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Book Reviews

Trail-Running

The Complete Guide

Reviewed by

Serving runners of all levels, this comprehensive guide details the needs and beauty of trail running.

Jeff Galloway’s Trail-Running covers every possible question a runner might face when taking to the trails. It is a thorough and upbeat manual, appropriate for the first-time runner as well as the experienced marathoner.

Galloway is an experienced trainer and Olympian with experience and knowledge of trails throughout the United States. The author immediately endears by opening with a self-described lazy, overweight thirteen-year-old Galloway trying to easily fulfill a high school running requirement. He meets his audience where they are, whether they’re athletic or not, and starts with good humor and authoritative wisdom.

While there are thirty-three chapters in Trail-Running, many of them present redundant information or could easily be combined with other chapters. In some cases, repetition is evident even from one page to the next. In the same section, he writes under the heading of “Enjoyable Scenery” and also on “Viewing Scenery in a Unique Way,” which is essentially the same thing—yes, there’s a lot of beauty to experience while trail running. Similarly, as the fit of shoes is described in his seventh chapter, a list of pointers for determining the fit of a shoe is almost exactly repeated on one page and the next.

When Galloway gets to his middle chapters on training and conditioning, the wealth of information is staggering. It would be impractical to think that simply reading the chapter on terrain training or marathon training would be helpful. This information must be dissected and put into practice piece by piece. In that respect, this book serves multiple purposes and can be a life-long reference for the dedicated runner.

What Trail-Running lacks in clarity of layout, it makes up for by serving runners at all levels, addressing the gamut of questions from what to wear to appropriate stretches for iliotibial band syndrome. Galloway also includes a list of resources organized by state to help runners find trails and trail-running groups. He has compacted this encyclopedia of trail running into a couple hundred saturated pages to motivate, protect, inspire, and train the trail runner in anyone.

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