The Beginning Runner's Handbook: The Proven 13-Week Walk/Run Program
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The Beginning Runner's Handbook: The Proven 13-Week Walk/Run Program

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  252 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Become a runner--in just weeks! If you're eager to join the millions of recreational joggers out there, or just improve your ability, these 13-week walk-run plans show exactly how to go about it. Developed by sports medicine physicians, and refined through years of clinic testing, this absolutely basic program spells out precisely how the beginner should train every single...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published December 31st 2001 by Greystone (first published April 1999)
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Jo * Smut-Dickted *
If you are a TRUE beginning runner then THIS is your book. If you want to run a 5k or 10k and you are a couch potato this is your book. Combine this (if you like) with one of the Couch to 5 K Apps on Android or Iphone and a good yoga/stretching program and you are all set. This is a gem that takes you through running slowly - both in pace and in understanding. It actually is quite expansive in the running/training plan part and so you feel more like this is a coaching book and less of a referenc...more
Kathryn Lucas
Apr 12, 2012 Kathryn Lucas rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People new to the sport of running
This is a very valuable book for those totally new to running. If you're already running regularly, this is NOT the book for you. (It's called The *Beginning* Runner's Handbook for a reason.)

Even if you're a completely sedentary couch potato, the training plan outlined in this book will get you to the point of finishing a 10K race in 13 weeks' time. I personally always *hated* running with a white-hot passion. I was always the last kid in my middle school gym class to finish the yearly obligato...more
Melanie
During the summer, I decided I wanted to start running on a regular basis again. I hadn't done it for a while, but it fit in with some of my goals. I started going to the gym and just running around the track, but I was terrified that I would injure my bad knee or roll my ankle again or hurt myself in some other way and make running impossible for me. So, being a librarian, I went looking for books on the subject. This was seriously the best one I found. Some were not for beginners. Some were ju...more
Hayley
LIFE CHANGING!!!
I cannot stress that enough. Before I read this book and followed the program within, I was a couch potato, I hated anything related to exercise, the most fitness I got was doing some yoga classes once in a while. After seemingly most of my friends took up running and loved it, I made the decision to give it a shot, and I'm so glad I picked this book up first.

The 13 week plan is 100% manageable. I think that is the most important thing about it. The only really challenging run I...more
Elizabeth
I have never been a distance runner. I sprint. I am a fast walker. I watch distance runners and think ????? Yep,this book was written for folks like me. Nothing fancy, just the facts.

And it works.
True story.


Ruth
Jan 29, 2008 Ruth rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to start a running program, but is scared to try.
Shelves: other-nonfiction
Does the thought of running a mile make you feel nauseous? Was the last time you even attempted it in the ninth grade for a fitness test? Would you think about trying to be a runner if someone made it easy for you?

If so, this book is for you. The first half of the book goes into the basics: running gear, the benefits of running, how to avoid injury, how to treat injuries, how to stretch, etc. The second part of the book gives you a very straight-forward beginning running program (there are also...more
Disgruntlement
Oct 26, 2008 Disgruntlement rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beginning runners, naturally.
This is a worthwhile read for those who're interested in gearing up to a regular running program. Particularly of interest to those who regularly overtrain and injure themselves will be the constant reminders to take it easy when starting out, and to let one's tendons and bones gradually acclimate to the shocks and stresses of running. The most common running injuries are discussed, and various topics from stretching to nutrition receive attention.

The only thing I disliked about the book was the...more
Elizabeth
The Beginning Runner’s Handbook by The Sports Medicine Council of British Columbia (pp 266)

Running books aren’t supposed to be amazing. This one is as about as perfect as it gets – especially for the novice. The authors are doctors, scientists, and nutritionists. Their program has been tested by a very large sample size of runners. They present all the material in clear, easy-to-read, and concise segments. Jargon is explained with clarity that is lacking on many training program websites. Import...more
Alisa Wilhelm
I hate running, and I think I still do, but this book is perfect for people like me. There is a daily plan that tells you exactly what to do on each workout day for 13 weeks. I looked at many other books, but couldn't find any like this; I never did any running exercises in jr high or high school, so I couldn't rely on past knowledge. There are also 13-week plans for walking and hard-core running.

