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How She Did It: A High-Performance Guide for Female Distance Runners with Stories from the Women Who've Made It

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An essential guide for female athletes navigating the world of competitive running, featuring 50 candid interviews with women who've made it How She Did It begins with the kind of prescriptive information that any athlete needs to be healthy and successful in the world of competitive running, with advice and findings from the nation's top bone health experts, sports endocri An essential guide for female athletes navigating the world of competitive running, featuring 50 candid interviews with women who've made it How She Did It begins with the kind of prescriptive information that any athlete needs to be healthy and successful in the world of competitive running, with advice and findings from the nation's top bone health experts, sports endocrinologists, nutritionists, sports psychologists, and more. It's an Olympic caliber support team at your fingertips to ensure you're training and competing efficiently—and, most importantly, safely. The book then moves into the payload: unflinching and intimate interviews with 50 well-known female runners who reveal their deepest fears, their worst choices, and their greatest achievements. Collectively, these voices are the embodiment of strength, meant to educate, inspire, motivate, and direct developing athletes who want to see how far—and how fast—they can go. With Molly and Sara's personal stories interspersed in sidebars throughout, How She Did It serves as a friendly, encouraging mentor for anyone navigating the world of long-distance running.


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An essential guide for female athletes navigating the world of competitive running, featuring 50 candid interviews with women who've made it How She Did It begins with the kind of prescriptive information that any athlete needs to be healthy and successful in the world of competitive running, with advice and findings from the nation's top bone health experts, sports endocri An essential guide for female athletes navigating the world of competitive running, featuring 50 candid interviews with women who've made it How She Did It begins with the kind of prescriptive information that any athlete needs to be healthy and successful in the world of competitive running, with advice and findings from the nation's top bone health experts, sports endocrinologists, nutritionists, sports psychologists, and more. It's an Olympic caliber support team at your fingertips to ensure you're training and competing efficiently—and, most importantly, safely. The book then moves into the payload: unflinching and intimate interviews with 50 well-known female runners who reveal their deepest fears, their worst choices, and their greatest achievements. Collectively, these voices are the embodiment of strength, meant to educate, inspire, motivate, and direct developing athletes who want to see how far—and how fast—they can go. With Molly and Sara's personal stories interspersed in sidebars throughout, How She Did It serves as a friendly, encouraging mentor for anyone navigating the world of long-distance running.

30 review for How She Did It: A High-Performance Guide for Female Distance Runners with Stories from the Women Who've Made It

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dana Klein

    Wish I had this book as a resource when I was in high school. Such an important read for any young girl with big running dreams. Also a crazy reminder of just how young women’s distance running really is. The women’s 5k wasn’t added to the Olympics until 1996!!! WTH 💀

  2. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I really enjoyed this book. The history of female distance running is fascinating. I also loved seeing the progression in attitude and confidence that these professional runners gained throughout the decades. Also Shalane Flanagan seems to be a real treasure.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    This was SO good and SO interesting. Dont hate on me

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sharondblk

    Thanks to NetGalley for the E-ARC of this book, which is basically a series of vignettes about successful female American runners. I think it's meant to be inspirational, but to me it's not. They all have something I lack as a runner - natural talent. All these stories of "I strapped on a pair of shoes and ran a 30 minute ten k. Then I started training hard".are actually a bit depressing for me. That said, both these women and the runners I have met out in the world have all been very supportive Thanks to NetGalley for the E-ARC of this book, which is basically a series of vignettes about successful female American runners. I think it's meant to be inspirational, but to me it's not. They all have something I lack as a runner - natural talent. All these stories of "I strapped on a pair of shoes and ran a 30 minute ten k. Then I started training hard".are actually a bit depressing for me. That said, both these women and the runners I have met out in the world have all been very supportive of middling runners like me. Anyway, the stories are interesting, although a whole book of them got a bit samey for me, particularly since it is a US based book, so I have not heard of many of the runners interviewed. I think for the right person (a talented female athlete, or someone who is inspired by people with natural talent who work hard!) this would be a very good read, and a great gift in hardback.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Edwin Howard

    In HOW SHE DID IT, by Molly Huddle and Sara Slattery, the book looks at what it means to be an elite female distance runner. It covers training, diet and the loving community of runners. It also covers some many of the challenges that women have to overcome like sexism, balancing motherhood with running, and finding a voice on the world stage of distance running that historically male centered. Huddle and Slattery start the book covering their experiences on becoming top runners. They reflect on In HOW SHE DID IT, by Molly Huddle and Sara Slattery, the book looks at what it means to be an elite female distance runner. It covers training, diet and the loving community of runners. It also covers some many of the challenges that women have to overcome like sexism, balancing motherhood with running, and finding a voice on the world stage of distance running that historically male centered. Huddle and Slattery start the book covering their experiences on becoming top runners. They reflect on successes and failures and cover wide range of topics like a in-depth look at diet, how to train hard, but not too hard, and how female anatomy and how a woman's body matures has to be taken into account when training. As a male runner, parts of the book I couldn't connect to and didn't really impact me in my training, but I can only imagine a female runner will find it quite informative. That being said, I appreciated the section on diet because it was broken down very specifically, without getting too wrapped up in the science. Huddle and Slattery then collected thoughts on elite running from fifty top female distance runners. While all their stories differed, there seemed to be a mantra that they all have found running to be a rewarding part of their lives. Some seemed to only enjoy the moments of victory, while others enjoyed training the most and the races simply signified the end of that training period before they start the next training cycle. Injuries were a theme across most of their stories and how many of them overcame them and even used the rest and recovery as fuel for the fire to run faster was lots of fun to read about. If you enjoy inspirational stories and finding success in overcoming obstacles, then you will enjoy HOW SHE DID IT. Thank you to Rodale books, Molly Huddle and Sara Slattery, and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Becky Wade

