Pete Magill’s magnum opus: ‘Build Your (Masters) Running Body’

Padilla graces cover — one of Pete’s pals.

Published today, “Build Your Running Body” is Pete Magill’s greatest contribution to masters track. And that’s saying a lot. Mr. 5K-Record-Holder-Running-Times-Columnist-Cross-Country-Champ-Who-Blogs-And-Coaches is already a legend. His tome is subtitled “A total-body fitness plan for all distance runners from milers to ultramarathoners,” but I would add — “and even for the wrinkled, spotted and balding.” It features masters champ Grace Padilla on the cover, and Pete’s name among three co-authors. But trust me: Pete’s snarky but sympathetic voice dominates the 448-page masterpiece. My favorite part was his authoritative takedown of fads such as barefoot running. (He has the science to back it up.) serves as the official site for the book, redirecting from You can buy it anywhere, but I spotted copies for $12.62 on Amazon and $13.38 on B&N. (Normal is $21.95.)

I was honored to get a review copy a couple months ago. I even wrote a blurb (which appears in the book). Here’s my original wording:

Don’t deny it, authors. BYRB is nothing short of the Unified Field Theory of Running. If Einstein were alive (and a runner), he’d nominate you for a Nobel. Techniques and training, energy systems and recipes, race strategy and injury prevention — you cover it all. But how did you manage to squeeze a century of technical research and coaching wisdom into a book of bite-sized lessons? Most of all, I appreciate the many charts tailored to any runner. Bravo for packing your manual with delightfully fun to read advice and asides.

The book packs a ton of state-of-the-sport info (wrapped around nearly 400 photos by Diana Hernandez, Pete’s friend) and features a gazillion charts, including one that advises runners how many days to rest between hard workouts — based on your age. (I take the advice for 100-year-olds.)

Lots of books delve into runner physiology and psychology, but this one outlegs the others with wit and color.

How good is it?

Some blurbs from the Praise page:

“This is so good. Honestly, I think this is the best running book ever.”
—Bob Anderson, founder of Runner’s World and of the
Double Road Race 15K Challenge and the Double Training Program

“Build Your Running Body represents something new and needed in sports literature. This is the ‘right stuff’ for runners who want to get faster, enjoy running more, and stay injury-free for a lifetime.”
—Bill Rodgers, four-time winner of both the New York City and Boston marathons

“Build Your Running Body is the most useful, info-packed, and comprehensive training manual
I’ve ever read. Coaches will find it invaluable, and runners of all levels will use it as a complete guide to reaching their goals.”
—Amby Burfoot, 1968 Boston Marathon winner and Runner’s World editor-at-large

“Pete Magill must have found the fountain of youth. I coach college students, and he consistently outruns half my team! He must know something the rest of us don’t!”
—Steve Scott, former American record-holder in the mile (3:47.69), 3-time Olympian, 10 times ranked #1 American miler, and world record-holder
for most sub–4 minute miles (136)

“You will not want to put Build Your Running Body down. It’s OK to miss a training day to learn from Pete Magill’s knowledge and experience—runners of all ages and abilities will be smarter just by getting this book in their hands. It’s filled with good, honest common sense gained from years of experience and results.”
—Rod Dixon, winner of the 1983 New York City Marathon, Olympic Medalist, two-time World Cross Country Championship Medalist, and founder of KiDSMARATHON

One description says:

This easy-to-use workout manual draws on the latest research in running physiology to target all the components that go into every stride—including muscles, connective tissue, cardiovascular fitness, energy production, the nervous system, hormones, and the brain. With the breakthrough whole-body training program in Build Your Running Body, runners will improve their times, run longer and more comfortably, and reduce injury.

Other highlights:

• 10 training programs to help runners of all levels integrate the total-body plan into their daily routines.

• Interviews with leading runners, exercise scientists and coaches.

• Race strategy for the crucial weeks leading up to the competition and through to the finish line.

• Exercises to prevent injury and rehabilitate common running ailments.

• Seasoned insight on barefoot running, the pros and cons of stretching and other hot-button topics.

• Nutrition guidance on carbs, proteins, fats and weight loss.

• More than 30 recipes to speed recovery and cement fitness gains.

• Beginners’ guidelines every step of the way.

• Valuable tips on proper apparel and tracking your progress.

I’ll have more to say when time allows. But for now, run (don’t jog) to your local bookstore. (But warm up properly first.)

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July 29, 2014

One Response

  1. Mike - July 29, 2014

    Been watin for it:)

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