async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: Book Review: Run to the Finish: The Everyday Runner's Guide to Avoiding Injury, Ignoring the Clock, and Loving the Run

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Book Review: Run to the Finish: The Everyday Runner's Guide to Avoiding Injury, Ignoring the Clock, and Loving the Run

Disclaimer: I received a prerelease copy of Run to the Finish from NetGalley and Hatchette Books in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links. 

Before I ever started blogging, I read running blogs. At the time, I was starting to run half marathons and while searching Google for advice, I stumbled upon a few running blogs written by women who were moms and/or 'regular' runners. Totally relateable, I ate up everything I read. I probably learned more about running from those blogs than from any technical books I had been reading. I enjoyed the camaraderie that developed with the authors when I left comments on their posts. Through this community, I developed a confidence in my running as well as developed an identity as a 'real runner'.

One of the first running blogs I ever read was Amanda Brooks' Run To The Finish. Along with some of the other runblogging pioneers like Miss Zippy, Marcia's Healthy Slice, Shut Up and Run, and the ladies at Another Mother RunnerRun to the Finish has been on my to-read list since then. Althought we've never met in person, over the years, Amanda and I have become blogging friends simply through commenting on each other's blogs. It's been a lot of fun and exciting to watch her opportunities grow through her blog. This month, Amanda released her first book, aptly titled: Run to The Finish.

Run to the Finish, in Amanda's words, is not a book "for the elite runners. It's a book for me and you and the 98 percent of us in the middle of the pack to know that its just fine to be the best runner you can be while juggling work, family, friends, and still enjoying that delicious slice of pizza every Friday night."



Run to the Finish is organized so that runners can pick up the book, get motivated, learn about training, pick a race, train for it (there are training plans), dress the part, run the race, and keep on going. Maybe even (although she says you don't have to) run a marathon. If you've read Amanda's blog, you know she has a gift for being relatable through her writing and that relatability also comes through the on pages of the book. Much of what is in the book isn't going to be new to experienced runners, but all of it is motivational! New runners will find much to embrace here--I can't imagine not wanting to run after reading the book.

Amanda calls herself a 'student of running' and her experience and expertise are evident. She also has a sense of humor, sprinkling funny anecdotes and comments throughout the book. For example, in the chapter titled: 'You Are A Runner', she invites readers to celebrate their averageness and to choose their running name, using your last name and the last animal you saw on your run.

Mine is currently Rivard Elk.

Here's some important advice from the book: 'don't call yourself a jogger'. For the underconfident runner, Amanda does a great job teaching us how to chase the self-doubt away. She also says to be sure to name your inner critic (hers is Margie) so that when you shut her down, people will assume you're on a phone call instead of just talking to yourself. I love this idea because my inner critic is a jerk and I can only imagine the looks I'd get if I tried to shut that one down!
"Once you cross the finish line of a distance that once seemed unattainable, the sense that you can tackle anything becomes very real." ~Amanda Brooks,  Run to the Finish
Isn't that the truth? How many of us runners have come to the conclusion after running a distance we never thought we could run that yes, we CAN do hard things? And that doing these hard things gives us the confidence to tackle hard things off the road?

At the end of each chapter, there's a list of funny running trivia--an example is 7 Lies Runners Love Telling, which includes gems like "running is not why we're injured" and "you get used to early mornings". News you can use: did you know that breasts don't just bounce up and down, they move in a complicated figure-8 pattern. Something to ponder when you're on a long solo run...

Amanda is a running coach and there's plenty of advice about prehab, rehab, and training. God knows most runners are notoriously terrible about doing these movements to strengthen their hips and glutes.  My only complaint about the book is that she shares a ton of prehab and warm-up exercises, but not photos to accompany all the exercises, just some of them. Maybe this wouldn't be an issue for most of you, but I'm not very coordinated and looking at photos helps me to get myself in the right positions.

Bulgarian Goat Belly Lifts anyone?

Run to the Finish is an easy to read running reference for all of us. Instead of a technical training manual, this breezy but comprehensive book is like having your BRF (best running friend) cheering you on. This would be a great gift for a new runner or the experienced runner who doesn't plan to BQ until her 80s.

Fast or slow, if you run you're a runner! Run to the Finish is going to be your new BRF! /via @oldrunningmom @RuntotheFinish @HachetteUS @NetGalley #runchat #running #bookreview 

Do you read Amanda Brooks' blog Run to the Finish? What is the best advice you've give to a new runner? Do you call yourself a runner? An athlete? What's your running name?

I'm linking up with I'm linking up with Kim and Zenaida for Tuesday Topics and with the Runners' Roundup: DebbieDeborahSmithaJenRachel, and Lisa.

 

41 comments :

  1. I'm so happy for Amanda. And no, I haven't met her either, even though I feel like I have!

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  2. I love Amanda's blog and it was also one of the first running blogs that I found years ago when I started to get more serious about running. thanks for your review - I'm going to pick up her book!

    My running name is Greene Squirrel and that just made me chuckle LOL

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    1. Made me chuckle too, lol! Let me know what you think of her book!

