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Kara Goucher's Running for Women: From First Steps to Marathons

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  755 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews

KARA GOUCHER is crazy, madly, head-over-heels in love with running, and she wants to help you feel that love, too. Whether you’re just getting started or already a seasoned runner, this is the book that will take you to the next level. Kara Goucher’s Running for Wo
ebook, 320 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Touchstone
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Jul 07, 2011 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beginner, intermediates looking to up their game, expectant mothers, women of all ages and shapes
Unlike many reviewers who complained that the book didn't fulfill their expectations of what an "elite runner" advice book should contain, I found Kara Goucher's anectdotal approach reassuring and comforting. Having started running two years ago this coming December, I picked up "Running for Women" to gain an informative, but realistic female perspective on running. A sweeping range of themes are covered from basic nutrition and training plans, to discussions about injury prevention, race traini ...more
Apr 15, 2013 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am just getting back into running after a few years off. I have read/tried to read other books on running before, but this has been my favorite. I actually read it cover to cover.

Even with her Olympian status, Kara Goucher remains very relatable to people just starting out with running. Yes, when she talks about running a 5k in just a few minutes more than I can run a MILE, I realize she is far out of my league.

However, reading about how she spent much of her first three years in college batt
Colleen Martin
Is it wrong of me to have expected more from a talented young marathoner's first training book? This was SUCH a disappointment. There is no cohesiveness to the book whatsoever...yes, she divides up the chapters so that there's some semblance of order to the way she doles her advice, but the information therein was just kind of thrown out there in what I'm guessing is a stream-of-consciousness form. Barring the narratives on her life that she gives at the beginning of each chapter, this book cons ...more
I'm torn about this book. I think the The Complete Book Of Running For Women had better information for training and the like, but Goucher clearly loves running and wants you to be excited about it too. I found some of the "Ask Kara" questions a bit silly. This book was more about motivation than training.
Leah Hortin
I consider myself a newbie runner with only a few months (and under 20 miles a week) under my belt and am training for my first half marathon so I thought this would be helpful. In general, I found that it was not. There were a few nuggets of useful information but overall, it seemed like common sense stuff, or maybe I have just done more research already than the average woman starting running would/has?

Right from the beginning, I found myself unable to relate to her - she's a natural runner,
Jul 18, 2012 Molly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are already a runner, you will find some of the advice in this book fairly self-explanatory; I found myself congratulating myself for already doing some of the things she suggested and feeling guilty because I know that I SHOULD be following some of her other suggestions but am not (for example, I am not good at maintaining a steady pace throughout a race). One thing I really enjoyed about this, though, was learning that a professional runner struggles with many of the same issues that an ...more
Aug 30, 2012 Alissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
REALLY enjoyed this book! Thought it would be mostly basics that I already knew and while in some ways it was, it is also chalk full of interesting training tips and running lessons learned from a POV of someone I really respect. Kara is so down to earth, she made it feel like running is a club we can all be in... not something set aside for only the elite that can run 5 minute miles. Both beginners and pros should take a look at this one. Even though I'm a middle of the packer, I really enjoyed ...more
Sep 25, 2014 C rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: running-books
Love this - wish I'd had it on hand ages ago. Definitely worth a library check-out. Each chapter is a compilation of observations/tips. It's not an orderly "do this" then "do that" step by step guide (though it progresses in a reasonable manner), but more of a "this is what I have to share from my experience" (running, coaching, observing). Really great for picking up and reading a bit here and there.

