Monday, April 26, 2010

The Runner's Rule Book, by Mark Remy

A few months ago, I noted (here) a review in the Star-Telegram of Mark Remy's new book, The Runner's Rule Book: Everything a Runner Needs to Know--and Then Some.  Remy, an editor at Runner's World, has a great sense of humor and definitely knows the world of running.  Any reader might find some humor in Remy's rule book, but those of us who are runners, or have been around road racing, will laugh out loud as they recognize themselves and the crazy people they've run with.  You might even learn something, too!

Rule 1.1, Have Fun, and its follow-up, Rule 1.2, Expand Your Definition of Fun, introduce the tone of the book.  I don't know how competitive Remy has been as a runner, but these rules remind the vast majority of runners--those of us who will never be in the Olympic trials and who run marathons knowing they will be way, way behind the winners--that it's all about having fun.  In that light, I need to heed Rule 1.44, One Day a Week, Run Naked, by which he means, without a watch, GPS, or headphones.  I get a bit particular about recording my runs, even when they're terrible, and could use that advice.  I would be better off if I lived up to Rule 2.44, Becoming a Human Metronome is Fun.  I have a terrible time keeping track of my pace without my GPS; I would love to be able to run a mile and predict my pace.

Remy covers etiquette with groups, at races, and on a track, clothing do's and don'ts (I especially liked Rule 3.11, You Can Always Take Off Clothing, and 3.13, When In Doubt, Wear Gloves and a Hat.), and bathroom advice ("If you see a porta potty with no line, use it.  Even if you don't need to."  "On a long run, it's always better to have a bit of toilet paper and not need it, than vice versa.").

As Remy points out in the introduction, these aren't rules that will be found in the USA Track & Field Competition Rules Book.  But novice and veteran runners alike will enjoy his compilation of common sense, received wisdom, and good fun.  Enjoy!

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