No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running

No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running

"You don't have to run fast to be a real runner!"John Bingham, "the patron saint of the back of the pack," commands "The Penguin Brigade"-- those thousands of dedicated runners who have learned that the greatest joy in their sport comes not from how fast they go or how thin they become, but from simply having the courage to take the first step.Now Bingham shares the wisdom...

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Title:No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running
Author:John Bingham
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Edition Language:English

No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running Reviews

  • Jenny

    I really enjoyed this book. It's funny because I wouldn't think of myself as an adult-onset runner, but in some ways, I feel like I am. I ran track during most of junior high and high school, but obviously did not make running (or exercise or anything like it) part of my life or lifestyle. Which is really what I am hoping to do now. I think the reason I really liked this book was because it was full of hope; that any regular person can make the choice now to get into running and be successful an

    I really enjoyed this book. It's funny because I wouldn't think of myself as an adult-onset runner, but in some ways, I feel like I am. I ran track during most of junior high and high school, but obviously did not make running (or exercise or anything like it) part of my life or lifestyle. Which is really what I am hoping to do now. I think the reason I really liked this book was because it was full of hope; that any regular person can make the choice now to get into running and be successful and happy about it, basing it on their own standards , instead of comparing yourself to others, which I so often tend to do. I really appreciated his humor, openness and inspiration. I will be looking for his columns from now on. This really gave me hope that I can be a runner, my way, with my times and that it's okay to not be the fastest. It was especially good timing because I'd just started back into running about 2 months ago and my knee has started to hurt, so his pep talks about this were very timely; I need to be kind to myself and my body and be a runner, not someone who is doing too much, too often, etc. A feel-good read that applies to many other aspects of self-help and feeling good and accepting yourself, as is. As a therapist, I appreciated his optimism and hope for people to make changes and succeed.

  • Kristin

    I just read this book in two days. I loved it. I have a few books about how to run, schedules and stuff like that. This book talks about how to be a runner. It really deals with all those insecurities you might have that keep you from running. It talks about what it is really like to be a beginner runner and has an inspiring chapter about eating healthy as well. If you want to be a runner but are hesitant about it or you run but you still don't feel like a "runner" for whatever reason, I highly

    I just read this book in two days. I loved it. I have a few books about how to run, schedules and stuff like that. This book talks about how to be a runner. It really deals with all those insecurities you might have that keep you from running. It talks about what it is really like to be a beginner runner and has an inspiring chapter about eating healthy as well. If you want to be a runner but are hesitant about it or you run but you still don't feel like a "runner" for whatever reason, I highly recommend this book. I laughed. . . I cried. . . seriously!

  • K.R. Patterson

    I loved this book! I felt like it was written just for me. I really had a complete, life-altering change in attitude toward running somewhere in the middle of reading this. I have been running off and on for maybe three years, and the whole time I felt like I was pretty much engaging in self-inflicted torture. And now I honestly, truly can say I LOVE RUNNING!!!

  • Tiffany

    I've been a runner since 2003. I happened to catch John 'the penguin' Bingham giving a speech at the Team in Training pasta dinner the night before the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll marathon in 2004- my first big race. I've been a huge fan of waddling and the Penguin ever since. No Need For Speed is an EXCELLENT book for anyone who is new to running or cautiously toying with the idea of taking up running. I wish I had read this book in 2003 instead of 2011! There are so many useful tips, motivation, a

    I've been a runner since 2003. I happened to catch John 'the penguin' Bingham giving a speech at the Team in Training pasta dinner the night before the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll marathon in 2004- my first big race. I've been a huge fan of waddling and the Penguin ever since. No Need For Speed is an EXCELLENT book for anyone who is new to running or cautiously toying with the idea of taking up running. I wish I had read this book in 2003 instead of 2011! There are so many useful tips, motivation, and inspiration in this book. John takes you through all the major steps a beginner should take as they start the journey to becoming a runner. He provides insight into what will aid you in running as part of your lifestyle vs. attempting the sport and over training to the point of quitting before you even start. His main goal is always to stress that no matter your pace, where you finish during a race, whether you walk or not, as long as you are repeatedly on the road, trail, or treadmill, if you are out there and moving, you are a runner!

  • Cindy

    My only complaint is that I didn't read this sooner.

