Running for Women

Goucher, Kara. Running for Women: from first steps to marathons.New York: Simon and Schuster, 2011.

Reason read: running. Duh.

Kara Goucher is an Olympic distance runner. I decided to read her book partly because I was looking for a new perspective on an old theme, running for women. All in all, I found Goucher’s Running for Women to be informative, if not a little disorganized. I realize Goucher probably wanted the information approachable and therefor used a very deliberate tone, but I felt like it wasn’t serious enough or thought out enough. For example, in the section on running a marathon there is a little box titled “The World’s Simplest Marathon Training Plan (15 weeks)” (p 248), with the admonishment, “Before reading the plan, please review chapter 7 to learn…where you need to be fitness-wise…” (among other things). I went back to chapter 7 because I didn’t really remember that information. In searching the chapter I found Goucher’s personal marathon story, tips for organization before a race, advice on sex and food the night before a race, what to wear the day of a race (including extra deodorant), how to wear your hair and get your head space together…all sorts of interesting things, but nowhere did I easily find the information I was asked to review before reading the plan. Short of rereading the chapter I still don’t know where I need to be fitness-wise before running a marathon.
I mentioned disorganization. Let me elaborate. All of Goucher’s advice, quips, comments, answers to questions and personal stories are great, but they are all over the place. On page 106 she mentioned getting away from running every once in awhile. On page 110 she says the same thing, more or less, when she says, be okay with regular breaks from running.
Did I get anything out of reading Running for Women? Yes. I liked the nutrition section a lot. I appreciated her honesty when talking about her own relationship with food. I even enjoyed her advice for new moms even though I didn’t need the information.

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