I just finished reading No Need For Speed by John “The Penguin” Bingham. As the cover says, it is a Beginner’s Guide To The Joy of Running. The title could not be more perfect.
I really enjoyed this book because it spoke to ME, the girl who constantly has to reminder herself that I really am a runner. I sure don’t feel like it sometimes, like when I am super slow, or can’t get the motivation to go farther, or when I whine about not being able to run in the heat. None of this matters though, because all I need to be a runner is the ability to get out there and do it.
The book is broken down into four sections:
Each section has five chapters and within those chapters are tips, advice, suggestions, and my favorite – blurbs titled “lessons learned” from real runners. It’s real and I like that.
Running is really a mind game. And if your mind is like mine, it can play some serious tricks on you. This book was really helpful on the inspiration end of things such as paying attention to what you CAN do, not what you can’t do. Can’t run a whole 5k (yes, that’s me), then take walk breaks. There’s nothing wrong with it.
My favorite chapter of all was the one that talked about races, in the Celebration section. Depending on where you’re at in your journey, we all have different reasons for participating in races and we all have different feelings and emotions when we complete a race – whether it’s our first or last. I still have very vivid memories of running the Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon in February, my first one, and it was so emotional. I gave it my all, ran part of it, walked part of it, fought through the cold and wind, laughed, cried, and more… I loved every minute of it. The minute I finished, I knew I could not wait to do another. (If you haven’t read my post on my first half, you can read it here).
There is one paragraph near the end of the book that especially jumped out at me, in regards to running and victories… “It is through the act of running that we become runners. It is running that gives us a runner’s heart, a runner’s mind, and a runner’s soul. That most of us will never feel the thrill of winning is no excuse to abandon the search for our own personal victories.” I love this…. I certainly don’t run to win a race, I run to beat my own personal battles and to feel better. This said it perfectly.
While this book is geared to beginner’s just starting out, I think it’s a great read for anyone who loves to run. I love the mental and emotional aspects of it, as well as the physical. It has good information for someone just starting out. It really is a great read and I expect that I will pull this book out time and time again.
Have you read No Need For Speed? If so, what did you think of it?