    I feel like I have found someone who gets my running. I started this in early 2009 - about 13 months after my youngest daughter died of bone cancer at the age of 16. A friend convinced me that it would be fun to do the Nashville Country Music Half-Marathon - and said that we could walk much of it if we needed to. I was overweight and depressed, but I started. When I started, I could barely run a lap (1/20th of a mile) and by the run day I could

    My only complaint is that I didn't read this sooner.

    I feel like I have found someone who gets my running. I started this in early 2009 - about 13 months after my youngest daughter died of bone cancer at the age of 16. A friend convinced me that it would be fun to do the Nashville Country Music Half-Marathon - and said that we could walk much of it if we needed to. I was overweight and depressed, but I started. When I started, I could barely run a lap (1/20th of a mile) and by the run day I could only do a mile or so at a time. But I did it. And when I crossed the finish line, I was hooked. I just finished my 13th or 14th half-marathon last December. I'm not a hugely consistent runner, although I wish I was. I'm s-l-o-w even now - when I've lost 60 pounds over the past 2 years. But at the age of 62 I can slowly run an entire 13.1 miles without stopping at a 15 min pace and I'm working to improve that time.

    - "The Penguin" - is my hero. They don't call him the "patron saint of the back of the pack" for nothing. I just wish I'd read this years ago when I was so discouraged with my time, not to mention my abilities. This is book is divided into 4 parts - inspiration (why run), perspiration (how to run), dedication (training), and celebration (runs and races). This guy gets me and why and how I run. Waddle on, indeed.

    Quotes to remember:

    There's nothing more to becoming a runner than running. It isn't how fast or how far you run. It isn't even how long you've been running. It's only that you run that makes you a runner.

    ...the road to a healthier, more active life is the same for everyone. The process is the same whether you become a world-record holder, an age-group champion, or a solidly back-of-the-pack runner like me. You just have to be willing to see where you are, decide where you want to be and work out how you want to get there.

    You find, without realizing it, that you're

    afraid to change, learn and grow. You learn to look past all the things that you can't be to those few that you can. As you learn to accept your limitations as an athlete, you're less afraid to accept the other limitations in your life. Your unique combination of talent and motivation, discipline and dedication, become the tools with which you build the person you most want to be.

    it isn't a matter of getting the body you want, it's a matter of doing the most you can with the body you have...You may never become

    best, but you can become

    best. You can find ways to improve for the rest of your life. You can find new challenges and new means for expressing your athleticism. You just have to learn to do all these new things with your old body.

    Being inspired is fine for a week or two, and being motivated might work for a month or so. But to make any lifestyle change last a lifetime, you need dedication.

    ...most of us have lived long enough to know that life is much more cyclical than linear. We've learned to weather the bad times and relish the good ones.

    Being active later in life...means accepting the decisions that you've made until then as nothing more than the decisions you've made. They're not a sentence you have to serve.

    At some point it finally sank in that I was not going to be able to

    fit; I was going to have to find a way to

    fit.

    Being fit isn't a destination; it's a way of approaching life.

    We can all tap into the joy-in-motion part of our spirits by letting go of the need for a destination. When we reject the obsession with what we wish we were and focus on what we are, the joy will follow.

    Learning to accept our own limitations, our own unique combinations of talent and will, our own exclusive coalitions of mind, body and spirit releases us to become ourselves.

    Whose voice do you hear inside your head? Whose voice narrates the tapes? Who is it that's the spokesperson for your soul? I discovered that it was my own voice. I had learned to speak the language of all my other critics, but the voice was mine. Running can help us change that voice, from being our worst critic to being our biggest fan. Running can help us see that it's rarely our bodies that hold us back; it's our minds.

    Running is the road to self-acceptance. Our feet can teach our minds that we are only what we are. Our feet can teach our minds to congratulate us and to celebrate our strength in pursuing our dream. If we listen closely enough, at every pace and every distance, we can hear that voice telling us that we are runners and that we are winners.

    There are times in life...when the only way to see tomorrow is to walk right up to the edge of today.

    We want to know who we are. We want to know what our limits are. To live life in peace, we have to know how far we can go...You may never have a chance to win a race, but you'll have ample opportunities to be victorious. You have years ahead of you that can be filled with victory after victory...

    I've never won, but I've been victorious a thousand times. I've been victorious over my fear, my doubts, my own history, and over my need to make someone else a loser in order to feel like I've won. I've been victorious over my need to win every one of life's small battles. And I've been victorious over feeling like a loser in battles that I can't win.

    The victories over ourselves are the ones that matter the most.

    The difference between succeeding and failing in our lives is often as simple as taking that one step.