There were quite a few pieces of advice and information in there I could really appreciate. Wish
Feb 13, 2012 Dannielle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beginning Runners/NOT for EXPERIENCED RUNNERS
If you are a woman new to running and want a straight forward guide to getting started in any aspect of the sport, this is a fantastic book for you. I am such a woman so I fully appreciated it. Some of the "Dear Kara"s were less than intelligent and I felt that better Q&As could have been included but they were good for a laugh and they didn't bother me like some other reviewers claimed. However this book is not for experienced runners, its for new runners in general or for runners who would ...more
Apr 27, 2011 Kristin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing. I love Kara and to anyone who loves running this is a great book. I think she is extremely down to earth and caring. It is good to know that pro athletes are regular people too. She talks about injury, HS, College, death, pregnancy/birth (which i think it is awesome to know you can run till you give birth and it is an encouraged thing if you already do it), she talks about marathons, half marathons everything. Training plans. This was a great buy.
Thea Fransen
Jan 09, 2016 Thea Fransen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She's a runner, not a writer is what I would say to some of the negative reviewers. I found this book helpful, well-organized, funny, surprisingly humble, and inspiring. Something for a runner at any level.
This book was both interesting and forgettable. I don't know another way to say it!

Kara clearly has an interest in and a passion for getting more women (and men) interested in running, which I appreciated (and is frankly why I wanted to check this book out from the library. But this isn't the smoothest, most well-written book she could have published. I felt like there were many parts where she missed the opportunity to elaborate, say more, educate further, and expand upon something she said. Th
Aug 18, 2013 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, guys, did you really expect me to talk about book books again? Like...YA and romance and fantasy and all that stuff I always promise and never stick to?
Oh, don't worry. I did read a bit. YA, I mean. Real, honest, funny, funky YA. And it's coming your way, I promise!
But, today, we're a bit off topic again.
Today's review is on Kara Goucher's book Running for Women which I never planned on reviewing but then did anyway, because the book is so helpful and she seems to be such a genuine, ho
This book had a lot of info, but little was new or helpful to me. I have read a lot of running books, so someone who is just getting into running would probably like it much more.

One thing I both liked and disliked was that the majority of the book was in basically a bullet point format. This was nice for when I just had a few minutes to kill, but was kind of distracting when I wanted to sit down and ready for a while.

I liked Goucher's personable writing style. She was very accessible for an e
I was really hoping for some new insights, training tips or inspiration from this world-class runner, but was mostly disappointed. There is an 'Ask Kara' feature throughout the book that actually answers questions like 'Can I run with my period?', 'I want to look hot while I run-any tips?' and 'There's a cute guy in my running club. How can I get him to notice me?' Seriously. These offenses aside, she also has many quotes featured throughout, appropriately called, 'I Love This Quote'. And if you ...more
Nov 15, 2012 Kassa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-m-m
Since I've been running a while, this didn't help me as much as other running books have. Her personality is wonderful and she has honest, realistic struggles and she's not afraid to tell all about it. It's inspiring to know that she's gone through a lot of setbacks and still came back strong. She has a great attitude for life long running and not just racing.

As far as the book style, it's choppy and all over the place. The font jumps from extra large to small and the writing is mostly bullet p
I didn't find this book quite as helpful as I had hoped. As a beginning runner who just picked it up as a 32-year-old, I found Goucher's approach a little off-putting. She is writing from the perspective of someone who's always been a runner since she was a child and has been running professionally since college. So the chapters on beginning running really leave something to be desired. The information on food and nutrition is quite good, and I really appreciated the way that Goucher discussed h ...more
Sep 19, 2013 Rickie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book starts out with very basic running information. This is not a bad thing, since the book is written for both experienced and novice runners. I was worried, however, it wasn't going to be enough for me. I had a hard time connecting with Kara in the beginning. Probably due to the format of the book. Brief intros to each chapter and then a "tips" section.

