A new friend, a book and a chat!

Hi Guys,

today I like to take the opportunity to introduce new friends and a book to you! Afterwards we even get to have a little chat.

Meet my new slow jogging friends

magdaLet me introduce Magda!

Magda works with Hiroaki Tanaka, professor at the Faculty of Sports and Health Science at Fukuoka University in Japan. She comes from my neighbour country Poland! She is around my age and loves plant-based food! How cool is that?

Stick with me it gets even better. Magda loves running, slow running. She works in Sports Science, has run ultras and helped Professor Tanaka write and bring his book to the English speaking world. A book I hear you say? I’ve got your attention now I know.

Now let’s meet Professor Hiroaki Tanaka:


Hiroaki Tanaka, Ph.D. and Professor at Fukuoka University, Japan, is the founder and director of its Institute for Physical Activity. Born in 1947, he is a forever-young author of numerous books on slow jogging and healthy lifestyle. This surprisingly efficient training method, a result of many years of research, helped him complete a marathon in 2:38:50 at the age of 50. Known as Japan’s running guru, the legendary scientist has inspired runners all throughout his country, from elite long-distance runners to the elderly and those suffering from lifestyle diseases, to slow down and jog with a smile for a health body and mind. 

As you all know, I’m a huge fan of slow running. I jump at every opportunity to read and learn more about it, I do my own experiments and love to share what I learn. There aren’t that many books on the topic and some of the books are quite radical in areas like diet and “off the charts” for my taste. So far I had not come across a book that sums it all up in an easy format and offers a balanced approach, while also including scientific backing. There always had been something I completely disagree with or just couldn’t see the way the author did, not enough proof or lacking information in important areas.

A new Book!

I’m excited to say this changed with the book “Slow Jogging”. You can read the introductory chapter for free, be warned if you buy it via the link, I’ll get insanely rich via Amazon commissions and spend all my new found riches on new running shoes!


Why am I excited about the book? Before I “met” Magda, I wasn’t aware that there are people actually running slow – intentionally – like me and enjoy it … IN PUBLIC!!! Or that it’s “a thing” in Japan and starting to become more and more popular all over the world!

The book offers a balanced scientific approach that reflects my own experiences. Multiple times, while reading I had to say “oh yes that’s what happened to me!”. I like the fact, that it offers sound diet recommendations, instead of the shifting of ratios between carbs/fat and protein, which in the end just means a more complicated way to count calories to achieve a deficit.

I also got a kick out of the fact, that the author “gets” that some people don’t eat a huge breakfast and enjoy the comfort of a satisfying dinner! Little gems like this make the book just lovable!

Who is this book for?

I’d say it is targeted towards beginners, people interested in the benefits of slow running. It also includes information for more experienced marathoners. For example it mentions carb loading, but with a twist! (I won’t spoil it, you got to get the book or ask Magda below in the comments!

You can also get a proper, more detailed review of the book at Dr. Mark’s website under http://naturalrunningcenter.com/2016/07/15/slow-jogging-health-pain/, he also wrote the foreword to the book.

A little Chat

Instead of heading out for a slow jog with Professor Tanaka, Magda agreed to answer any questions we (my blogging family and myself) have. How cool is that?!

SRG: “What goes through your head when you are running slow and get overtaken by a walker? Or if that doesn’t happen to you anymore, maybe you can share what others experienced there?”

Magda: “After several years of slow jogging experience, my pace is not-that-extremely-slow anymore. It’s not fast by any means, but usually I don’t get overtaken by walkers anymore. I did happen in the past – while a bit embarrassing at first, it became part of the fun. I used to count how many walkers I was overtaken by in a given slow jogging session 😉 Also, in Japan we have cute t-shirts with a turtle logo that say “You go first. I’m slow jogging here.” on the back :)”

SRG: “I want that t-shirt!”

“Any research going on right now in the area of slow running that we want to know about?”

Magda: “Right now our research is focusing on the elderly – their pace is really slow, but still the interval slow jogging (1min slow jogging and 30s walking: super easy even for the least fit ones) helps to induce PGC-1 mRNA and increase muscle volume.”

SRG: “You recommend to run even slower than anyone else! I know this shocks everyone. Can you explain this?”

Magda: “Well, our average fitness level now is critically low, lowest in human history. Running that used to be an obvious and indispensable activity in our lives, became a super high-intensity exercise for many. By making is slow – even slower than generally recommended – we are making it accessible even to the most anti-running individuals.
Also, the benefits from running really slow are not very different from running faster (in terms of both calorie expenditure and general health improvements) so why not go slow enough to enjoy it?”

