Kara Goucher’s Running for Women: From First Steps to Marathons provides a handy guide to women looking to take up running. Goucher, top United States marathon runner and 10K World Championship bronze medalist, puts her years of experience and acquired knowledge into words with this book. The information included is strong and will be helpful for aspiring runners, but it would be more helpful with better organization. Although divided into topical chapters, the information itself is scattered, as the headings aren’t always what one would expect, and they’re not always relative to or terribly descriptive of the content they contain. The book would benefit from some bullet points and rewording of the section titles.
I enjoyed seeing that Goucher had included many inspiring quotations – some relating directly to running, and some not – in the book, as it seemed a nice touch and motivation to get out the door and run. I also appreciated that questions female runners had asked to Goucher were included in special sections with Goucher’s responses. Some of the questions included seemed trivial, though, and many of them, such as, “There’s a really cute guy in my running club who I like, but I’m faster than him and worried he’ll resent that. What should I do?” struck me as odd to include in such a book.
All in all, the book is a good source of fundamental information for women looking to start or increase their running. Goucher shares her firsthand experience with interjections about particularly challenging races and struggles she’s faced. Ideal eating plans and pre-race meals also make up a small portion of the book, along with a basic weight loss eating plan. There is also a section on pregnancy and running. Women who race regularly and who are truly serious about running are likely to see the book as more geared toward beginners, but it is reader-friendly and addresses a wide variety of the concerns a new runner might face.