    How She Did It is an invaluable resource for female runners—especially those in high school with long-term aspirations. It’s long overdue and comprehensively written, and, in my opinion, should be required reading for all female high school and college runners. Thank you, Molly and Sara!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Purdom

    Definitely recommend for any young runner, especially female or coaches of female runners.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Hannah H.

    I was excited to read such a unique book that combines narratives about hard-earned success and a history about women’s distance running. The fact that “How She Did It” includes decades of distance runners’ stories is really insightful and helpful—particularly because their story is in their own words. There were common themes of taking joy in the process, leaning on your supports, and fueling your body. Those are components of the sport that I’ve seen to be important, but there’s an added level I was excited to read such a unique book that combines narratives about hard-earned success and a history about women’s distance running. The fact that “How She Did It” includes decades of distance runners’ stories is really insightful and helpful—particularly because their story is in their own words. There were common themes of taking joy in the process, leaning on your supports, and fueling your body. Those are components of the sport that I’ve seen to be important, but there’s an added level of authority when their importance is lauded by Olympians and world record holders. That being said, I would have appreciated more clarity from a few of the athletes. I know that they’ve experienced more than they shared in the few pages (many of these women have been explicit about motherhood, eating disorders, injury, and mental health on other platforms). That stuff seemed to be cut out—by the women or the editors, I’m not sure. Brevity is a necessity when you’re compiling 50 stories, but I think a bit more exposure on significant issues would have been beneficial. The only other drawback I saw was that there wasn’t a diversity of body types and distances beyond the marathon. I’d have loved to read stories about runners like Amelia Boone, Courtney Dauwalter, and Ann Trason. The omission of female ultra running shows that there’s still a lot ground to gain in the ultra running sector of our sport. Overall: I highly recommend this book! It humanizes the elite female athletes that many runners look up to, and it provides a comprehensive look at the mistakes and milestones that come with the sport.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Hedges- Rankin

    I accidentally became a marathon runner in 1988. I have since run or walked fifty marathons, one 50K, one 50 miler and (guessing) around 38 half marathons. For me, distance running or walking has been a life-changing event. Today I still appreciate the multi-health and stress management benefits that running and walking have provided through the years. I really enjoyed 'How She Did It'. This read was an inspirational and informative collection of success, resilience from over 50 top female distan I accidentally became a marathon runner in 1988. I have since run or walked fifty marathons, one 50K, one 50 miler and (guessing) around 38 half marathons. For me, distance running or walking has been a life-changing event. Today I still appreciate the multi-health and stress management benefits that running and walking have provided through the years. I really enjoyed 'How She Did It'. This read was an inspirational and informative collection of success, resilience from over 50 top female distance runners, (with several names I have followed through the years.) The book strikes the perfect balance between both information and storytelling. The book also covers many of the challenges that women have had to overcome like sexism, balancing motherhood with running, and finding a voice on the world stage of distance running that was historically a male’s sport. Definitely recommend this inspirational read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jana Viktoria

    „Essential“ seems a bit exaggerated. I agree that it may be good for a high schooler to read about the pathways (and struggles) of a number of badass female distance runners. And it’s certainly a good reminder that they deal with anxiety, injuries and well… food issues as well. They‘re mortals in the end (OMG I just called Paula Radcliffe a mortal 😉). Plus it’s fun to look at their times…. But in the end, and for someone who’s been in the sport a bit longer (or reads the Fast Women newsletter), „Essential“ seems a bit exaggerated. I agree that it may be good for a high schooler to read about the pathways (and struggles) of a number of badass female distance runners. And it’s certainly a good reminder that they deal with anxiety, injuries and well… food issues as well. They‘re mortals in the end (OMG I just called Paula Radcliffe a mortal 😉). Plus it’s fun to look at their times…. But in the end, and for someone who’s been in the sport a bit longer (or reads the Fast Women newsletter), there’s not much news here… nice to have compilation - and I’m not sure what „more“ I was expecting… (especially considering that some of them like Deena Kastor have their own books out)… In the end, I was a bit bored.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Such a great compendium of stories from some of the biggest names in the sport. While the front of the book has some good general overview information on health, nutrition, and training, it doesn’t offer all that much actionable information for young female athletes - there are certainly other resources that offer more thorough information. The best part of the book is, as the title implies, the dozens of interviews with women who have hit the pinnacles of their sport, from short-distance track Such a great compendium of stories from some of the biggest names in the sport. While the front of the book has some good general overview information on health, nutrition, and training, it doesn’t offer all that much actionable information for young female athletes - there are certainly other resources that offer more thorough information. The best part of the book is, as the title implies, the dozens of interviews with women who have hit the pinnacles of their sport, from short-distance track to endurance racing. The tidbits and information that they offer is as inspiring as it is helpful. This is a great book for any runner or fan of women's running.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michelle S. Berryman

