Build Your Running Body (The Best Running Book EVER?)

Although I wouldn't call myself a 'runner' – I don't run every day or competitively – I do love running as part of my fitness regime; in fact it's my favourite form of cardio. So I was happy to be asked to review Build Your Running Body by Pete Magill, Thomas Schwartz and Melissa Breyer.

This book is described as 'a total-body fitness plan for all distance runners, from milers to ultramarathoners' and promises to help you 'run farther, faster and injury-free'. It has been praised by Bob Anderson, the founder of Runner's World, for being 'the best running book ever'. I haven't read enough running books to comment on that, however Build Your Running Body (which from now on I'll refer to as BYRB) is certainly the most comprehensive running book I've ever seen.

My first impression of BYRB was that is looks like a textbook. It has 434 pages, most of which are full of writing. And yes, I did read the whole thing cover to cover before writing this – that's how committed I am to bringing you a properly researched and honest review!

Although it may seem daunting at first, when you start reading you'll realise that it's not very 'textbooky' at all. It's written in a friendly tone and in a way that everyone can understand – not just hardcore running enthusiasts. It has something for everyone, from beginners to intermediates to the more experienced. Running jargon is explained in a clear and concise way and there are plenty of pictures and information boxes to break up the writing and make important points easier to understand.

The book is divided into five parts, each concentrating on a different aspect of running. Part 1 is named 'Build Your Running Knowledge', part 2 is 'Build Your Running Body – Components and Workouts', part 3 is called 'Build Your Running Program – Principles and Schedules', part 4 is 'Build Your Running Diet' and part 5 is 'Build Your Race Strategy'. You can read the book cover to cover or just dip in and out as you wish – it will still make sense.

My favourite thing about this book is the amount of workouts and stretches it provides. It also explains how to deal with injuries and answers many frequently asked questions, such as “Will running ruin my knees?”. Naturally, I was particularly interested in the nutrition section and loved the suggested recipes.

BYRB has certainly provided me with some great tips and exercises which I can incorporate into my running when I work out. I found it to be so interesting - and I'm not even a 'proper' runner! It's such a comprehensive book that I can't think of anything else they could possibly have included. It answers every question you may ever have had about running and it's taught me a few new things I didn't know, even after my ten years of learning about fitness.

Whether you're new to running or you've completed several marathons, you're sure to find something in BYRB to help you.
Build Your Running Body is published by Souvenir Press and is available in all good book stores and on Amazon, priced at £15.

Thanks to Amy for sending 'Build Your Running Body' to me for review. If you have a health/fitness/nutrition related product you'd like me to review, you can either email me at or contact me via Twitter. I will aim to post my review within a week of receiving your product and will always give my honest opinion.   

Read my other reviews:
Crackin' Eggs, Upbeat Drinks, TreeVitalise, Fitbit, Life Tonics, Nutrifiz and Multipower.