I joined a virtual book club hosted by Jen from Just a Mom Giving it a “Tri”. The book we are reading is Kara Goucher’s Running for Women and I thought it would be fun to post my discussion of the chapters here on my blog so you can get the benefit of the book club too, especially since it is relevant to what I post on my site. So far I love this book although it may be a little basic for really experienced runners but for me it is perfect and I am just soaking in all her good advice.
I am a little behind the rest of the group and have just finished Chapter’s 1-3. Here are the discussion questions that were asked by Jen in our group:
*Kara talks about “Going Public” about running. If you are new to running, have you told anyone that you have started? Have you told people what your goals are at this point?
I started running at 19 and never hid it from anyone, I have always been open about my running and at that point I was just running mostly for fun. As I have gotten more serious I am sometimes reluctant to attach a time goal to some of my races with the fear I will not achieve my goal but I believe in being open and honest so when I have a goal in mind I do post about it and tell people. Doing this also keep she accountable to my training because whether or not I actually reach the goal I always want to try my best!
I started this year with some pretty high expectations and goals for myself including running a 1/2 marathon in 1:45 and running my first marathon in 4 hours. These goals came to a crashing halt when I developed a stress fracture in my third week of training for the NYC 1/2 Marathon that left me unable to run for 8 weeks. Due to this injury I missed the NYC 1/2 Marathon which was very disappointing since I had been trying to get into this race for the last 3 years but I had to think of my future running health.
After 8 weeks of not running I had to re-evaluate my goals for this year. I have decided to take this year and forego any previous time goals I had in mind. I plan to focus on completing my first marathon in “hopefully” under 5 hours and to stay injury free during the process. Neat year I will focus on my time goals again.
*Kara also talks about rewarding yourself for your efforts. How do you
reward yourself after a great week or a really hard workout?
I usually reward my efforts with new running gear or just time off with the family. I may have a nice relaxing dinner with my husband and not worry about training. After a good week the reward itself is that the week was so good and I accomplished what I set out to do!!!
*Anyone trying barefoot running?
Since the moment I started running I have had problems with my shins. I have had multiple stress fractures over the years and no matter how much support my sneakers seem to have they do not help with this problem. I know that some of it is from improper training but some of it is just my gait. Over the last year I have been running in minimalist sneakers like Reebok Real Flex, Nike Lunar Eclipse, and Saucony Kinvara. I love these type of sneakers and I feel they definitely help me to run more effectively. When I was in Virginia Beach I would run barefoot on the beach and it is the most natural, comfortable way I have ever run but on the sidewalks of Long Island I really need some protection on my feet. I just purchased some Fila Skeletoes that I am going to try to ease into over the summer.
*Take the tougher option! Have you chose the tougher option lately or how
do you plan to tackle a tougher run or workout?
Kara talked about taking the tougher option when running a route like if you have a choice between a really path or a flat path you should always take the hilly path because you will get a better workout and feel more accomplished at the end. I am guilty of taking the easy way out but after reading this in Kara’s book I know the logic in what she says is right and I will be trying to take the tougher route more often.
*Lastly, strength training. Are you using strength training to build
your bones and muscles? What did you think of the plan that Kara
outlined in the book for just 2 days a week of strength training?
Kara shares her strength training program in her book which was created for her by Tony Salazar, her strength training coach, and consists of 2 full-body sessions a week that take less than an hour to complete. What I love about this strength training plan is that it easily fits into any training schedule. I know strength training is important and I actually love it, but when I am focused on training for a race I tend to let all other training slide and I just run which is not the best thing for my body. This strength training plan is completely doable and with a few modifications you don’t even need a gym so I am definitely going to give it a try.
Chapters 1-3 were fantastic and I am looking forward to the rest of this book. What I love about this book is that within each chapter there are basically bullet points throughout that make the book an easy read plus I can pick it up and put it down throughout my day without completing a full chapter which is good especially when my 3 year old keeps interrupting me.
The next 3 chapters look intriguing and focus on injury prevention, balance and nutrition. I hope to have them all read by Monday!!
Have you read Kara’s book? What did you think?