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Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running: The Best Advice to Get Started, Stay Motivated, Lose Weight, Run Injury-Free, Be Safe, and Train for Any Distance
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Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running: The Best Advice to Get Started, Stay Motivated, Lose Weight, Run Injury-Free, Be Safe, and Train for Any Distance

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,504 ratings  ·  147 reviews
"Listen to those millions of women runners. Listen to their quiet breaths as they talk in predawn pairs, before the rest of the family wakes-- the lessons and questions they share to the rhythm of steady footsteps. 'I never thought I could...' 'I feel so much stronger...' 'I'm ready to take on a new challenge...'

Women develop a special sorority on the roads. This bond is a
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 20th 2002 by Rodale Books (first published May 19th 2000)
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3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,504 ratings  ·  147 reviews

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Jennifer Hudak
I'm currently training for a couple of longer races, so I'm trying to get lots of information about race nutrition, training plans, etc. This was certainly a comprehensive book for women runners, and I learned a good amount. There seems to be a bit of a gap, though, in the plans they outline. It seems as though they think you're either a real, raw beginner -- completely new to running -- or else you're trying to run consistent 6- or 7-minute miles. So the training plans they give for, say, half- ...more
Sara Young
Dec 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Keeping in tune and studying something that you love to do so much definitely benefits your attitude about the subject. Occasionally, I get sour about going out and hitting the pavement, especially when it's raining and nasty outside. But after reading a few pages and nodding the entire time in agreement with what the author is saying about running just affirms your passion for it.

I would recommend this book for runners of ANY level, not just beginners.
Emily Webb
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really helpful, great read. I'm not going to follow her training plan exactly, but would recommend the book!
Sep 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
Excellent book for beginning runners like myself - it covered just about every running-related topic I could possibly want to read about, and it did so in a very practical, straightforward manner that was easy to read and not annoyingly over-enthusiastic. The book has served as great motivation for me as my excitement about running has begun to taper off since I've started grad school. Lots of great advice about training, stretching, nutrition, and running in different ages and stages of life - ...more
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
For a book with more information than really applied to me, I still read it cover to cover. Even the training plans that I won't be ready for for awhile. But it's inspiring to read the personal anecdotes from amateur as well as professional runners, including the author.

For information for young women to older women, this is a pretty handy go-to. My only complaint is that some of the exercise descriptions were a bit confusing, but the pictures helped.
Jul 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
As a beginning runner, I found this book to be incredibly informative, helpful, and motivating. Not having a background in running, I found that the language was easily to follow, concepts were well explained, and I took away many helpful tips to strengthen my future as a runner. In addition to this, the book is full of personal stories from women runners that provided inspiration and motivation for me along the way.
Jun 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Research in preparation for my first half. I agree with another reviewer that there are some gaps in the programs. How do you go from a newbie to intermediate trying to break 40 minutes in a 10K? I kept thinking that was a typo, but the same phrase showed up in other parts of the book as well. I may be wrong, but sub-7 minute miles is not realistic for an intermediate...
I bought this as a reward for myself sometime last year in terms of meeting my running goals. I was pretty disappointed. Browsing through it in the store I thought it would be helpful as I started to enroll in more races.

Like most other people, once I got to the line "plodding along at a 9 minute mile", I put the book down and never finished it. There is a strange gap of this is for the extremely new beginner to running, and then we speed straight off to breaking time records. Her programs were
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
If you are a complete newbie to running, this book will definitely be helpful as it collects all the most commonly asked questions in one place and answers them in a way that every beginner would understand.
In sum it's just a comprehensive collection of information that one usually finds in a women's magazine. If you have been running for a while or have some knowledge on running, the book is not very helpful as it offers no scientific information or other in-depth data.
But if you are looking
Grazyna Nawrocka
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: running-fitness
Quite unexpectedly I fell in love with trail running. I tried to make it on my own, and three times suffered injuries, because I pushed myself too hard. This time I am following a simple program offered by the author. It takes six weeks to be able to run for 30 minutes, but is doable and easy to follow. This book will be a reference for me for a long time, but I haven't read it all. Many parts are still irrelevant to me, like for example marathon running. I enjoy following routines and learning ...more
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent resource for beginners; much of the information presented is practical and would alleviate anxiety of a woman new to running.

Some of the tips I disagree with...mainly the suggestion that cotton tees are fine for most runs. What?! Get a moisture-wicking tee and you will feel so much better during and after your run.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoy this book. I say "enjoy" due to referring to it over and over. A great resource for runners of every skill level.
Katie Newton
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great source of information--had what I was looking for as a person who can run comfortably and is looking to run more.
Renetta Mceachern
Every year i start with this book to get my running skills up. Easy to take to the road or on a treadmill. If you ever wanna start running this is the book for you.
Jan 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-books
Found helpful tidbits of information, but feel this book is definitely for a beginner runner just getting started.
Dec 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog-shelf
What I like about this book is that it is strangely comforting. I already have 8 books listed on my "Curently Reading" shelf, but always have a couple extra that I keep around and pick up at random without adhering to reading with a specified approach. This is one of those radom "floating" books. Once it became clear I was reaching for it more often than expected, I found it needed to be added to the online list.

I originally started skimming this book to get a quick general overview, a few othe
Jul 12, 2013 rated it liked it
First off I have to say this is a great book to anyone who is beginning their running experience. It's even valuable for the seasoned runner who wants to shave time off of their 10k-5k race time, or just train to run longer. I love the training schedules that Dagny provides in this book. She has beginner all the way to advance, and marathon training...very helpful. Anything you want to know to make your running experience safer, more pleasant, and more efficient, this is the book to turn to. Wha ...more
May 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book - I've always wanted to be a runner, but never really knew how to start. I downloaded a C25k (couch to 5k) podcast which helped me get started gradually, but as far as the more technical aspects, I was clueless. What's the proper form? Does stretching really matter? Is running too high-impact? (Answers: it depends, yes, and not typically).

