Health Benefits of Reading Books- Top Running Books 2020


During this particularly stressful year, one of the big health source for many people has been the practice of reading books.

Research shows that just 30 minutes of reading a day can allow us to physically reset, lowering our blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of stress. But reading can also support our mental health by allowing us to make sense of a difficult past or struggles in our life, provide and experience good feelings of hope. Bibliotherapy, or the practice of using books and other forms of literature to support a patient’s mental health, has been used by therapists since the early 20th century, so we should take time off screen time and enjoy great books about running or any other subject we really appreciate.


Health Benefits of Reading Books


  • Improves brain connectivity
  • Increases your vocabulary and comprehension
  • Empowers you to empathize with other people
  • Improves quality of sleep
  • Reduces stress
  • Lowers blood pressure and heart rate
  • Fights depression symptoms
  • Prevents cognitive decline as you age
  • Contributes to a longer life




  1. The Runner’s Expert Guide to Stretching: Prevent Injury, Build Strength and Enhance Performance by Paul Hobrough


  1. Easy Running Plans: Total-Body Training for Speed, Strength, and Endurance by Jeff Gaudette


  1. Science of Running: Analyze Your Technique, Prevent Injury, Revolutionize Your Training by Chris Napier


  1. Run to the Finish: The Everyday Runner’s Guide to Avoiding Injury, Ignoring the Clock, and Loving the Run by Amanda Brooks


  1. Running Wild: A Quest for Healing across 7 Continents by Bobby O’Donnell


  1. Spirit Run: A 6,000-Mile Marathon through North America’s Stolen Land by Noé Álvarez


  1. Keep Running: How to Run Injury-free with Power and Joy for Decades by Andrew Kastor


  1. Running the Dream: One Summer Living, Training, and Racing with a Team of World-Class Runners Half My Age by Matt Fitzgerald


  1. Win at All Costs: Inside Nike Running and Its Culture of Deception by Matt Hart


  1. Bravey: Being an Olympic runners, Pappas shows how anyone can overcome, dream, and chase goals like a bravey. Bravey by Alexi Pappas




Speed Drills to Get Faster and Stronger at Running

As runners, to increase our running pace we need to perform:


  1. Speedwork session to increase our VO2Max, and activate and strengthen our fast twitch muscles.
  2. Speed Drills sessions to increase our muscle endurance.


Why Should We Perform Speed Drills Training Sessions?


To increase our speed for longer distance runs- over 20K, Speed Drills sessions will help to increase our pace, speed and endurance. When running at a faster pace, we need to focus on the proper form, structure, muscle strength and body combination to avoid poor running form, which faster paces often lead to. To run over 20K on a poor form can lead to imbalances, which can cause injuries. To push our body beyond its limitations without the proper strength can lead to muscle issues, that’s why we also need hip and glutes strength exercises.


Benefits Of Speed Drills Sessions

  • Building leg strength
  • Improve foot strength and flexibility
  • Activate the glutes and psoas
  • Single leg strength exercises to address imbalances
  • Improve muscle efficiency
  • Activate type II/ fast twitch muscle fiber
  • Creating good form to connect to and train our brain


Performing some good Speed Drills exercises, will help improve not only our speed, but also the running form, avoid body imbalance, increase and activate our fast-twitch muscles strength, and train our brain with a proper running form. All the benefits are super essential for long distance runs. If we are dealing with muscle weakness or imbalance, and negative running form, running longer than 20K will cause muscle pain, joint pain and low energy level and our body will crash. Speed Drills create good strength, which will make our runs easier. The training options for Speed Drills are very flexible, these exercises can be done once a week or perform one of the exercises prior each run or add some of the exercises to our other strength training sessions. It can also be a good warm up before some Speedwork sessions.


Speed Drills Exercises for Runners

  1. Single Leg Pistol Squat on a Bench

This is one of the first progressions to be able to do a pistol squat. Sitting on a bench, place one foot at 90 degrees and the other straight in front of you lightly on the ground. Your straight leg should bear as little weight as possible and as you progress remain off the floor. You’ll need to engage your quad, calf and core to stand up and then lower yourself back down with control.


  1. Single Leg Step Up

Place one foot on a strong bench and engage your quad and glutes to pull yourself up on to the bench. Tap your opposite foot toe, then return it to the ground with control, you aren’t fully standing up on the top of the bench or pausing on the ground.


  1. High Skips

Every type of skips are great for promoting speed. In this exercise, we are focusing on high forward skips. The goal is to get used to the feeling of our entire foot, ankle and calf working together to push off the ground with force.


  1. Running Arms

The arms are so overlooked as part of our speed. For this exercise, hold a light weight of about 5kg in each hand, creating a stable base with core engaged and then running those arms. Keep them at 90 degrees and move them fast.


  1. Forward and Lateral Foot Tap on Step

This is a practice that will help to quickly pick our foot up off the ground, and increase our mobility. We know that faster running isn’t about a longer stride, it’s about a quicker foot turn over, and shorter stride. This helps us to get used to hitting with our full foot and quickly retracting, which will help increase our cadence.


  1. Resistance Band Sprints

This is a good exercise to do sprints without injuries. We have to practice the process of picking up our knees using and activating our abs and core, instead of trying to lengthen our stride. We know that over striding leads to injury and this is going to ingrain in our brain a different pattern.

