This book is exactly what it claims to be a basic guide to starting to run. The chapters cover various subjects such as buying shoes, foot and drink, training plans, racing, injuries and so on. The chapters are well laid out and contain practical advice for the beginner to allow you to build a training plan and understand various things like heart zones and the benefits of different types of exercise. There are also chapters at the end explaining how to prepare for races and how to prepare for a marathon. I'm sure if you searched around on the internet or bought some running magazines you could find all the same common sense advice, however, here it is all packaged for you. I found it very motivational to have the book to read through from time to time for various things such as stretching exercises etc. rather than a pile of printed out articles. My only criticism is that its physically small (well that's a good thing) but relatively expensive. You only get 154 pages including lots of photos for quite around 10 pounds which seems a lot to me. So that's why I took off the 1 star, on the other hand I found it a really useful guide to starting to run, avoiding injuries and getting off the couch and out on the road.