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Master the Art of Running: Running with the Alexander Technique Paperback – 30 Mar 2006

3.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Collins & Brown (30 Mar. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843403390
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843403395
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 17.6 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,032,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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.


Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is good motivational and general stuff on taking a more thoughtful, Alexander Technique inspired approach to running, but it's important to be clear that you can in no way expect to 'master the art of running' through reading this volume. Though you might feel more inspired to try!

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.
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Format: Paperback
This book is nicely produced, with lots of pictures etc. It doesn't live up to its title though and could be more accurately called "Master the art of running with a combination of standard advice"

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book helps anyone wanting to improve their running. It shows how to run more efficiently, which eventually will lead to better times and hopefully less injuries. I have only been using this for a few weeks and when I get it right I can run as fast as I always have, but with less effort. Not easy, but stick with it and over time it should help
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a massive fan of the Alexander Technique - for improving your posture or if you have back pain or bad posture, I honestly don't think there is anything more effective out there.

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!
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Format: Paperback
I'm not a runner but I was intrigued by the tittle of this book and wanted to explore the link between Alexander Technique and running for myself. What I liked was the strong connection between how you use your body and how that influences your running. I'd always thought it was mostly about your legs! Putting the ideas into practice was fun and easy. I didn't want to run marathons but just enough to keep fit and run for the odd bus. I found the text very easy to read and the photos very descriptive and helpful. My running friend, who leant my copy, couldn't stop talking about it and used the ideas when she ran 'The Stenying Stinger" earlier this year. I recommend this book to runners and non runners alike.
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