When given the opportunity to read and review Build Your Running Body by Pete Magill, Thomas Schwartz and Melissa Breyer, I was beyond thrilled. I geek out about reading in general, and then an entire book dedicated to further building my running body? Seriously? I can’t wait to share with you some of the highlights from the 400+ page manual, but also to give you a video on one of the best all-around strength programs for running I have ever done.
First, some highlights. The book promises (as many do) to “focus on exercises for each element that builds the ultimate running body.” Wow! That’s quite a statement, right? So what exactly are those elements? Build Your Running Body breaks each down into manageable chapters. It’s a perfect reference book, in that you can select the one(s) that pertain to you, and then refer to it again and again depending on what’s happening in your running life.
Here’s a quick breakdown for you, as each of these sections is over 30 pages in length! You’re welcome.
Favorite quote: “Your goal isn’t to completely isolate each component from every other. It’s to train each component up to 100 percent of its potential, then to integrate it into the working whole that is your running body in motion.”
Takeaway: Stronger muscle fibers are the foundation of any running program! The book offers running workouts (from walking to strides to distance and hills!) and then includes the 360 Strength workout (video below) and The Runner’s Weight Room Routine. Both with tons of description and pictures. It’s an idiot’s guide. And I mean that in the best possible way!
Favorite quote: “Runners don’t think about connective tissue until it hurts!”
Takeaway: Think about it before it hurts! Duh. I know it’s boring but if you don’t do it, you don’t get to complain about your inevitable injury or missing that PR again.
Favorite quote: “Inflammation – not intervals – causes plaque buildup in arteries. And do you know what fights inflammation? That’s right: running.”
Takeaway: Many improvements in cardio don’t require you to target your cardiovascular system directly; instead, your cardio system gets fit because you increase your body’s demand for fuel! Now that’s something we can all get excited about.
Favorite quote: “Most experts believe mitochrondrial DNA is inherited from your mother…so mom gets the credit – or blame – for your 5K and 10K PRs.” Thanks Mom and you’re welcome boys!
Takeaway: This chapter is all about these powerhouses known as ‘mitochondria’ and, if you want to be a better runner, I suggest (along with the authors) that you get to know yours!
Favorite quote: “When it comes to running, an untrained nervous system doesn’t know what to do. Imagine if every time you switched on the light in your living room, the garbage disposal turned on in the kitchen.”
Takeaway: There are tons in tips, pictures, workouts and instruction on how to train your nervous system through form, balance, proprioception, and the development of muscle memory.
Favorite quote: “Don’t think teenage romance and anti-aging pills. Hormones are responsible for stronger muscles, nutrient absorption and oxygen transportation.”
Takeaway: This was kind of a scary chapter in that a lot of it spoke to the abuse of hormones by athletes but also what we can do to create “natural” hormonal balances to improve overall running performance.
Favorite quote: “Your brain isn’t about to harm your body just to run a PR. First you have to convince it that your body is up to the challenge.”
Takeaway: The brain can be trained…they think, but it’s more like tricking it into thinking you can do it. It truly comes down to (with a lot of science jargon mixed in) if you think you can, you will!…with enough training of course. Have I thoroughly confused you? Good. Now you’ve got it!
Now, for the video! You know The Runner 360 workout is in every runner’s best interest to not only run better/faster/longer but to stay injury free!
“If you want to become a better runner, you must begin by building a better running body.” Pete Magill
The Runner 360 – All Around Strength Program for Runners
How do you build your running body?
Do you ever use reference manuals like this? For anything, not just running…
Ok, sign me up for this book. I love reading anything about how I can make myself a better athlete especially runner. Great review! I can’t wait to get this book!
You will LOVE it Kris AND you will learn so much – I know I did. It’s really a great reference guide.
I love to read and learn especially if it benefits running! Yoga has been one of the best additions to building a running body!
Agreed! Thanks Jill.
This sounds like a great book! Right now I am working on balancing my hormones as well as building some strength while I have had to take time off (to balance the hormones). And I agree with Jill. The importance of yoga is a BIG one which I have also been working on for overall body strength and health.
Well now I agree with BOTH of you! I actually learned a lot about hormones from this book. Very interesting!
Definitely enjoy reading how I can strengthen my body and am going to so have to look into this book. Thanks, Allie 🙂
It also has SO many workouts in it that are good for anyone – not just runners!
Awesome! Sounds like a great book Allie! I have never heard of it, but will recommend it to Steve. Just curious, when you said about the hormones being scary……what was so scary? I hope I have not been abusing mine somehow and that is why I have problems.
Oh no – sorry Tina, it was scary to read about all the doping and abuse of those kind of hormones by athletes like Lance Armstrong and Barry Bonds, etc. It talked about a surge in “unexplained” deaths due to massive heart attacks, after the a certain kind of hormone replacement drug was released. I’m positive you do not fall into this category. You may binge on sweets but so far there’s no ban on that! 🙂
This look likes a great book, I might have to check it out. I love the quote “inflammation causes plaque buildup, not intervals” Bahahaha, I needed that laugh this morning 🙂
It totally jumped out at me too! Glad I could give you a laugh 🙂
Just ordered the book 🙂 Thanks for the review…clearly I need some help with my injuries!
Awesome!! Let me know how you like it!!
Now you have me thinking about my hormones in a new light. I honestly never think about my hormones…only maybe when its shark week and I am trying to keep them at a minimum 🙂 Those quotes you shared are great too, especially one about the nervous system. The book looks like the Holy Grail for runners with all the cool stuff!! Going to check it out now.
I think it may be especially helpful to newbies like yourself. It talks a lot about what you can do early on to prevent injuries and maybe avoid some of the common pitfalls that veterans like myself have already fallen into! I hope you check it out 🙂
Ah, that photo made my day! The twins are adorable.
These quotes are wonderful.. and strangely hilarious. Is that just me?
I’m so glad!! No, that is not just you. That’s pretty much why I laid out this post with my favorites, because there were just so many of them!
Sounds like a great read. Love all these quotes and the pics of your boys flexing 🙂
Gotta love that, right? Thanks Jesica!
Will reading this book give me abs like your boys? If so, sign me up! I never really thought about educating myself about running – I just go out and do it about once a month. I may have to consider this reference manual.
Ha ha ha!!! Who knows? You should try it 🙂
You should be able to just go out and run (and of course you can) but this book will give you a ton of insight about what you’re body is actually doing when you run (before and after too!) and help to prevent injuries!
Hmm….I love the whole body approach to running – I think for years runners only thought in terms of muscles.
I LOVED the video – I’ve done a lot of those moves but not weekly all together – thanks for demoing all the moves!!!
I’m so glad Kim! I thought the same thing about all the moves put together so nicely and easily, so I just had to make the video!
Great review and love the video! I have the video marked so I can give it a try.
I don’t have any manuals for running yet but I have plenty for other things. I’m going to start building my running library very soon. 🙂
Let me know what you think if you end up doing the workout!! Thanks Carla 🙂
Loved the video ! Lots of great ideas, thanks.
You’re welcome! Thank you 🙂