Inspiration & Motivation, Running & Fitness

Book Review: Running Your First Ultra

Matt Orlando
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Nowadays  there are many options runners have for upping their race-training game. From apps to personal trainers, it can be hard for new runners to know what will be most helpful and affordable for their running journey. Running Your First Ultra: Customizable Training Plans for Your First 401K to 100-Mile Race: New Edition with Write-In Training Journal (March 8, 2022, $29.99, Page Street Co.) by professional ultramarathon runner Krissy Moehl is more than just a book, it is a running partner, a coach, and your biggest fan as you train for your first big run. With over 300 pages of training resources, inspirational photos, and journaling pages this book truly makes gearing up for your first race or your 100th a personal and tailored experience.

When it comes to gearing up for a race, Running Your First Ultra supports runners from start to finish and beyond. The book begins with a chapter full of Q&As to help readers find their perfect race so that they can home in on the techniques that will be necessary for success. Krissy’s indispensable expertise is only half of the equation for what makes this book an incredible running companion. Her passion for the sport and continual encouragement will inspire everyone to hit the trail or the track even on days when it feels like running is the last thing you want to do.

One aspect that shines through this book is that Krissy doesn’t lie to you about the realities of running. Unlike those popular YouTube and TikTok videos where people prepare to run a half-marathon or longer races in one month, Running Your First Ultra is honest about the time commitment and effort that needs to be put in to have a successful run. The most important chapter in this book is Injury Prevention and Management. It’s broken down into prevention, recovery, and treatment.  Runners who are starting out may not have the ability to have a physical therapist or know exactly where to look and who to trust on the internet once they’ve hurt themselves. Krissy shares her own experiences with injuries in the past and what she did to make sure her body and mind were sufficiently taken care of.  She walks readers through how to ask themselves difficult questions like, “What if eight weeks turns into eight months?” and put together a section about some of the common injuries runners experience so that readers can easily assess what they are feeling in real time.

More experienced runners may find this book to be a great reminder of beginning techniques that help create a solid foundation for a lifetime of running, but where it really shines is with new runners who are ready to take their practice to the next level. Overall, Running Your First Ultra is a great book to pick up and hit the trail with this year.