Master the Art of Running: Running with the Alexander Technique Paperback – 30 Mar 2006
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About the Author
Malcolm Balk is a qualified Alexander Technique teacher, specializing in working with runners of all standards. He lives in America. Andrew Shields is Sport and Fitness Editor of Time Out magazine in London. He has twice been a runner-up in the British Sports Jounalism Awards.
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Top Customer Reviews
Of course, it's questionable whether any book could really do this, but I found this volume very weak, particularly after attending one of Balk's excellent art of running workshops - definitely a more expensive route to take, but much better value and far more likely to transform your running. Bluntly, this book gives you a bit of Chi Running with an overlay of Alexander Technique. Nice idea, but not really enough substance on either, and ultimately a disappointment.
At the beginning of each chapter I thought "I hope this is the bit where they explain how the Alexander Technique (AT) will be relevant to running" and each time I was disappointed. There is lots of good advice in the text, but none of it relates to AT. The tips all seem to be fairly standard things that one reads in 'Runners World' or similar magazines each month (e.g. "Turn up at race in good time so that you can concentrate before the start" - what does this have to do with the Alexander Technique?) Plenty of quotes from famous runners and coaches, none of whom seem to have used AT much either.
Overall this is a disappointing book that promises rather than delivers. I now know that Alexander was a stage performer who worked out that how he held his neck and head could affect his breathing. I also know that good runners tend to have good posture (I think I knew this already)and listen to the advice of their coaches. There is very little connecting the two.
However, Alexander Technique must be taught in person as acknowledged by nearly all the books on the subject.
Unfortunately, even for the enthusiastic reader this book really doesn't have much useful information in it. Thanks to the other reviews here I bought Chi Running at the same time and I have to say it was so much more useful with lots of exercises to practice yourself.
I would say that your time and money would be much better spent by going to a workshop with Malcolm Balk or by buying the Chi Running book.
Happy injury-free running!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is very useful for all runners and those wanting to start running.
A very easy read and great reference book