I mentioned recently that for what seems like the first time in as many years as Betty has been alive, I’ve been able to occasionally sit down with a book and read it without being interrupted every 30 seconds. It seems that the folks at Runner’s World are a bunch of psychics because it was right around that time that I received an email with a great opportunity to read and review a couple new books! And I was lucky enough to be picked!
The first book I had the pleasure of reviewing is Running Strong: The Sports Doctor’s Complete Guide to Staying Healthy and Injury-Free for Life by Dr. Jordan Metzl (and with Claire Kowalchik).
If you’ve been reading my blog over the past couple weeks I’m sure you will agree that this could not have come at a better time for me. If you haven’t, here’s a summary….I’ve been having a really hard time “staying healthy and injury-free”. Actually that would be a huge understatement.
Dr. Metzl is an athlete. As a 32-time marathoner and 12-time Ironman triathlete, he knows what it’s like to push your body to the limit. With all that under his belt, he is also obviously no stranger to injury and as a sports doctor he is no stranger to treating injuries that many of us are all-too familiar with. That’s why he became a doctor…because he knows how terrible it is to be sidelined from the sport you love.
I liked him immediately.
As the title suggests, Running Strong highlights everything that I would ever want to know about staying injury-free, but it is SO MUCH MORE than that.. Dr. Metzl profiles different types of runners and what each of these could expect to take away from the book. I saw myself in a couple of these categories and after reading further was so thrilled to find that he was right.
The book begins anatomy lesson and overview of healthy running mechanics and how the way that you run could be damaging your “kinetic chain”. We then visit a comprehensive list of common injuries, covering everything from shin splints to black toenails. It’s presented in an easy-to-follow format complete with illustrations, suggestions of exercises that you can do at home to help heal, strengthen, and prevent further injury to the affected area, and even uses the brand new Blipp technology. Blipp allows you to scan pages with a free phone app and suddenly it’s like you are transported directly to Dr. Metzl’s office! Running Strong is the first running/fitness book to utilize this awesome video technology and it can be found on many of the pages throughout.
Running Strong has sections on nutrition, the importance of sleep, foam roller exercises, maximizing your running (even catering specifically to women and men because we all know there are some major differences to how we run), how to best prepare for race day and how not to bonk when you get there. He introduces the IronStrength Workout for Runners: an intense full body workout specially designed to train your muscles with running-specific movements with each exercise illustrated with diagrams and Blipp video. I’m excited to add IronStrength into my routine.
He even has training plans for various races distances and every ability. And that doesn’t cover all of it. This book truly has everything I would have ever wanted to know and then a whole list of other things I would have never thought to ask.
If you couldn’t guess, I think Running Strong is the best thing since sliced bread. Dr. Metzl rocks. It’s written in a friendly, easy-to-follow style that I had a hard time putting down; I even read up on a bunch of injuries that don’t apply to me right now and I hope never do. So if anyone has any questions about Plantar Fasciitis let me know.
One of my favorite things is that it encourages active recovery from injury. For someone that finds sitting down to be impossible, but is constantly being told by my entire family to stop moving around so much, I felt relieved that Dr. Metzl wants me to keep moving. I’ll take a break from running if I have to, but there are so many other things I could be doing and he has lots of options for me.
It is the kind of book that will live within easy reach of me at all times. I have an e-copy on my phone and over the past week I’ve found myself using it on numerous occasions. Now that I’m trying to rework the end of my marathon training plan a bit to make room for all my current problems, I’ve been referring to the training plans, suggestions for pain relief, workout modification and the strengthening exercises.
Being hurt is terrible and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but I’m so glad to have received this book when I did and feel confident that his claims in the title are true. I could definitely see myself staying healthy and injury-free now that I have this resource and I think any runner regardless of fitness level could benefit greatly from it!
If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Running Strong: The Sports Doctor’s Complete Guide to Staying Healthy and Injury-Free for Life for yourself, it can be found HERE.
Have you read this book? What did you think? Have you ever heard of Blipp technology before? (So cool right?!)