A while ago I wrote about a different Pete Magill book on my blog, Build Your Running Body. Well, he contacted me recently and asked if I would like to check out his new book. Of course my answer was yes, because aside from wishing I had more time to run I wish I had more time to read about running. I guess that makes me a runnerd? (BTW – You can read Pete’s book Build Your Running Body for “free” right now if you already pay for a Kindle Unlimited subscription. Or if you sign up for one, which it’s kind of awesome because there are lots of books available for a pretty low monthly fee.)
Anyway, back to the book at hand… Fast 5K: 25 Crucial Keys and 4 Training Plans. This book is a really easy read. Each of the “crucial keys” is its own chapter and those chapters are only 3-5ish pages long. All together, including the index, it’s only 184 pages. And some of the pages are training plans and training paces. Basically the entirety of Part 4 is content that you’re only going to need to read a small part of at a time. By that point, you’re down to 121 pages. And you could even cut it down to 116 if you don’t want to read the bonus key for us masters runners. (It still makes me shake my head that I’m considered a masters runner…)
Some of the content may feel repetitive if you’ve been around the running block for a while. But then again, it’s kind of good to focus in a little more on the basics of foundational elements like eating and resting. I like that it touches on the various types of workouts that you would do during a typical training program (hills, tempo, long slow days, etc.) and reminds us why we do these things.
One of my favorite parts that jumped out of the pages for me was the 25th key, assessing your race afterwards. I really liked the post-race assessment checklist and if I ever get around to signing up for another race again (it’s been over a year since I’ve run a race! WHAT?! Pre-kid I was doing races all the time and now it’s a rarity.) I think I’ll use this checklist in either a private running log or posting a race review here on the site.
The book is full of helpful little bits that you could highlight. Hell, you could probably share some of them as inspirational little bits of content on social media and run a risk of going mildly viral in a small circle of people with the very specific interest in running. And sharing memes. This one about not quitting when your brain yells quit stood out to me.
“Don’t quit when your brain yells, Quit!”: There will come a time in your 5K when you’ll want to quit. You’re tired. You hurt. You start to think it isn’t your day. Maybe you even think, If I faked an injury, no one would blame me for stopping. Don’t do it. This is just your brain trying to sabotage your race… Your brain is a worrywart. It’s sounding a five-alarm warning – fatigue and self-doubt – to get you to give up. Hang in there. Your brain will chill after a minute or two, just in time for you to kick to the finish line.”Pete Magill – Fast 5K
This book reminded me that I have NEVER trained specifically for a 5K. I’ve run a lot of 5Ks but they usually just fell into the midst of a training cycle for something longer or when I saw something on an upcoming weekend and decided to sign up for fun. Maybe I should get out of my brain that is always thinking about longer distance races and frustration that I can’t seem to find the time for those and focus on a 5K!