Book Review: Run For Life

Run For Life book cover
Run for Life: The Anti-Aging, Anti-Injury, Super-Fitness Plan to Run to 100
by Roy M. Wallack
– Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
– Pub. Date: February 2009
– ISBN-13: 9781602393448

First and foremost before anything else, I have a gripe about this book… DID THEY HAVE AN EDITOR? Sheesh… there were typos on about every single page. There were paragraphs where a person’s name was spelled different from sentence to sentence. City names were spelled wrong. Sentence fragments. (pun intended) It drove me bonkers!

But aside from that, there was a lot to enjoy about this book. A whole lot. It was unlike any of the other running technique books I’ve read and I feel like it has a lot of good information. Some of the sections felt a little like product placement (E3 grips? A whole chapter? Are they really that magical?), but that aspect can be brushed aside when you look at the strength of the other content in these pages.

The best part of the book was the interviews with several people in the running world that are… um… getting on in years… and how they are running now and what their plans are to keep running for life. Interviews with people like: Frank Shorter (Olympic Marathoner), Bill Rodgers (Olympic Marathoner), Roberta Gibb (First woman to run the Boston Marathon – I didn’t know this story!) and several others.

My favorite interview was with Helen Klein. Helen is truly inspirational, she didn’t start running until she was 55 and she has been running ULTRAmarathons into her 80’s. I first heard of Helen Klein from my friend Molly. Helen has served as a mentor to Molly in her ultrarunning career and the stories about her are amazing. Reading the interview just served to further impress me. I hope to meet Helen sometime.

There are chapters on varied topics, from incorporating strength and flexibility training into your routine, to how overly-padded running shoes may be causing injury in some runners. Some of the topics could be considered slightly controversial and may not fit every runner. But I think that everybody could learn from these ideas, I like to research every aspect I can and form my own conclusions.

With information on changing your gait, to the power of cross-training, to motivational stories, to the science behind training schedules… I truly believe this book has something for everybody.

Now if they would just edit the copy and release a second edition…


  1. I love to read and really appreciate the reviews.

    This sounds good, but I would not be able to get past the errors. Although I don’t always practice perfect grammar in my blog, as an English major going for an MFA in Writing, I would not be able to tolerate it in a book. Hypocrite? Maybe.

    If a new and improved version ever comes out…keep me informed. And keep the reviews coming 🙂

    • I think blogs have a slightly different rules. I know I have written some pretty awful sentences when blogging, just because of the immediacy. But then, when I find them I can correct them easily too. With print, a lot more attention needs to be paid to those issues because once it is on the paper… that paper isn’t changing!

  2. I found this book at the book store this week and looked through it for a few minutes. You’re right, the story about Helen Klein was an interesting one.

    Yikes, I really need to check for typos this time!!!

  3. Arg, I can’t stand when there are typos in the stuff I read. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but it really bothers me!

    But thanks for the review! It sounds like there is definitely some great info in there. I’ll have to add this to my never-ending running book collection!

  4. Jill–

    Thanks very much for your review. I’m happy you liked my book — and called attention to the typos, which pain me every time I open it. Yes, you hit it on the head: The copy-editing function was quite lax, partially due to two successive copy editors leaving the project in mid-stream, so mistakes I made were not caught and often repeated. I forwarded the review and another couple like it on to my publisher, who has assured me that all will be fixed when the book comes up for another printing. I’ll send you a copy whenever that happens (it’s based on sales, which have surely been impacted by all the typos). Thanks again,

    Roy M. Wallack

    “Remember, we’re in this for the long run.”

    • Roy,

      I appreciate your comment on my review. I am glad you are aware of the problems, although I’m terribly sorry you have to deal with them, that must be beyond frustrating. I hope the publisher will do another print run, as it’s a great book with a lot of fascinating and new info. So many running books seem like they re-hash and re-purpose the same old info, this truly was a breath of fresh air in that regard! If there is another printing, perhaps we could do a giveaway on my site for one of my readers to win a copy of your book, instead of me receiving another copy!

      Thanks again for your comment. It was nice to hear from you!


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