Book Review- Slow Burn

 book slow burn.jpgAs I mentioned a few posts (and days) ago, Joe and I are once again hitting the trail, working on our fitness walks/runs. Yesterday, I was thinking about a very inspiring book that I read a few years ago, Slow Burn by Stu Mittleman and Katherine Callan, that I found invaluable when I first started to run, about 5 years ago.Stu Mittleman is a reknowned fitness expert and LONG- distance runner ( just one example- he once ran 571 MILES in 6 days! ) who has helped countless people to improve their health and to achieve their own personal fitness goals without the usual 'no pain, no gain' mindset.  

Stu strongly advocates slowing down, and has built a fitness plan around the concept of running slowly, enjoying the pleasure of the experience, even noting and enjoying the scenery  ( in the book he talks about seeing clearly and not watching the world rush blurrily by ) when running. And you know, it really, really works. By slowing down and taking a nice easy pace, the distance that I was able to run increased dramatically, I enjoyed the sessions so much more and my fitness improved steadily. I felt energized at the end of a run around the lake, not exhausted. This a must read for anyone starting out or wanting to take a fresh approach to running, fitness and health in general.  

Joe and I have got some serious 'catch-up' to do but I know we will get there. And for added incentive and inspiration, I plan to re-read this excellent book, asap. Not only is it a guide to fitness and running; Stu Mittleman also takes us on his own personal journey, outlines his own diet choices and shares many stories of the clients he works with. A very interesting and informative read and not just for runners or wannabes. Tis the season to get fit….Slow Burn can help you get there.

PS As with all my book reviews, I forwarded a copy to the author,  in this case Stu Mittleman. I was pleased to receive the following email from him, earlier today, in reply.


Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention…I truly enjoyed your comments, as well as those of the other readers who posted their thoughts.

Sometimes, I do feel that the concept of “Slow Burn” is less about “slowing-down”, and more about how to truly express and empower oneself in the physical world. To do so one must: Burn Fat (not sugar); Alkalize (not acidify); and Focus on the Process (rather than obsess about the outcome)…You are right, though, for most people that means “slowing down” first. The end result of the “Slow Burn” training program is increase productivity in a fat burning state – i.e.: Training one’s body to run faster without working harder…What  a Concept!

Looking forward to speaking with you soon!

Until then, I remain…

Yours for the distance,

Stu Mittleman

6 responses

  1. Slowing down certainly does enhance the enjoyment of running but it’s also much better for your body. Every time you “over exercise” you are more likely to experience poor performance, structural injury, immune dysfunction, increased sugar cravings and body fat, and fatigue between meals. So, slow down and enjoy.

  2. Thanks for your comment Jennifer. As Stu M. explains in the book (wonder if you have also read this?) its all about staying in the aerobic zone as opposed to anerobic (sp?) where all sorts of damage can happen. I think a big part of why people who consistently over-train, look a lot worse for their misguided efforts including looking years older than they actually are. Certainly an indication of the damage that is also going on inside.
    BFN, Geraldine

  3. Interesting post. I’ve always thought that running would be great exercise for me….I could be alone, I could do it anywhere, I would be outside, etc. But when I was younger, my brother made fun of me for the way I ran. “You run like a girl!” he shouted at me, while laughing—but hello? I AM a girl. So I’m shy about running in front of people. Also I’ve never exercised much during my life. But now, at 41 (nearly), I think it’s time. And bathing suit weather is fast approaching!

  4. Hi again Kim, This is a great read…very inspiring and a different concept than most fitness regimes. Stu is now in his late 50’s I believe and he looks great!!! When I started running several years ago I was very out of shape, needed to do a lot of catching up but for the first time in my adult life I was wearing a Size 8 tall (Im 5’9″) which I believe would be equivalent to about a US Size 4-6, I was thin and trim and I felt terrific. I didn’t really diet either but I was VERY consistent with runs and walks. I was doing about 25-30 miles of running/walking a week, split it up with a couple of friends (one a runner, one a walker) and it only took a few months to achieve these great results. Alas, I have slipped into the non-fit category again but working to turn that around asap. Let me know your progress and if you read the book. Stu is an exceptional person and has helped so many people. BFN 🙂

  5. Geraldine,

    This sounds like a fabulous book! I’m a runner who is currently NOT running, as I am still struggling with the plantar fasciitis I developed while training for a half-marathon last year. I was focussing on the goal of not only running the half, but in finishing it in under 2 hours … How ironic that pushing myself to meet that goal resulted in me having to stop running completely! I will have to check out this book as I work on recovering and returning to running … Thanks!

  6. Hi Tania, Glad you stopped by! This is a fabulous book and what a thrill to get a note from Stu, re: the post. He is an amazing man.

    I also suffered with plantar fascitis about a year ago, I had a good therapist etc working to help me to get over it and finally it was totally gone. A very annoying injury in that it stopped me from doing much in the way of even walking for any distance.

    Let me know how it goes with getting back on track. We are cross-training these days, some running, lots of walking, stepper, yoga, weights….it all feels good. 🙂

Thanks so much for your comments!

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