After the first session, I felt like this was totally do-able. It starts of slow, building up muscl...more
Nancy Dardarian
Helpful to me as a I'm getting back into running but mostly because of the section on injuries and how to prevent them. The rest I think I pretty much knew, but books like this help keep me motivated.
Cara
I've always hated running, but I thought I'd give it a try because it's so damn popular, there must be something good in it. So I got this book from the library. I haven't gone through the program yet, but it looks like it will be doable. It's similar to the Couch-to-5K program that's been going around the internet, but seems easier for less-fit beginners. It proposes to take you from a sedentary lifestyle to a full 60 minutes of running in about 3 months. I do appreciate that this book doesn't...more
Hanna
I didn't read this book from cover to cover, but I read all the sections relevant to me. As I was running, I could hear the author's advice and running techniques; it was like having a personal trainer. I would categorize myself as a beginner runner (no previous formal training, just jogging in the neighborhood park once in a while) and so the program was perfect for me. It gradually increases my running time, 1 or 2 minutes each week until I can (hopefully) reach 50 minutes without stopping. If...more
Abi
I had this as currently reading for over a year. I bought it to start training to do some jogging/running for the first time and then hurt my back. I've been battling that for the past year but hope to try again some day. I loved this book. I read most of it but not quite all of it. I thought it was very clear and had great instruction and program for beginners. I could walk for long distances but had never amped it up and did jogging or running. This was a great beginning point and would recomm...more
Stacy
I haven't completed the program outlined in the book but found the information on injury prevention, technique and other beginner info really helpful.
Heather
Finished the book last weekend and started week 1 of the 13-week course. Love it so far. Since I've been out of the running world for far too many years, it's nice to have a simple, easy to use chart to get me back on track (no pun intended) and running again.

I'm glad I bought this book instead of checking out from the library, as it's been a very helpful reference tool. Will keep using for a long time and I'm excited to see if I can get back to running like I used to.
Kathy
I've finished reading the book, although I skimmed some parts. I'll use this as a reference and motivation to stay on track. I'm on week 2 of the 13 week run/walk program to get back into running. Be consistent, be moderate, and rest. I would have liked to see a bit more specifics on how to do cross training. I guess that will be my next book. Hopefully within 6 months I'll begin to see changes in myself and stamina.
Elizabeth
I just finished week one. You work up very gradually to running long stretches. You only have to run three times a week, so it seems doable. The only downer is sometimes you have 12 intervals to complete, which seems like a lot, and if I don't mark the interval as I complete it, I forget where I'm at! I think it would be hard to count what interval your on and keep track if you were running outside.
Laurie
I really liked this book. It was a good motivation tool for me to start running. I have always hated running, but I actually am starting to enjoy it. I am only a few weeks into the actual 13 week program, but I like it. It gives you running and walking increments to do for each work out and you gradually increase the running segments each week. Now if I can just stay motivated...
Aaron
Nice beginner's program with general info. I found the anecdotal sections to be useless. Probably could have condensed the book down to 50 pages or less. More in depth statistics, facts, studies, etc. would have been a beneficial inclusion. Overall a good primer on starting a running routine but I don't feel like I've gained any deep knowledge on the subject.
Robin
OK, haven't started running yet so I can't tell you how the book fares on that count but:

It does have a 13-week runwalk plan

It has plans for what to do after you finish the 13-week plan

Covers everything from what to eat to how to handle injuries to other workouts along with and after the plan

Backed up with research

I'll be giving it a go.
Theresa
On the recommendation of a friend I read this book, being I was interested in seeing if I could become a runner. I liked the book- very simple, fast read, yet descriptive and had a LOT of great information in it! I am only on week 1 of the program, so i can't comment yet on if it works or if it's for me, but so far it's going well.
Jennifer
So far, I am really happy with the program that is laid out in the 13 week program. I did not read the book cover to cover, but I know this book will be used quite a bit as I have referred to it often already!
I would highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to give running a try, but is afraid to.
Lizabeth
Oct 10, 2007 Lizabeth rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
If this can turn me into a runner, it is truly a miracle working book! I've run 74 minutes without stopping and love it - no injury, no pain, really slow but who cares!?!? FABULOUS book if you've ever wanted to run. It's even more monotonous than knitting - a REAL stress reliever!!!
Olivierco
A basic book for beginners.
After having completed the 13-week program, a more complete book, for instance Daniels' Running Formula would be a good choice
Thalia


Good intro for running. The 10k goal is a little loftier than I'm going for, it's a shame that they don't have a 5k model also. So the 13week plan won't do me a whole lot of good but I'll file it away... Who knows what the future might bring
Laura
I read the vast majority of this book, started the running program and promptly injured myself to the tune of not being able to walk for two weeks. So, there went my illustrious running career! A great disappointment for 2008!
Rose
I found it very informative. I will admit that I skimmed the sections I already knew or which didn't pertain to me: diet, pregnancy, etc., but I'm holding on to the book as these sections might be handy at later time.
Jennifer
Nov 21, 2007 Jennifer rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: non-runners who are interested in becoming runnners
Shelves: running
I love the 13-week program in this book. In fact it is the program I am currently using. The information was useful to me also even though this book is a tad bit older so not all of the information is relevant anymore!
Cyndi
This was an easy read. I believe the info was terrific for a beginner. I used the instructions took to set me up for my first 5k run. I was so happy with my progress I ran two races. I am now motivated to run a 10k
Michael Clark
Excellent book for the beginning runner. An easy to follow 13 week training program that walks you step by step from being inactive to being able to run a miles long race.
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