking turns calling out a landmark and leading to that point. Page 283 Here's to new schedules! Sample Training Week A week that includes all of the training elements discussed in this chapter might look like this: - Sunday: long run - Monday: day off - Tuesday: relaxed run - Wednesday: speed session - Thursday: relaxed run - Friday: hills - Saturday: day off Page 291 And here's to a bit of history! …[A:]s recently as 1970, women were not officially allowed to run the marathon in the United States. Men, on the other hand, have been running it since the first Boston held in 1897. In fact, the longest official distance women could race in 1970 was 2 ½ miles. Long distances – particularly the marathon – would ruin or reproductive systems, according to the intelligentsia of the time. This didn’t stop women from racing longer distances anyway (with no harmful consequences to their uteruses). Pp 400-1 Before 1500 B.C. In ancient Egypt and Sparta, women are encouraged to participate in sports in the belief that it improves reproductive capabilities. Page 403

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dani (The Pluviophile Writer)

    As someone who has been seriously running for almost two years I didn't think that this books would have anything to offer me. I was thankfully mistaken! This book provided helpful insight for runners of all levels and goals. What I found the most beneficial was the advice that was supplied in regards to maintaining running while staying busy with family and relationships. While I am not a married woman and I don't have any children I strongly admire the woman who keep running involved in their l As someone who has been seriously running for almost two years I didn't think that this books would have anything to offer me. I was thankfully mistaken! This book provided helpful insight for runners of all levels and goals. What I found the most beneficial was the advice that was supplied in regards to maintaining running while staying busy with family and relationships. While I am not a married woman and I don't have any children I strongly admire the woman who keep running involved in their lives. I struggle to keep up sometimes, so I don't know how other women manage! Women who run are taking care of themselves and they understand the importance of taking the time for themselves, especially when juggling a career, family etc. Besides the physical benefits of running most women who stick with running, stay for the mental benefits. I know I do! I also appreciated the scientific explanations that were provided on why men and women perform so differently. The most fascinating was how different our bodies carried oxygen to our muscles and differences in how we store glycogen. As I mentioned, I'm no where near the married-with-kids sort of life but I actually really enjoyed the chapters in regards to running while pregnant. I wasn't going to read the chapter as it doesn't currently apply to me but maybe one day in the future it might. As long as a woman is active before becoming pregnant and cuts her activity levels in half the benefits of running and staying active while pregnant is remarkably impressive. I even appreciated that they stated that while it is beneficial it has to come down to the woman's comfort level too. If you're not comfortable exercising while pregnant, then don't. The chapter in regards to menopause was another one that I was going to skip but I'm glad I didn't. My Mom is runner who is at this stage and reading this chapter gave me a good idea of what her body is going and just how important is it to continue to stay active. The few annoyances I did find with this book was that some of the information was a bit out of date, as the book was published well over 10 years ago so that's not overly surprising I guess. For example, some of the brands of supplements or clothing that they suggested no longer exist. The one that stood out the most for me was that they suggested that runners shouldn't do yoga because runners needs some tension in their legs and even implied that their aren't any professional runners that do yoga. While this may have been relevant when it was published it most certainly isn't now! The other item that was a bit tedious was that all of race and reference information was for the USA only, which wasn't helpful to me as a Canadian. Overall I would still recommend this books for any woman looking to get into running or is already running.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Johnson

    I bounced between three stars and four for this book. It is one of the better running books I've read, yet is somewhat out of date. Most books, articles, magazines and blogs I have found are geared toward the more experienced runner. Though many claim to help the beginner, it seems as though they dedicate a chapter to the beginner and then jump right into training for that first marathon. I think it can both discourage some, and yet over-motivate others to push too hard in the beginning. I like I bounced between three stars and four for this book. It is one of the better running books I've read, yet is somewhat out of date. Most books, articles, magazines and blogs I have found are geared toward the more experienced runner. Though many claim to help the beginner, it seems as though they dedicate a chapter to the beginner and then jump right into training for that first marathon. I think it can both discourage some, and yet over-motivate others to push too hard in the beginning. I like this book because it sticks to the basics of running, yet dives into other areas like nutrition, age, female issues, etc. it's set up in an easy to read format that allows one to skip over subjects that don't apply.... Such as running while pregnant. I think the best way a beginning runner can stay motivated is to immerse yourself into the subject of running. There is so much more involved that just putting on shoes and hitting the road or the treadmill. This book lets you know what challenges you'll face and how to deal with them. But again, I do think the author should give it an update, since it does seem to be one of the more popular running books being sold.... And while she's at it, go ahead and write one for the guys too, since really most of the topics in this book apply to them as well.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Dyson Eitelman