With the band around your waist, perform good sprints. Another pattern is 1,2,3, and hold. Run hard for 3 steps and then on 4 hold the knee up for a second before repeating the process by ending with the other knee held high.

Perform 10-15 Reps Per Leg

Speed Drills Exercises Video:

Perform Speed Drills, Improve Muscular Endurance, Enjoy Long Runs!


Benefits of Walks for Runners

Runners should add some regular walks to their daily routine. Many people including runners don’t see the benefits or enjoy walking regularly. Studies show that even an hour or two of exercise each day does not offset the damage of sitting down the rest of your waking hours, especially with long days sitting at the office desk.


Benefits of Walking for Runners

  • Walking builds endurance- Consider it extra credit training.
  • More time on our feet during training ensures we are race or virtual race ready.
  • Some people can walk much further than they can run.
  • It uses the same muscles without the impact.
  • Walking eases lower back pain.
  • Walking strengthens our feet.
  • Walking large hills strengthens the glutes without the heart rate raising intensely.


Adding some walking to our routine might just help us run farther and faster by building leg strength, increasing lung capacity, reducing stress and burning extra calories.

Where to add walking in our training?

  • Walk on rest days as active recovery which is both low impact and beneficial to your run.
  • Add 10-20 minutes at the end of your long run which will increase the total distance and time on your feet, but without the added injury risk of running past your limits.
  • Walk to do errands, walk around the office at lunchtime.
  • Walk during lunchtime, before or after dinner to activate your metabolism.
  • Walk in place of a run when you are injured or under the weather. Walk double the time of your run.
  • Walk or hike with your friends and family on the weekend, over the holidays, instead of vegging out with the screen time or TV.


While walking takes longer, it will provide the same endurance as running, and reducing the injury risk.


  • It works for runners of all levels from beginners to Ultra runners.
  • For new runners walking breaks allows the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems to recover while building endurance.
  • For injured runners it reduces the risk of overuse and can be a great mental relief in returning to running.
  • In the summer months it allows the heart rate to drop reducing effort.


Proper Walking Form

It is really important to make sure we perform any exercise properly. Walking seems like it would come naturally, but when we are using it as a form of exercise, it is important to make sure we are doing things in proper form, like running form. Even minor things can make a huge improvement not only in how it shapes our body but also what would cause undue stress on our joints.

  • Heel to toe meaning our heel touches the ground first.
  • Stand tall and look about 3 meters in front of you.
  • Engage your core.


Create a Walking Challenge

To create and schedule a walking plan can make it more motivating, easier to follow and enjoy!


Start Your Challenge by Creating a Walking Plan

  • Plan for a daily walk even on your running days.
  • Schedule your run according to your work and life schedule, add a run when you are available and when it will help to make you feel better.
  • Plan to run for a certain time- 15 mins, 20 mins, 30 mins.
  • You can even add your walk to Strava to save the distance and timing data.
  • Add, and appreciate your thoughts, feeling and emotional positivity benefits from your run.

Run, Walk, Run, Feel Better and Stronger!


Benefits of TGR Virtual/ Local Running Training Team


With our constant busy life schedules, and the consequences from the current virus, to join a virtual running or training group can have many benefits to maintain or improve our fitness level, motivation, positivity and overall health. Traditional running clubs have been around for 100 years or more. But with our new generation lifestyle and side issues with the virus, meeting a running group at a specific day, time and location can be very challenging. To have access to a Virtual Training Team, will provide training plans, fitness and nutrition information, but also great friendship. All this we have access to, whenever we are available. And to combine both Virtual Training/Local Team gathering training is a great option.



  1. Provides Flexibility– For many runners, to join a running team each week at the same time can’t be an option due to irregular working patterns, schedules, and busy family life schedule. To be a member of a Virtual Training Team provides great resources on the group’s App, such as training plans, strength training workouts, nutrition, mindfulness sessions. Having access anytime of the day, at our fingertips, we can plan our own training schedule.
  2. Single App With Lots of Information– Being part of a Virtual/Local Training Team can help improve our running performance and endurance with all the information available online. We can have access to many training plans, running courses, strength workouts, healthy nutrition and recipes, mindfulness sessions available in one convenient place.
  3. Keeps our Training Plan Interesting– When we train on our own, it can be challenging to keep things interesting and fresh. To follow the same routine can be a bit boring after a while, and can also affect our motivation to train properly. To be part of the Virtual/Local Training Team will provide interesting plans to complete every week. This will help to keep us on our toes, enjoy the physical benefits, and motivation.
  4. Enjoy Some Challenges– To have access to weekly strength training workouts can help improve our running form, balance, strengthening our glutes, our core, upper body. These great workouts will help improve our running performance and make it fun.
  5. Friendship and Motivation– One of the most important benefits of Virtual Training Teams is that being in contact with other runners can be a powerful motivator. If we need any information, we can contact runners or coaches on the Virtual Training Team, which can provide lots of support and boost our enthusiasm and enjoyment, we can really support each other and enjoy the friendship.
  6. Access to Great Support– At some point in our life, as runners will get some problems, challenges or injuries, to be part of a Virtual/Local Training Team we can ask some questions and get some recommendations that we need.

Join TGR Virtual/Local Training Team, Feel Great, Run Strong, Be Happy!