No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running by John Bingham, paperback, 224 pages, Rodale Press (2002), ISBN: 1579544290
"People will tell you lots of good reasons to start running: lose weight, get fit, have a healthier heart, relieve stress, and lower your cholesterol, to name a few. In my experience, those happen to be just about the worst reasons to run. I've heard runners talking to non-runners. Runners almost always start by telling the would-be runner about all the legitimate-sounding reasons to run. For some reason, runners are afraid to tell people the real reason they run. We like it! We really like it". With such an introduction, John Bingham, "the patron saint of the back of the pack", shares the wisdom that took him from couch potato to columnist for "Runner's World" magazine. "No Need for Speed" explores both the why and the how of running for the rest of us. With information both practical (how to find the right running shoes for you, when to enter a race, what to eat before a run) and inspirational (focus on where you are instead of where you want to be, accepting the body you have, the beauty of being realistic about goals), Bingham extends a trusted hand and expert advice to beginners and veterans alike. As he commands "The Penguin Brigade" – those thousands of dedicated runners who have learned that the greatest joy in their sport comes not from how fast they go or how thin they become, but from simply having the courage to take the first step – his belief "You don't have to run fast to be a real runner!" is now truer than ever. John "The Penguin" Bingham writes "The Chronicles" for Runner's World magazine, is a regular speaker on the pre-race pasta dinner circuit, and teaches the basics of running to "adult-onset athletes" at his popular Penguin Flight Schools.