    I read almost all of this, except for the section on shoes, which I sneered at, and the race training schedules, which didn't seem relevant since I won't qualify for a race for a hundred years at least. Re shoes: I wonder if runners will ever see the absurdity in asking someone who sells shoes for a living, probably on commission, for advice about buying shoes. Shoes a little worn on the outside of the sole? You need better shoes. You won't get advice on shortening your stride or practicing bare I read almost all of this, except for the section on shoes, which I sneered at, and the race training schedules, which didn't seem relevant since I won't qualify for a race for a hundred years at least. Re shoes: I wonder if runners will ever see the absurdity in asking someone who sells shoes for a living, probably on commission, for advice about buying shoes. Shoes a little worn on the outside of the sole? You need better shoes. You won't get advice on shortening your stride or practicing barefoot running on grass--you'll get sold new shoes designed to correct overprotonation and by the way, they'll need to be replaced every hundred miles. (If they're so good, why.... Don't ask.) Shoes aside, her advice is good. She's a little paranoid about amenorrhea--it's mentioned at least eight times and there's a whole section about it--but probably she sees of lot of cases of it in her practice. In her diet advice she doesn't say much about sugar--maybe she assumes that anyone seriously interested in running isn't going to down three cans of coke a day. Most everything else seems right on. (I'm no expert but I've read a couple of books.) Whether you're a beginner or an expert, this is a good book to dip into. Much, much better than the Runner's World guide I picked up. I had to give that on that one.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Camille

    The Complete Book of Running for Women is a phenomenal guide. Designed for women who have some background in distance running (e.g., through high school sports), this book provides a wealth of knowledge around how to run, train, eat, and rest/recuperate to help minimize injuries and enable a continued love of running. This book is not designed, however, for the very casual runner, the gym runner, or the New-Year's-resolution runner. If you hate running or only run/jog at the gym or for basic exe The Complete Book of Running for Women is a phenomenal guide. Designed for women who have some background in distance running (e.g., through high school sports), this book provides a wealth of knowledge around how to run, train, eat, and rest/recuperate to help minimize injuries and enable a continued love of running. This book is not designed, however, for the very casual runner, the gym runner, or the New-Year's-resolution runner. If you hate running or only run/jog at the gym or for basic exercise, this book is not going to help motivate you. Instead, it's designed for women who know they enjoy running (or at least feel that running is an important aspect of their lives) and want to enable a long-term ability to keep running. Because so many fitness guides are geared towards men, I really love Kowalchick's book. It answers the mundane questions that impact women runners (e.g., sports bra hell!), but it also acknowledges the different physiological needs of women athletes. I loved it, and I'd totally recommend this to anyone contemplating a training schedule that incorporates regular running, such as triathletes, marathoners, or frequent 5 mile runners.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Smalter Hall

    This book was OK, but it wasn't what I was looking for. As the title promises, Kowalchik focuses on "women's" issues in running, but she doesn't really get into the nuts and bolts of running itself. She offers valuable insight into Amenorrhea, which I've experienced myself and doesn't get very much exposure in the sphere of women's health issues, so I did appreciate that. She also spends a lot of time discussing safety and sexual predators, which some readers might appreciate, but didn't really This book was OK, but it wasn't what I was looking for. As the title promises, Kowalchik focuses on "women's" issues in running, but she doesn't really get into the nuts and bolts of running itself. She offers valuable insight into Amenorrhea, which I've experienced myself and doesn't get very much exposure in the sphere of women's health issues, so I did appreciate that. She also spends a lot of time discussing safety and sexual predators, which some readers might appreciate, but didn't really resonate with me. I don't feel like a "victim" when I run--quite the opposite, in fact--but I suppose it's useful to at least be aware of the safety issues she points out. If you're looking for detailed information about running nutrition and form, this isn't the book for you. But if you want a gentle introduction to safety issues and motivational thinking, this might be a good place to start.

