I recently used coolrunning.com's Couch Potato to 5K plan to start jogging and have since run two 5Ks. While that plan ultimately worked for me, I so wish I had discovered Run Your Butt Off!, from Runner’s World, first. The RYBO plan addressed the things that I found most challenging and would have made my journey more pleasant.
Firstly, the authors insist that you run very slowly. I thought I had been running slowly, but discovered otherwise the first time I ran with another person. The authors describe exactly what running slowly looks like and I can tell you first hand it makes all the difference in the world for a new runner.
They also encourage readers to go at their own pace and stick to whichever stage of the plan they are on if they fall behind. It’s totally self-paced. Each chapter has an eating plan component, which brings the focus back to weight-loss (although it’s not distracting if that’s not your primary goal).
The book is interspersed with stories from a test panel, tips from a running coach, and lessons from a nutritionist. While I read the book in its entirety the format lends itself to browsing. RYBO is directed at new runner’s, and will be especially useful for the typically sedentary.