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Running for Mortals: A Commonsense Plan for Changing Your Life With Running
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Running for Mortals: A Commonsense Plan for Changing Your Life With Running

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  563 ratings  ·  92 reviews
The authors of Marathoning for Mortals - John "The Penguin" Bingham and Coach Jenny Hadfield, MA, CPT -now show beginning runners how to fit running into their lifestyle easily

You don’t have to run fast or competitively to reap the rewards that running has to offer. What you do need is the courage to start. That is the "Penguin mantra" that has enabled John Bingham—through
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 17th 2007 by Rodale Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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This is my favorite book for beginning runners who are like me...not naturals. I run because I love it, not because I'm good at it, and this guy gets it. It's the perfect book if you're thinking about running, but are intimidated.
Good book for motivation and inspiration to run, but the whole thing is nearly undone by sloppy and haphazard editing. Apparently, co-author John Bingham's nickname is the "Penguin," but the reasons for this moniker are never clearly explained. I got the feeling that if you're a regular reader of Runner's World (where Bingham is a regular columnist), you'd know why he's called the Penguin. I'm not (and I doubt any new runners are), so this often left me perplexed any time he made a reference to ...more
Nice for motivation and validation. Author was old and fat when he started running (as well as carrying a few bad habits even I don't cultivate). He runs terribly, by his own admission, but successfully (over 40 marathons under his belt) to this day for the joy of it. A nice read, but I like Danny Dreyer's ChiRunning better for actual "this is how you run, fatty" instruction.

There are training plans in the back of the book for 5k and 10 k goals, at all current levels of fitness and aspiration
A good introduction to taking up jogging/running. Not necessarily exciting reading, but the approach to the working out seems very solid as it stresses taking it very slowly and allowing your body to acclimate to the stresses from running. Definitely good for beginner's.
I love this guy, just a former couch potato like me (okay, I'm still a couch potato, just a couch potato who runs some times).
I can't do anything unless I read a book about it first, and now that I've read a running memoir and a running how-to, maybe I'll actually get myself out running.

This is really good. Cheesy as all hell, and I think I would die if these people were teaching me how to run in real life, but it had good tips and wasn't frilly or unicorny about running. Mainly a lot of good advice and stuff. POINTS DEDUCTION for teaching women how to measure their bra size incorrectly (NEVER add 3. Your band size is
May 04, 2008 Susan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: beginning to intermediate, un-trained runner
This was a very readable running guide. It covered most everything a beginner would want to know about, and seemed very balanced and practical. I liked the way it gave both author's opinions and preferences, underlining the fact that much in running is individual, while some things are true for everyone. I love their advice for losing weight: Eat less, move more. They have a funny way of writing things, but I don't find it to get in the way of the book. They spend maybe a little too much time on ...more
Jo * Smut-Dickted *
A very good book that can take a motivated couch potato (just how much motivation I'll leave up to you) to starting and continuing a running program. The examples of the authors and others' lives are pretty inspirational and you don't feel like you have to be one of those sports bra models to undertake running/walking or some combo thereof. There is quite a lot of humor in here, some self deprecating, that really encourages those of us who are not naturally talented at running to really feel goo ...more
As a beginning runner ("mortals" is a kind way of putting it) I have been looking for a book that goes over some basics without making me feel discouraged. This book is a little overwhelmingly rah-rah but it fit the bill better than any other one I've found.

Bingham used to be an overweight smoker until he started running and now he does marathons. His "anyone can do it!" message is pushed in every chapter along with tips on form, equipment and motivation, cowritten with his wife (who is also a m
LOVE this book. When I bought this book I was running close to 6 miles daily. I bought it not to become a better runner but because I wanted to know how to run. Running is a lot more complex than most people think. Competitive runners need a perfect training schedule, a specific diet, and an outstanding form. This book allows a runner at any level to begin learning and improving immediately. Believe it or not this book kept me interested one hundred percent of the time. I highly recommend this b ...more
Heather Cervas
You know how it is...everyone has to find the right plan that fits for them. This book just "clicked" with my internal workings and has been the running plan(s) I have used consistently since March 2013. I have been injury-free, highly motivated, and return to this text often as my 'go-to' on running. I would hope it inspires and motivates others as it has me. :) Run Free.
Jade Olsen
I loved this book so much that I've decided to write my first ever review! I'm in my early 30's and after recovering from illness I decided to try running. John Bingham also started running later in life - in his mid forties - and he was an overweight smoker who ate and drank too much for most of his life. His story is nothing short of inspirational and I could relate to so much of what he said. This book is both practical and inspirational. It has some really great tips for new runners and also ...more
Kinyorda Sliwiak
This is an excellent book. Primarily focused on new runners but there are a lot of great tips in here for seasoned runners who are looking for a little motivation. I always see average runners out a races but sometimes it is nice to be reminded that there are a lot of us who are just out there for our health and the fun of racing without any unnecessary pressure to win or place or run at a certain pace.
As a fan of "the Penguin" I enjoyed this book and finished it in just 2 days. Its very easy to read and is funny, motivating and informative. That being said, I don't think I am the target audience for this book because I already enjoy running and have been running "as a mortal" for several years.
I think this book would be much better enjoyed by someone who is new to running, or thinking about running, or working up the courage to start running.
John Bingham is great because he shows that runner
Meghan Wilker
A fun, easy read. As others have noted, it's great for beginners. I really liked some of the author's more introspective notes about the non-physical effects of running on his life.

Because I'm already working with a trainer and on a training plan, I found those aspects of the book less compelling but for someone just starting out, the notes about how and how much to train are probably quite good!

