Book Review: Anatomy for Runners

Anatomy for Runners: Unlocking Your Athletic Potential for Health, Speed, and Injury PreventionAnatomy for Runners: Unlocking Your Athletic Potential for Health, Speed, and Injury Prevention by Jay Dicharry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One month ago, I started training for a 5k race, which I signed up for, one month from now. 8 weeks to turn a non-runner into a person who can run for 3 miles without needing a medic.

One week ago I started having fatigue pain and cramping in my lower left leg. In my day job, I do remedial massage for just these conditions, but you know what they say about troubleshooting your own “chassis,” to borrow an expression from the book.

Blinders on.

I’ve spent the last week treating the area of pain, with every tool in my toolbox. Massage, topicals, kinesiotape, targeted stretches – static and AIS – rolling, hot soak… no workie.

Dicharry’s book is exactly what I was looking for. As well as helping me troubleshoot my own issue (which turns out to be very little to do with my lower leg, and everything to do with stability above and below,) I think it will be invaluable for my work.

The irony is that had a client come to me with this issue, I would have addressed it in a similar way (minus the physical therapy aspects) as the book describes, but when it comes to myself, it’s impossible to do the evaluative tests I do with my clients. Reading this book gave me new tools for self-evaluation, and I’m very grateful and hopeful I can find a solution before it becomes a serious injury situation.

I’ve read a lot of theory and technique books. This one is well written, with lots of biology/physiology stuff for the anat/phys geeks like me, but accessible, so that runners without the physiology background will understand the “why,” not just the “how.”

I especially appreciate that the work Dicharry does (and writes about,) is not only in line with what I’ve learned from very progressive bodywork instructors, but also acknowledges that there are aspects of bodywork, treatment and fitness, that we just don’t have any answers for… yet. Within that framework, we can take what we do know, and extrapolate concepts, but don’t get married to those concepts. We may know more soon.

Highly recommended for weekend warriors, athletes, trainers and bodyworkers.

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