  26. 4 out of 5

    bookyeti

    A terrific book for those who are "serious" about running. By serious, I mean running to set records - either personal or race-running. I would think twice about reading this book if your main goal is 'merely' to run for fun and improve your health. As someone who is relatively new to running (started about 2 months ago), a lot of it was regarding running at a level I don't really aspire to attain. I run for fun and for the health benefits, but have no interest in racing. Kowalchik is obviously k A terrific book for those who are "serious" about running. By serious, I mean running to set records - either personal or race-running. I would think twice about reading this book if your main goal is 'merely' to run for fun and improve your health. As someone who is relatively new to running (started about 2 months ago), a lot of it was regarding running at a level I don't really aspire to attain. I run for fun and for the health benefits, but have no interest in racing. Kowalchik is obviously knowledgeable and writes well about this topic, as an experienced runner. I found a lot of its chapters very helpful and informative. I will be referring back to them frequently - especially the chapter on nutrition. However, overall, I found (personally) that most of it was geared toward those who are running for something more than just for fun or for a good work-out. I think I will check out The Nonrunner’s Marathon Guide for Women -- it looks to be more up my alley.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth A

    I am gobbling up running books. Why? I am looking for inspiration, motivation, and good tidbits that help me lace up my shoes. This book is good, but rather above my current pay grade. When the author states that you are in fact a runner even if you are running a slow, relaxed 10-minute mile pace, she lost me. Umm, would love to be that person, but am not. Yet. That being said, there is good information that is geared to situations that apply only to women: menstruation, pregnancy, menopause. Ther I am gobbling up running books. Why? I am looking for inspiration, motivation, and good tidbits that help me lace up my shoes. This book is good, but rather above my current pay grade. When the author states that you are in fact a runner even if you are running a slow, relaxed 10-minute mile pace, she lost me. Umm, would love to be that person, but am not. Yet. That being said, there is good information that is geared to situations that apply only to women: menstruation, pregnancy, menopause. There are also good training plans (from what I can tell), and I can see dipping back into this book at a later time. My only caution to beginner runners is to look at this as a running guidebook, and not be discouraged. Lace up. Go as slow as you want. Soak in the fact that you are a runner, no matter the pace or distance you currently inhabit.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    A friend let me borrow this book because I've started running again and wanted to re-focus myself. Though the book is dated now in some areas (with tips for running with walkmans)the overall advice is terrific and it's written in a wonderful tone (maybe best described as girl chat?) that makes the information easy to digest. The fact that I read it in a single weekend because it kept me interested (and not just because I needed to read it) was pretty impressive. Perhaps the best thing for me was A friend let me borrow this book because I've started running again and wanted to re-focus myself. Though the book is dated now in some areas (with tips for running with walkmans)the overall advice is terrific and it's written in a wonderful tone (maybe best described as girl chat?) that makes the information easy to digest. The fact that I read it in a single weekend because it kept me interested (and not just because I needed to read it) was pretty impressive. Perhaps the best thing for me was that it reinforced how personal and empowering running is, and it made running accessible vs. intimidating. I highly recommend it for anyone thinking about giving running a try, but who might be intimidated by such a commitment.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Of the several recommendations I found on Amazon for a beginners guide to running, I chose this one. One, because it was designed specifically for women, and two, because it seemed to be written in English, rather than some foreign uber-exercise language that you could only understand if you had a degree in exercise science and an obsession with your percentage of body fat. I really like the book because it told me what I needed to get started and provides guidance for training at all levels. Eve Of the several recommendations I found on Amazon for a beginners guide to running, I chose this one. One, because it was designed specifically for women, and two, because it seemed to be written in English, rather than some foreign uber-exercise language that you could only understand if you had a degree in exercise science and an obsession with your percentage of body fat. I really like the book because it told me what I needed to get started and provides guidance for training at all levels. Even though I started running in the Spring of this year, I really didn't know if I was doing it right. Now I know that there is no wrong, only that which will lead to injury. I will use this book as a reference for years to come and am glad to have it in my library.

  30. 4 out of 5

    dyh_nyc

    I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if I was newer to the sport of running. I'm not an expert runner now, but I do have over a year of experience under my belt. The tips and encouragement provided are great, but definitely seems targeted toward female runners trying to build a running foundation. That being said, there are some tips (particularly on training and nutrition) in the book that will continue to be helpful as I continue training for various races. For that reason, I plan on holdi I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if I was newer to the sport of running. I'm not an expert runner now, but I do have over a year of experience under my belt. The tips and encouragement provided are great, but definitely seems targeted toward female runners trying to build a running foundation. That being said, there are some tips (particularly on training and nutrition) in the book that will continue to be helpful as I continue training for various races. For that reason, I plan on holding onto my copy of this book for future reference. Bottom line: I recommend this book for my female friends who I know are starting out with running. It will provide you with great foundational info and some encouragement too.

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