Build Your Running Body


Build Your Running Body (by Pete Magill, Thomas Schwartz, and Melissa Breyer) is a “how to” guide for coaches and runners that want to improve their race times, run longer, and avoid injury through whole-body training. Pete Magill is a senior columnist for Running Times magazine, the 2013 USA Masters Cross Country Runner of the Year, and he currently holds American records in both the 5K (15:01) and 10K (31:11) for runners over the age of 50.

Build Your Running Body is a book for both running rookies and veterans. The chapters are nicely organized into five parts, and the glossary at the end makes it easy to find things quickly. You’ll  find yourself returning to looking up training pace charts, injury prevention tips, and nutritious recipes long after your first read.

Part One: Build Your Running Knowledge

Welcome to the wonderful world of running. This section covers the history of running, proper gear and clothing, and a quick primer on running jargon. For the beginning runner, this is a terrific primer on the terminology used by coaches and other runners. Do you know the difference between aerobic and anaerobic energy?  You will after reading this section.

Part Two: Build Your Running Body

In this section you’ll learn about the muscle fiber ladder, valuable stretching and strengthening exercises for runners, and the importance of healthy connective tissue. Find out how running effects your hormone levels, and how to train your brain to help you run faster. You’ll also learn why your mother gets the credit for your PRs in the 5K and 10K. Pictures and descriptions detail all the relevant training workouts and exercises.

Part Three: Build Your Running Program

Choosing the right approach to training means considering factors like time management and sustainability. There is no one way to train, and every runner has a unique body. The basics principles of training are presented in this section along with several training schedules broken out by ability and race distance. Each training schedule includes suggested exercises for stretching, strengthening, and injury prevention.

Part Four: Build Your Running Diet

Real food is what you should be eating. Did you know that red bell peppers have twice the vitamin C as oranges? Have you considered coconut water or watermelon juice instead of commercial sports drinks? This section covers your nutrition needs and offers a whole bunch of delicious recipe suggestions.

Part Five: Build Your Race Strategy

Racing is simple. You run as fast as you can for a given distance. However, there are nuances. Some of us like to race for completion, and others race for competition. Build Your Running Body addresses strategies for both types of runners. You’ll learn about tapering, race strategy, successful race day habits and effort vs. pace.


Build Your Running Body is an excellent resource for runners. This book conveys a vast amount of running knowledge in a readable and easy to understand format. Build Your Running Body would make a great addition to your running library.

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