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  3. I read Amanda's blog - she has some good tips. However, I find the blog layout a bit confusing and the pop-up ads are somewhat irritating.
    I also need photos for exercises! As for the tip to give your inner critic a name...that is genius! I have to think of a good name for one - perhaps Agatha?

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    1. I use an ad-blocker on my browser and that takes care of 95% of the ads. Don't let that stop you from enjoying her blog. And Agatha is a great name!

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  4. When it comes to running, I've read a bunch of blogs and I've read a bunch of books and blogs>books every time. I've got a few podcasts with Amanda on my playlist to listen to soon.

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  5. I started reading running blogs before I even started running. And most of those blogs were from Holly's link-up that she did with Trisha and that you later joined! I can honestly say those blogs inspired my running and blogging journey as I started running and blogging the same month! I love this review and the fact you say it's targeted towards the everyday runner. I'll have to get a hold of that book. My running name would be Coyne Baboon! Hhmmm not sure what I feel about that, LOL!

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    1. I think you win for best running name, lol! No baboons here in the suburbs of Chicago!

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  6. Thank you Wendy!! So glad you found pieces of it helpful and I know it bugs folks that my website has ads, what can I say 2000 free articles take a lot of time and they're free with that little ad.

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    1. Water on your back..let it roll off...you're doing awesome things!

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  7. I got a chance to meet Amanda last year at the Mesa Marathon. I too have been reading her blog since way back when. I'm so excited for her that she has written this book!

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  8. Yes I did read the same blogs. I still read Amanda's.

    She's doing a book signing this weekend but it is too early on Sat for me to get there.

    Thanks for the review.

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  9. Call Me A Knucklehead But This Is A First For Me - Will Research Amanda - Thanx - As For Advice, I Have All Kinds Of Useless Knowledge On The Matter - I Always Start Off By Asking Runners A Number Questions - New Runners, I Always Tell Them That They Need To Walk A 5K Under 30min Before I Can Give Them A Base Milage Schedule - This Brings Awareness To Time, Time To Pack, Time For An Exercise Program, Time To The Track And Back, etc - This Offers Them Time To Think About Answers To My Questions - Proud To Say That All Of My Clients Begin Injury Free - Anyway, Wonderful Post As Always - Thanx For Being You

    Cheers

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    1. No knucklehead--we're like a pack of lady runners over here! But always welcoming interested and kind males....

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  10. I've read Amanda's blog for years. In a wonderful coincidence, she was pacing a new marathoner at the 2014 Honolulu Marathon. I finished within minutes of Amanda and her runner but didn't realize it was her until I read her blog a few days later!

    It took me years to call myself a runner. I would say "I run" but never "I'm a runner." The turning point was reading this quote from John Bingham, "If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run."

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    1. Same. I couldn't even call myself an athlete! I guess I am one, though...

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  11. I have also been reading her blog for a while and love her down to earth attitude. I am bummed I will miss her book stop in DC this weekend. On my list to read for sure. Thanks in advance for joining the Runners' Round up!

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  12. Like a lot of runners, it took me a long time to call myself a real runner. I didn't even call myself a marathoner until after I'd run my second one, though I rode those post-26.2 endorphins a LONG time after the first one. I loved every minute of that first big race, after all it was something that I never thought I'd be capable of doing.

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    1. I didn't call myself a marathoner after my first marathon because I was so ashamed of my performance. It took me a few years and a lot of humble pie to accept that crossing that finish line made me a marathoner. Thankfully, I was able to run the race I wanted a few years later.

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  13. I've never read the book, but it looks like something that I should put on my list. Thanks for the review.

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  14. Dammit - missed this on NetGalley! It sounds great, and I can completely identify with being the person who intends to get a good for age for London in my 80s!!

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    1. I think it's still on NetGalley--but maybe it's a US thing vs UK?

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    2. It's showing as archived and not available for request here.

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  15. I did the same as you when I first started running - looked for blogs written by normal runners. I always liked Amanda's blog for that reason and her book sounds awesome!

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  16. Oh, this sounds like a great book! I don't usually read non fiction (she says, as she re-reads the Chernow Hamilton biography), but this sounds right up my alley.

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    1. I like both fiction and non-fiction--anything that is well written is ok by me!

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  17. I've been reading Amanda's blog forever too! I bought her book on pre-order and started it last week. (It takes me awhile because I read before bed and get tired after like 3 pages). I'm definitely enjoying it but had to laugh at your comment about the Bulgarian Belly Goat lifts! I was just reading that part last night!

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  18. What a fun review! I'm glad you got her book. I've been meaning to check it out.

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  19. Hers was one of the many events to get coronavirused this weekend. I'm not familiar with her blog, but you and Darlene had referenced her and I was eager to get the book. Looking forward to reading it, eventually. I need to check NetGalley more often

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    1. I check NetGalley pretty often but this one just popped up. I'm glad it did because I wanted to read it before it came out.

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  20. So late in reading everyone's link up! Great review, Wendy. I don't think I've ever read her blog and this book sounds like a good one to read.

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    1. I can't believe you've never read Amanda's blog! She's an icon.

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