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…