on September 23, 2003
This is a fun little beginners guide to the joys of running. In fact, this just might be the best and most complete book on running since Jim Fixx's mammothly successful book 25 years ago. What I like best about the Bingham's book is that it has something in it for every beginning runner, from the casual jogger to the total coach potato. Each chapter focuses on a special area of the sport: injuries, mileage, women's running, seniors, masters runners, even children developing into competitive athletes.
The title is instructive: there is an emphasis on competitive running, with the focus primarily in 10K road races to the marathon. Several of the elite and most popular marathons are discussed at length, incuding Boston, L.A., New York and Chicago. There are some useful tips on how to increase your weekly mileage, avoid injury, carbo loading before the race and recovery afterwards. Having completed marathons, I can tell you that it's easy to do than you think and once you start completing the 26.2 mile courses, you'll be hooked for as long as your body will hold out.
Running is a joyous activity and one which brings many individual rewards. If you're a serious, addicted runner, you'll love this book, but the beginners will also reap great rewards because the book it geared towards the novice. It's well-written, fun to read and instructive. Highly recommended.
on May 31, 2002
Although John "The Penguin" Bingham is targeting would-be and beginning runners, his practical and inspirational message is also relevant to experienced runners. Bingham expertly helps would-be and beginning runners make the jump, start running at their own pace with the right equipment, accept their highs and lows in their sport practice, and celebrate their big and small running accomplishments over time. Bingham's message is especially convincing because he had led an unhealthy lifestyle for many years before he discovered the joy of running. Bingham also reminds his core audience that running is a life philosophy that is based on the best possible balance to strike between mind and body. That quest is nothing new. For example, the Ancient Greeks and Romans respectively used the expressions "Nothing too much" and "A sound mind in a sound body" to describe the achievement of a harmonious state. Bingham finally echoes the words of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games: "The essential thing ... is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not triumph but the struggle." As a side note, would-be and beginning runners can also find inspiration in the movie "Chariots of Fire" and Vangelis' memorable accompanying music to keep faith in their performance, whatever it is.
on January 29, 2003
I used to hate running because I wasn't very fast, it hurt, and it was boring. Bingham's book changed all that. I'm 38 now, I still don't love running as much as the author, but his advice and words helped me incorporate running into my life. It also gave me the encouragement to train and run regularly and tell people that I am a runner.
It encouraged me to enter races, not to win, but to get the feeling of being around other runners. Finally it encourgaed me to train for a goal - a marathon. With this book and "The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer" (Whitsett) book I began a solo sixteen week training program to enter and finish a marathon. That was the goal, just to finish and become a marathoner.
I finished the 26.2 miles in just under 5 hours. I was 890th place out of 1100 runners, but I felt like I'd won a gold medal. This book taught me that "you don't have to run fast to be a real runner." I may or may not run another marathon (1/2 marathons are more tolerable), but I will keep running as part of my lifelong fitness plan, because I am a runner.
Bingham's first book "The Courage to Start" is also a great book and I frequently re-read both of his books. In "The Courage to Start" he states, "The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." If you want to start feeling better about yourself and start taking steps to become a runner, there is no better book.
on March 12, 2003
I read this book looking for more inspiration from the legendary John Bingham. He didn't let me down - the book is styled in Bingham's trademark realism and acceptance towards running, plus the encouraging words of other runners. As an amateur musician, I appreciated and laughed at his music analogies, although non-musicians would find them equally clear. His philosophical style is both witty and profound, but always good-natured and likeable. I hope he writes another book.
on January 10, 2003
"No Need for Speed" by John Bingham is an excellent book for all runners. It has helped me to put into words why I run so I have an answer for all of those people who think I'm crazy. In addition, the chapters on Inspiration happen to be some of the neatest, most motivating chapters I've ever read concerning sports in general.
on May 12, 2002
I don't know if John coined this phrase or not, but if it describes you, there is plenty of good advise and counsel in this book. It gave me a new perspective and more realism to my running goals. I think you could apply this to about anything you do.