Complete Book of Running by Runner's World Review

Jessica Montrose's picture

After I had my first child several months ago, one of the first types of exercise I returned to was running. Running is appealing because it requires little equipment other than a pair of running shoes, can be done almost any time, does not require a gym membership, and above all, is simple! However, after experiencing some of the normal problems which frequently beset runners (like pulled muscles and shin splints), I started to consider that there might be more to know about my favorite form of exercise.

The Complete Book of Running by Runner’s World features the all encompassing subtitle, “Everything You Need to Run for Weight Loss, Fitness, and Competition.” Along with this compelling subtitle, its purchase price is extremely low. With that, I was snagged, and wanted to know more about this book.

What is The Complete Book of Running All About?

Like any running book, The Complete Book of Running provides a basic overview of running: proper form, safety precautions, training measures, nutrition (one chapter that caught my eye is called “Say Goodbye to Meat”), as well as a chapter devoted exclusively to women runners. While running can be an excellent exercise method, and specifically a great way to shed some pounds, the real question is whether The Complete Book of Running really lives up to its claims, or it there is some hyperbole involved in its name and subtitle.

What Others Are Saying - Does Complete Book of Running Really Deliver?

The reviews of this book are mixed. Most reviewers, like Randy Given, agree that it provides at least a nominal or adequate overview of running. Where it may not live up to its name are the chapters on injury prevention, nutrition, and training. Many reviewers commented that while these sections are lengthy, they provide only a surface level overview of the topics.

Others commented that as a publication of Running World magazine, the magazine may contain more helpful information than the book itself. As a counter-point to this, many others found this book to be a helpful beginner’s guide to the sport.

Will it Help Me Lose Weight?

If you are a beginner to running, or someone who has run for some time but never formally researched the topic, The Complete Book of Running should be a helpful starting point for you. Beginning runners may need motivation and information to start their exercise routines out right, and this book is likely to provide that basic direction. For those who are more knowledgeable about running or seeking a more thorough tome, another book may be in order.

Pros and Cons


  • A good general overview of running.
  • Very inexpensive.
  • Great photography and magazine-like layout.


  • Provides only a very basic overview of running.
  • Chapters provide only a nominal overview of topics related to running and may not be in depth enough for some readers.
  • Some chapters may not be useful to all readers-- “Running for Women”, for example.

Problems and Complaints

Frequently cited complaints from reviewers include lack of comprehensiveness and content. Reviewer Paul B. pointed out that though it may provide an easy to read starting point for new runners, as those runners progress, they may find the book short on helpful content. Additionally, the page layout irks some readers, with it’s magazine-like structure, generous amounts of white space and glossy photography style.

Is The Complete Book of Running Better Than Other Beginner’s Running Books?

For the price, The Complete Book of Running is certainly appealing. It may be the best overall selection if cost is a consideration. However, as stated above, the book may not “grow” with the reader as their running skills develop. Additionally, potential buyers should peruse the chapter titles to determine if all of the information contained in the book will be helpful.

With all that said, I am still drawn to this book, as it contains a great deal of information at a price significantly less expensive than a subscription to Runner's World.

How Does The Complete Book of Running by Runner's World Rate Overall? reviewers gave Complete Book of Running a 4 star rating out of 5. As a publication of Running World magazine, the book is published by a recognized authority on the subject. Despite the common complaints regarding this book, it is rated highly overall and may be a great choice for the beginning runner.

Where Can I Buy and Where Can I Read More Reviews for Complete Book of Running?

This book is available for purchase on Amazon is currently offering free “Super Saver” shipping on this item with any purchase over $25. Read more reviews here.

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