    I loved this book and highly recommend it to all of my friends who run (male or female). I also think this book is a great read whether you run or not. You can easily abstract “running” and replace it with almost any interest - business, hobby, other sport, academic pursuit, etc. So many of the experiences broadly translate across life and the lessons learned are easily adapted to other situations. This is a great book for women, for girls from middle school on, for anyone looking for inspiratio I loved this book and highly recommend it to all of my friends who run (male or female). I also think this book is a great read whether you run or not. You can easily abstract “running” and replace it with almost any interest - business, hobby, other sport, academic pursuit, etc. So many of the experiences broadly translate across life and the lessons learned are easily adapted to other situations. This is a great book for women, for girls from middle school on, for anyone looking for inspiration.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gabs Roman

    I found parts of this book super interesting and great and other parts kind of meh. I think partially because I'm not a young woman or a competitive runner, so all the advice to young runners fell a little flat for me. That's fine, I don't have to be the target audience, but if you're looking solely for interesting stories of women's experiences, there's some other stuff you'll have to wade through as well. I would have loved bigger chunks of just hearing stories, personally, but there were grea I found parts of this book super interesting and great and other parts kind of meh. I think partially because I'm not a young woman or a competitive runner, so all the advice to young runners fell a little flat for me. That's fine, I don't have to be the target audience, but if you're looking solely for interesting stories of women's experiences, there's some other stuff you'll have to wade through as well. I would have loved bigger chunks of just hearing stories, personally, but there were great bits of that tucked in here

  14. 5 out of 5

    Carianne Carleo-Evangelist

    I absolutely adored this book. It had some familiar faces and stories, but I loved “meeting” new to me runners. It was fun to see how some deviated from the framework of each story, providing a little flavor. I. Love that they found a way to include Grete and Gabe whose stories are very much part of the collective story of women’s running. I can’t even imagine how hard the process of choosing whose stories to include was, let alone trying to make contact with all the runners and their representa I absolutely adored this book. It had some familiar faces and stories, but I loved “meeting” new to me runners. It was fun to see how some deviated from the framework of each story, providing a little flavor. I. Love that they found a way to include Grete and Gabe whose stories are very much part of the collective story of women’s running. I can’t even imagine how hard the process of choosing whose stories to include was, let alone trying to make contact with all the runners and their representatives. Well done all around.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Nearly everyone in this book of memoirs, at least since 2000, mentioned that the most common regrets/issue in womens running is lack of proper nutrition, and the injuries that are associated with it. Both sad and not surprising, it's a stark reminder that we, as women, have some deeply ingrained shit we need to get over, for our own health! Nearly everyone in this book of memoirs, at least since 2000, mentioned that the most common regrets/issue in womens running is lack of proper nutrition, and the injuries that are associated with it. Both sad and not surprising, it's a stark reminder that we, as women, have some deeply ingrained shit we need to get over, for our own health!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I wish I could go back in time and give my 16-year old self this book. Absolutely amazing. One of those books that makes you realize you were not alone in the challenges you faced, and that it is not heroic to face things alone. Major kudos to Molly and Sara for being a voice in bringing to light so many positive female athlete role models and "how they did it." I wish I could go back in time and give my 16-year old self this book. Absolutely amazing. One of those books that makes you realize you were not alone in the challenges you faced, and that it is not heroic to face things alone. Major kudos to Molly and Sara for being a voice in bringing to light so many positive female athlete role models and "how they did it."

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This is a very detailed book about women runners, which I am oddly really into following right now, so it was fun to dig into my minor obsession. I only wish they gave this book a little bigger budget so that it could have had color photographs and a little nicer overall layout. They probably would have if this book was about MALE athletes, ya know?

  18. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    1

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Byrne

    Audience is geared for younger runners but still inspiring to read the stories of so many strong and successful female runners. Very well researched and positive.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    It was really good but definitely for runners only.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nat

    Hyping me up to run my first marathon soon.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Remah Jane

    I really enjoyed reading all of the interviews from successful female runners. This book was a great concept and source of unity.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    I'm not the intended audience, but what a great book to guide young female runners. I'm not the intended audience, but what a great book to guide young female runners.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Albane Fery

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Doyle

  26. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Scott

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joannah Hinz

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Stewart

  29. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Whittington

  30. 4 out of 5

    Molly Wynen

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