The most compelling parts of the book (for me) were "The Penguin's" thoughts on enjoying running even
15 months into my running career (yeah, I just called it a career. What now?), this book was super helpful. The narrators feel accessible, refreshing. It's kind of like sitting down with two fellow runners -- with different personalities, quirks, motivators, and missions -- and talking shop.

I'd recommend this for anyone considering running or who currently runs (though if you're pro status, it might be a little elementary for your taste-- though there are rockin' anecdotes about Eco-Challenges
Benu Chauhan
A must read for every potential runner.
From the first spark that will ignite a passion, to which running gear you must have, to a wide range of training programs, this book has it all.

Love all that these two writers have to say, and even more, their sweet humor.
Slow Man
I purchased this book two years ago and i remembered reading a chapter and then put it on the shelf and forgotten. Until now when i needed it badly to start my training again.

I would say it's a good book for non-runners who wish to become runners. I used it to get back to running after taking a long break from running. It is full of information and it is well written, honest and very inspiring. It is a book written by two runners for runners.

'We are all born to move, to walk and therefore, to r
Oct 07, 2007 Emily rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ehh, old people
I read this book because I figured that I've been running off and on for about 11 years, and I should probably know the real techniques and stuff. Previously, my dad (and maybe Sally @ Woodrow) had taught me everything. Turns out there really isn't anything else to know about running. This is good for older people who are prone to being injured easily, but as a semi-still-youngun' it's not all that helpful. I did learn a few things, though, like when you start running, it only takes 3-4 weeks fo ...more
Ms. Yingling
Bought this for 40 cents at the thrift store. Had good basic information about running, but didn't inspire me the way some running books do.
this book is very basic but I think I will re-read Chapter 8 "winning the mental game" every single time I feel defeated, lazy or lost. It not only inspires you, it helps you train your mind along with your body, focus on what you can control so you're not wasting precious mental energy and it helps you realize your goals - bit by bit. You have the power to change your thinking process - there are a few really great tips in this chapter on how to do that. For this chapter alone, the book was wor ...more
Sandy Buechler
I enjoyed this book. The authors have a very conversational style of writing. Good information for beginners.
Noah Bourdeu
One of the best books on running that I have ever read, tons of great information and running plans.
Pretty good "getting started" book for running. I think they are a little overwhelming in the gear section. Sure, it's true that having moisture wicking clothing will make your life easier, but you don't need to spend a few hundred bucks to get started running. Good shoes are truly vital, but everything else can wait until you have started a habit of exercising.

Otherwise, they have a good, concise message. I especially like the plans at the end. They are similar to Couch to 5K running programs b
Not a bad book on beginning the running addiction. Definitely aimed at the beginner (from the title that should be obvious) with several plans for people interested in building up to a 5 or 10k run. Having already done a 5k and almost up to a 10k distance, there wasn't a lot of new stuff for me to learn but it was still an entertaining read. It did confirm to me that at the beginning it's not really about the speed - it's about getting off your butt and doing some exercise and not overdoing it a ...more
I feel like I should have read this book BEFORE I started running, because it had a lot of "you can do it! yes YOU can be a runner!". And for a good chunk of the book I was like, ok I get it. It did have some interesting facts about running, some tips and stretches and even workouts to follow. I wouldn't recommend this book to people who are already running but for people who are thinking about running or just started and need encouragement, this book is for you.
An excellent beginner's guide to the marathon! I admit I started reading it a bit late in my training (3 weeks before race day)..the information is presented in a witty, readable way without too many charts and calculations. I read this one cover to cover in three days. I'm even more excited to race now, with the inspiring stories of regular people conquering the distance. A MUST read for anyone who even dreams about running the half marathon or more!
This book is a fantastic introduction for those interested in running. It's an easy read but it's packed with helpful tips and information, without making you feel like maybe you bit off more than you could chew.

The book also has some sample running plans depending on the type of running you want to do, as well as for the distance you want to reach. With these different options there's easily something for everyone in there.
I just started running again 6 weeks ago (after an ill fated start years ago) and I have been reading as much about the sport as I can. Running For Mortals is a great manual for the everyday runner, especially one who is anxious about anything cardio-related! I'll be reading one of the Penguin's memoirs about his start with running - he and his wife (Coach Jenny) wrote an amazing guide with this book. Highly recommended!
This is good but you have to like running. Not high tailing out the door and sprinting to death but simply running. More importantly at your OWN pace. This book is all about that and can get you into your pace. It's not an instructional book by all means, it is real time but experience is projected in this book to advance all runners into they're next level including the running that has yet to be. Good stuff, check it out.
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aka 'The Penguin'. John Bingham became well known for his 'The Penguin Chronicles' in Runner's World where he told in detail about his development from couch potato to runner and how that changed his life.
More about John Bingham...
Marathoning for Mortals: A Regular Person's Guide to the Joy of Running or Walking a Half-Marathon or Marathon The Courage To Start: A Guide To Running for Your Life No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running An Accidental Athlete: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Middle Age The New Runner: Running And Walking For Fitness, Weight Loss And Fun

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“Do not be afraid to fail. Be afraid to accept that who you are right now is all you are going to be.” 4 likes
“It's only when movement becomes the most natural state in our lives that we can finally begin to enjoy the motion. And it's only when standing still becomes impossible that we can finally embrace the kinds of changes that are inevitable in our lives.
We were not designed to stand still. If we were, we'd have at least three legs. We were designed to move. Our bodies are bodies that have walked across vast continents. Our bodies are bodies that have carried objects of art and war over great distances. We are no less mobile than our ancestors. We are athletes. We are warriors. We are human.”
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