Running in Southeast Texas during the summer isn’t exactly the most pleasant experience. If the heat doesn’t get to you, the humidity will. One day I came back from a run, and my husband exclaimed, “It was over 100 degrees out there while you were running!” (This was after 7 p.m. I couldn’t believe I had run in that heat!)
Still, I consistently ran a couple days a week. I cross-train on other days with a variety of fitness DVDs.
I found Runner’s World Complete Book of Women’s Running by Dagny Scott Barrios at a used book store, and I bought it for less than a dollar. Bargain! It’s a good introductory text to running.
Barrios offers advice on nutrition, running apparel, handling injuries, and health. There’s programs for novice, intermediate, and advanced runners. For those wanting to step it up, there are also training schedules for beginners and more advanced runners. Barrios offers a training program to prepare for a half marathon and marathon training plans for both beginners and advanced runners. There is also practical advice for competing, like tapering off your training the week before a race, how to pace yourself, and how to warm-up before a race. Barrios also tackles issues such as running with others (from running with a buddy to running with kids or a dog), how to stay motivated and conquer the mental aspects of running, and maintaining a positive self image. There’s also advice for older runners and running while pregnant and postpartum.
I followed the 8-week beginners program this summer. By the end of July, I ran an informal 5K (a summer run with a local running group) without stopping–something I haven’t done since before my son was born (four years ago). The hardest part of the run was the mental aspect of wanting to stop and do a run/walk instead. But, once I crossed the finish line I felt so accomplished!
Complete Book of Women’s Running is a useful resource for beginners and can be used as a reference for more advanced runners.