But as I got further, I ended up learning quite a bit! And I related to Kara more as the book went on. In fact, I wish she had a biography
Jun 05, 2011 Tiffany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was fun to learn about Kara, I enjoyed reading the anecdotes from her life. She was very easy to relate to and it made me excited to watch her as the next Olympics come up. All of the tips and information were very useful, but I rated this book lower because it seemed like the information part/tips were so random and scattered. I would still recommend it and will use some of the tips for workouts,schedules, etc. but from a reader's standpoint vs. a runner's standpoint it seemed like it could ...more
Jun 26, 2015 Allison rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Disappointed with this book. Initially I was excited to read a runners guide written by a woman because so many of them are written by men. I couldn't really relate to the author when she described tips on running. She was a professional runner who on average she ran 13 times a week. I love running but that doesn't fit in most people's lifestyle. When your only job is to run than you are able to follow all the tips she suggests but they just were practical for the average person. One of my favor ...more
Sep 07, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the perfect guide for someone just starting to run or planning for their first long-distance race. Goucher uses just the right mix of training information and personal anecdotes. I really enjoyed the different lists and tips throughout the book. The only thing I was not a fan of was the "ask Kara" sections throughout the book. They made me feel like I was reading a teeny-bopper magazine; but some of the advice she gave was really helpful!
I recommend this for anyone training for a maratho
Oct 05, 2011 Mirkat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book made me feel as though I had a knowledgeable, reassuring running buddy eager to share her tips and provide pep talks. One of the things that I love about being part of a running community is the spirit of camaraderie. Goucher is a world-class, elite runner, but I can imagine her fitting right into one of my running club's group runs (and post-run breakfasts!).

Whether you are a non-runner thinking she might want to start, a former high-school or college runner contemplating a se
Jun 23, 2013 Sherri rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book starts with a lot of interesting points about running in general and tips for those getting into the sport with little or no knowledge. I had no idea of her background and achievements and was impressed from what I learned. Then when she gets into the other chapters, I felt like she was glossing over a lot of topics without really delving into them. She could have put of herself into them. I actually felt she was reiterating points too often. At one point, I wondered if she had actually ...more
Apr 21, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book for all women runners. A lot of it is geared towards beginners, but I still found a lot of useful information in it. Never hurts to learn from an elite, world class athlete, right?

Kara shares how she has overcome injuries and used that experience to train smarter.

My favorite quote from the book: "I tell runners to divide the race into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality & the last part with your heart." Mike Fanelli, club co
I've only been jogging for a couple months and this is the first running book I've read. I learned a lot and also realized just how much energy I could put into the sport if I became serious. This book gave me a lot to think about. Sometimes her tone is a bit silly, but it's clear that running is her passion and that she has a lot of experience. I was occasionally annoyed by all the quotes, but I appreciate how upbeat she is and liked the bullet style which made for easy reading/browsing. Great ...more
I really like this book, or at least what I read of it. I tended to skim over the personal parts and the quotes but I liked it's format otherwise and a big book of tips on running. I would definitely say this can be a book for anyone in their running career, but especially for beginners is it useful. As a beginner I learned so many little tidbits and tips on stretching, proper form, keeping healthy, and more. I am actually going to keep it a little longer from the library just to reread some of ...more
This book was a little frustrating. There were some excellent ideas, pointers and chapters in it, but I found the constant reference to using running for weightloss or weight maintenance frustrating. I hate that society thinks that to be fit and healthy you have to be thin, people can be extremely fit, but not thin, and I don't think that reinforcing that stereotype of thin = fit is helpful.
However, the section on balancing life and running was definitely worth reading and it is good to have a b
Apr 02, 2012 Angie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have never loved a runner as much as I love Ms. Goucher. I follow her blog and it always inspires me. The book, however, was okay. I read through it quickly because most of the advice is pretty shallow. Great book for beginners, but as someone who is currently looking to go to the next level in training, nutrition and mental preparation for racing, I felt a little let down. They should really have packed the pages with more awesome and inspirational running photos of Kara-- love those! That wo ...more
Jun 01, 2011 Ally rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health-fitness
An excellent choice for beginner runners, but i often skimmed parts that were just too basic for me, specifically about nutrition, training, and injury prevention. Truthfully i probably skimmed more than half of the book. The rest just bored me. I wish this book was published when i *first* started running years ago though. Ans i will certainly keep it as a reference for when i hopefully one day am pregnant. Great tips for expectant Moms!
May 10, 2015 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Slow going at first, but possibly my favorite fitness-focused book I've ever read. Lot of good advice for training plans and avoiding injury. I'm not really a runner per se, but I do run a lot for a sport I play.

I also feel a bit better about myself having read that. I've gotten some injuries running, but the author has beaten me on the sheer ridiculousness of some of her injuries!

Not sure it's going to turn me into a marathon runner, but has at least given me some interest in the idea.
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