This was a great book for both beginners and even more advanced runners; the chapters were thorough yet concise, and were filled with nothing but
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
A comprehensive guide to running... I would say great for beginners and more competitive runners. There is good wisdom and motivation for runners at all levels, and I can't wait to share some with my running buddies! As a long-time recreational runner, there were a lot of great tips for me, and things that I remember learning in high school track and cross country but have since forgotten. And I'm all pumped to get running!

I just learned that women runners will go through menopause earlier! But
Aug 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. I actually read it last night and it was an easy, but informative and motivating read.

Not being new to running, I could absorb the information with ease, but also rediscovered some important elements that I'd forgotten since buying my first pair of proper running shoes and hitting the road.

I checked it out of the library, but this is a book that I would really like to own. My favorite aspect of the book is that it helped me remember why I *do* like running, why I turned to it
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013
A great guide if you are new to running, or if you've been running on your own long enough to want to learn more. The coverage of all things running is very thorough-from proper undergarments, to stretches, to common injuries. I've been running recreationally for awhile and I found this book to be very helpful in confirming what I already knew and diving into things I'm curious about as I become more serious about the discipline. There are pictures of a variety of exercises and stretches with th ...more
Patrice Sartor
I did not read every word of the book; I skipped the marathon sections and some other information that was not currently relevant to me. Overall, I found this book to flow better than another Runner's World compilation title I read. The balance felt good and like it was in accordance with my skill level too. I didn't feel that the information was way out of my reach, or that it was way too simple and that I was beyond it.

I especially liked the chapter detailing how to advance to being an "interm
Dec 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Practical, sensible book about running. Covers stretching, drills, training, nutrition, pregnancy, how to raise and active child, what to wear, common injuries and irritations (and how to address them), motivation, setting goals, getting older, body image, safety, poor weather conditions, staying motivated, and how to approach marathon running. Best addressed to people who are beginning, or (like me) have no idea how to proceed beyond 5K training. The book has a focus towards women, but the vast ...more
Exactly what I need right now...

1/10 This book was fantastic. The only reason I'm not going to finish it (i.e. read it cover to cover) is because certain parts of women's running aren't applicable to me right now (e.g. I'm not pregnant, I'm not over 50, I'm not planning on training for a marathon...). But this book was absolutely perfect as I got back into running after an 11-year hiatus, and was training for my own little race. A very well written book. An easy read. I connected very well with
Apr 11, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
With my injury prone bod on the mend and the Texas sunshine bursting through my dreams in the morning, I’m off the treadmill, away from the elliptical, and back on the road looking for tips to keep the anti-running bugaboos away. The Runner’s World Complete Book of Women’s Running, alas, is not the perfect book I need. Quite dry and impersonal, the basics will take you right on up to that marathon you’ve been eyeballing. Yet, very, very slowly, in the reading department I mean. I did glean 1 hel ...more
May 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
I discovered I'm an intermediate runner. It has gotten me to think a bit differently, and realize that I'm not quite ready to go for my running goal at this time but I'm working toward it. However, other books really didn't show the stair stepped approach. I found this had good infromation, and I'm not sure it said anything differently that other books or if it is the way it was organized. You can tell the writer loves to run, and get others into running. It is a good reference tool that I plan ...more
There needs to be more of these books for women, just updated. The author was definitely heavily leaning towards competitive running, which is a shame as very few of us are actually elite runners. There was a lot of information, a little dated, but a lot of information, the only information serious lacking was running for older runners, but I suppose in 2000, we were a rarity.
I need a book for a mediocre older runner, :) not recreational, not elite. But I will continue to run and this book had
Sally Kilpatrick
Feb 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of good information here. I'm not sure why it's not quite a 5 for me. Maybe I'm too much of a beginner for this book? The training plans were, like, whoa. If you're running 4 days a week or more and running a full 6 miles and then some, you will probably find this book EXTREMELY helpful. If you're more of a novice like I am? You're still going to find the book helpful, but you're not going to relate as well to the author.

Also, I think I was a little disappointed in the weight loss section.
Feb 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book not only for the practical advice but also for Scott's intelligent and realistic attitude towards women athletes. She is never condescending, even towards the more recreational of us, and touches on some very important ideas in terms of women who strive towards excellence (conflict with men, conflict within ourselves, finding the time etc.).

An excellent read for anyone looking to get more serious about their running, especially those who think they can't get beyond that firs
Apr 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I decided to start running, like the geek I am, I ran out... and bought a book on running. I got a lot out of it, most notably the importance of good running shoes, and various other tips like what/when to eat surrounding your run. Much of the book didn't apply to me (ie: running for the older woman, running for the pregnant woman) so I just skipped those chapters. Who knows? Some day they might be applicable to me (not anytime soon in either case, lol).
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Dagny Scott Barrios is a writer, editor, and public speaker specializing in running and women's sports.
“Every run is a work of art, a drawing on each day's canvas. Some runs are shouts and some runs are whispers. Some runs are eulogies and others celebrations. When you're angry, a run can be a sharp slap in the face. When happy, a run is your song. And when your running progresses enough to become the chrysalis through which your life is viewed, motivation is almost beside the point. Rather, it's running that motivates you for everything else the day holds.” 26 likes
“Every day is a fresh start; don't measure yourself by yesterday's troubles.” 18 likes
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