    For many of us, it isn't that last step of a marathon that matters most; it's the first step we take on our journey to becoming runners. The truth is that every step is important. Every step takes us a little closer to where we want to be. Every step frees us from a life of sedentary confinement. Every step uncovers some new possibility.

    Every starting line is another chance to prove that my past will not determine my future.

    It wasn't until I began to understand that my running really only mattered to me that I was free to run for myself.

  • Tommy

    Any book that makes me feel good for my 11 minute mile pace is worthy of at least four stars right out of the gate.

    John Bingham, who writes monthly columns for Runner's World, woke up one morning - in his late 30's or early 40's, I believe - to discover he was a mess. He was overweight, hooked on cigarettes, and booze, and couldn't even get up the stairs without huffing and puffing.

    So, he started running. Months later, he was a testament to what healthy living can do. Known as "The Penguin", he

    Any book that makes me feel good for my 11 minute mile pace is worthy of at least four stars right out of the gate.

    John Bingham, who writes monthly columns for Runner's World, woke up one morning - in his late 30's or early 40's, I believe - to discover he was a mess. He was overweight, hooked on cigarettes, and booze, and couldn't even get up the stairs without huffing and puffing.

    So, he started running. Months later, he was a testament to what healthy living can do. Known as "The Penguin", he encourages would-be joggers/runners simply to lace up and get out, not worried about beating a Kenyan to the finish line, but setting your own goals, and going as slow as you want - just so you're going.

    He speaks to all the usual subjects - proper shoes, injuries, form, and programs to get you up to a steady mileage. He does so with humor and gentle inspiration. You never feel like he's bragging about how he turned his life around - just reminding you that if he could do it, anyone can.

    A great book for anyone who wants to take to the road for a run, but isn't sure how to get started - or if they are truly 'right' for the running life.

  • Megg

    I was introduced to this book by my step-father when he was working with John Bingham to make the instructional video "Run for Fun". When I first started trying to run two years ago I started "No Need For Speed" but was really engaged enough to finish it. I wasn't all that engaged in my running either. I ran for a few months, and gave up before I was even able to complete a mile.

    I started to re-read this book because I had started running again and had found that I was able to run two miles. I

    I was introduced to this book by my step-father when he was working with John Bingham to make the instructional video "Run for Fun". When I first started trying to run two years ago I started "No Need For Speed" but was really engaged enough to finish it. I wasn't all that engaged in my running either. I ran for a few months, and gave up before I was even able to complete a mile.

    I started to re-read this book because I had started running again and had found that I was able to run two miles. I absolutely loved this book the second time around. It approaches running in a relatable and entertaining way, and makes you feel proud about the simple act of running-not the speed or distance or the number of times you've run-just the simple fact that you're out there. It has inspired me to shoot for the Race for the Cure 5K in a month and a half, and even if I'm unable to complete it, this book will have instilled in me the belief that simply gettingo out there is a victory.

  • Raven

    Inspirational and easy to read, No Need For Speed is an almost perfect introduction to the world of running. Bingham gears the book towards those who haven't exercised in a very long time, so if you're already running, this book probably isn't for you. He offers good tips on purchasing the right shoes, and stresses the importance of sticking to a healthy lifestyle. I felt motivated and energized at the end of the book, and am really glad I read it. My only wish is that it was a little more techn

    Inspirational and easy to read, No Need For Speed is an almost perfect introduction to the world of running. Bingham gears the book towards those who haven't exercised in a very long time, so if you're already running, this book probably isn't for you. He offers good tips on purchasing the right shoes, and stresses the importance of sticking to a healthy lifestyle. I felt motivated and energized at the end of the book, and am really glad I read it. My only wish is that it was a little more technical. It had no information on pacing, and breathing. Other than that, I thought it was the perfect book for the first-time runner.

  • Laurel

    I wish I'd read this years ago. Bingham is hilarious and I love his style. He'd be good for anyone contemplating fitness at all. I was belly laughing when he described how he'd return from a run, plop on the couch and smoke a cigarette to celebrate. For people who've been running awhile, you'll nod in agreement as he shares multiple stories of how he learned that it's the love of running and not the race that matters.

  • Sarah

    If you're on the fence with running, this is the book to get you in the right direction. I really enjoyed the read, found a lot of practical advice and information that I've already been able to use. My biggest hangup has always been my own head- and apparently I'm not alone. This book will blow up any excuses that you've been using to avoid running and I think it will help get you back on the road, treadmill or trail of your choice.

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