SRG: “The book states that no warm-up is required. I notice if I don’t walk for up to 15 minutes before I start running that there is a heart-rate spike. Am I running to fast initially or generally?”

Magda: “It might mean the pace your start with is relatively fast. Try doing your initial 15 minutes at your regular walking pace – but jogging – and let me know how it went!”

SRG: “I will do that! Thanks for the tip.”
“I’m struggling immensely with keeping a cadence of 180 while running slow, you also recommend this in the book. Do you have any tips on how to improve it?”
Magda: “We hear it a lot. It’s usually related to a wide stride – try taking really small steps, say 1/3 of your regular walking/running steps. Also, forefoot landing naturally makes your stride shorter.”

SRG:Thank you so much Magda, for taking the time to answer all my questions. Now you can head out for your run!”


Guys, if you have any questions, feel free to comment below! It’s really rare to have access to so much knowledge and I’m sure you appreciate it as much as I do.

I will try and add Magda here, so she can respond to any questions.


38 Replies to “A new friend, a book and a chat!”

  1. I enjoyed yesterday’s views of your beautiful corner of Ireland in autumn and this book review, Prof. Dr. Tanaka seems really cool.
    While I don’t like running very slow, I learned the best thing I could do for my body on non-work out days was run slow. It doesn’t matter the pace. I still want my interval and tempo and long run sessions, but the other two days are to be out there, cover ground, and recharge on the move. My running improved by doing that, cutting off 18 minutes for my latest marathon PR. It’s what allows one to push harder for the workouts.


    1. Thanks! I found it really hard to run slow enough initially. Now as I am getting faster it is easier. I also don’t think I could run as much as I do if I would speed up too much.


      1. Absolutely. No injury since I re-started 1.5 years ago and I suppose the slowness makes it enjoyable every day so I want to get out and run. I hope by next year my base is big enough to also partake in events.


  2. SlowRunnerGirl, thank you so much!
    I’m really happy we have “met” and very grateful for your thoughts on the book and our chat 🙂
    I hope one day we can actually go for a slow jog together – I loooove your pictures and would love to see you there! Oh, and our slow T-shirt is in Japanese but if you want it anyway just let me know your address 😉


    1. Thank you Magda! You are now my secret slow running coach, so we will meet in person surely! I’ve been practising to start my runs slow instead of walking, but in the beginning have so much energy it’s hard to not get carried away especially when the heart rate is so low! I will keep at it though!
      I was considering that the shirts are in Japanese … but there was a glimmer of hope!


  3. Oh my, what a great post, RunnerGirl. Right down my street. I’ve ordered the book! Gee, now I want to take you for a Guinness so we can discuss. Maybe we can get together with Magda and Dr. Tanaka too! I’ve kept detailed records of my heart rate to pace ratios since I first started running and over the course of two years the progress I’ve made by running aerobically is remarkable and I’m nowhere near done yet. I raced a 10k recently and dropped my time from 1:03:54 to 55:09. I’ve hardly done anything but LSDs all summer long so the performance boost came entirely from improved cardiovascular function. Train slow to race fast. Thank you for this post!


    1. Thank you so much Dave! I suppose we have a plan! Invite Magda and Dr. Tanaka to Dublin and run slow up and down the coast celebrating with Guiness! Surely that would be a good reason for you to visit this beautiful island again! All we have to do is get enough people interested in slow running! Let me know what you think of the book and we get started 😊! I am aware they are doing trips around Europe from time to time through University – so who knows!


      1. Hey, I just wanted to add that we both like beer at least as much as jogging so celebrating with Guinness sounds just perfect 😉 We are going to be in Europe in Spring 2017 so let’s keep in touch about a possible get-together!


  4. Ha, ha. I like the way your mind works, RunnerGirl. I will be sure to let you know what I think of the book. As far as another visit to Ireland goes, you’re right, who knows…maybe the Dublin Marathon one day, huh? That would be fun.


  5. This is so interesting!!! Thank you for taking the time to share this. It’s such an enjoyable and healthy way to exercise and you’re inspiring me with your posts.


      1. Good question … I got it as a Kindle, but wish I had the hard copy. Still would get the Kindle again, because it’s instant delivery. However I read it twice and the my Kindle is always near me, not so all my hard copy books.


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