How well I remember when this book was published in 1977. I was a teenager and hardly anyone I knew jogged or ran for pleasure. In those days it was rare to see anyone on the street actually doing exercise. With this book, Jim Fixx revolutionized the world of exercise, and especially the sport of running. This book precipitated the running boom of the late 70's when every granny laced up her New Balance's or Saucony's and hit the streets. Jim Fixx was an overweight business executive who began running simply because he wanted to improve his tennis game. He loved running so much that he gave up tennis to concentrate on increasing his weekly running mileage.
Fixx writes extremely well and it's still hard to put this down. It's held up remarkably well in the intervening 25 years and the information is still current and just as riveting as it was back then. Fixx has special chapters on kids running, women, senior citizens, injuries and the Boston marathon. He spends considerable detail on expounding upon the magical "runner's high" which occurs on runs lasting more than 45 minutes. Based on considerable personal experience, I will say that the runner's high is freequently elusive, but you'll know when you get it.
Jim Fixx died of a heart attack in the late 1980's while running on a quiet Vermont road. Unfortunately, this became the butt of some late night jokes made by overweight comics thinking it was ironic that a running guru would die of a heart attack. But Jim Fixx has the last laugh: he helped usher in the running boom and cement this avocation in the lives of millions of people. This is an outstanding book, as interesting and readable as it was when it was first published all those years ago.