A Runners Must-Read – Unlearning to Run

As many readers will know, when I’m not chasing this technology lark, I spend a lot of time recreating – I do a bit of hiking, some trans-alpining, some multi sport and a whole heap of running. I’m a late starter to running, but seem to be OK at it – with a personal best half marathon time of 1:27, I’m generally near the front of the citizen runners – well behind the pros, but ahead of the casual folks.

While training for my second full marathon, I made the novice mistake of enjoying my distance too much and quickly ramped up my mileage – running back to back 30km+ days without an extensive running history is a sure fire way to get injured and, sure enough, I ended up with a stress fracture. I’ve had my fair share of injuries subsequent to that – another stress fracture or two, some plantar fasciitis and some painful IT band syndrome stands out as the most impactful.

Despite all this I continue to run – partly from a pragmatic perspective (it’s a great sport for someone who travels as frequently as me) but also for the simple reason that I love it. There’s nothing more pleasurable than knocking off 15 miles or so feeling relaxed and happy – call it being in the zone, call it the endorphin high, whatever it is, it feels good.

I’ve read a few running books – like almost every other runner, the iconic Born to Run chief amongst these. While I’ve not adopted its principles (I still run with sneakers and have yet to get the ultra bug), I find reading these books is a great way to re-kindle the motivation.

So I was stoked when colleague and fellow runner Kowsik Guruswamy told me he was writing a book about his running experience. Kowsik was a typical IT worker – under exercise and overwork where his bread and butter. From a base of nothing, Kowsik has become an accomplished citizen runner and, most importantly, has learned to do it with style and panache – Bare feet, Vibram Five Fingers and Luna Sandals being his mark of purity.

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Kowsik’s book tells his tale from barely running at all, to racing barefoot – as I said in my review of the manuscript, being on the wrong side of 40, Kowsik’s book got me reenergized about my running goals. It’s both an excellent motivator and a great field guide for those who want to learn, unlearn or relearn the art of running. It’s an easy read, and equally useful for novice and experienced runners. Kowsik is selling it as an E-book (although I think it has – ahem – legs as  print book as well).

You can buy the book now via my affiliate code. but to tell the truth, I reckon people should read it regardless of my affiliation. It’s an awesome, inspiring and hopeful book that shows us just what we’re capable of. You can get a taste of what the book includes here. It is split into three different sections:

  • Techniques – Eight techniques focusing on posture, proprioception and running economy to help your running become effortless, injury-free and fun
  • Training – A set of workouts and exercises you can perform throughout the day to improve your posture, proprioception, strength, agility and core so you can run faster and longer
  • Therapy – Natural home remedies to heal seven common running injuries that beginner runners typically encounter. In addition to keeping vampires away, garlic is an amazing anti-inflammatory

The eBook includes:

  • Barefoot running style
  • Treadmill Running
  • Adventure Deficit Disorder
  • Cross Training
  • Eating like your are poor
  • Workouts to rebuild your body
  • Interval training
  • Running your first race
  • Trail running and hill climbing
  • Proper running techniques