Review: Second Wind

Second Wind is a book that practices what it preaches. It is a complete work of minimalism. From the cover, its description of proper running form and footwear, the low page count, to the easy to read words of the author, Levi Dodd.

Contrary to many other running technique books, Second Wind is very simplistic. While others may be full of research talking about how there is no scientific basis behind arch or pronation types or studies about injury rates among athletes with different types of running form, Second Wind mentions research in a way that you would talk about it to a friend.

“In recent studies, distance runners who stretch and “get loose” before they run burn more calories per mile than the same runners did when they chose not to stretch before the run.”

The book reads almost like a conversation. The words flow in such a way that it felt like Levi was talking himself. First he tells the story that lead him to write this book.

“I’m sorry Mr. Dodd, I hadn’t paid attention to your chart but had only looked at the x-rays and MRI’s of your knees. Based on that, I was expecting to find a 65 year old man sitting where you are and I was going to suggest full knee replacement.” I was 26″

Levi next moves on to stride mechanics and form. It was a pleasant surprise that he begins this discussion with the arms! It seems like Levi has done much research and taken what has worked best for him from multiple sources and complied them for the reader.

Next Levi moves onto lesser discussed subjects such as posture, stretching, and speeding up at the end of a training run or race.

He also goes into a discussion about different aches and pains, all of which I feel he experienced in his “previous life” before coming to realize the important of what he has now written a book about. From sore soles to back aches, he gives practical and useful advice.

It was almost refreshing, picking up such a light and simple book. Less detail and science oriented than some, but more of an enjoyable read than most.

What I liked so much about this book, its simplicity, is also what may turn many people away. If you are a seasoned athlete with a good base of knowledge about running form, injury prevention, etc, this book may not be for you. If you are looking for cited research and complex explanations, look elsewhere.

However, I would happily give this book as a gift to any novice runner. The instructions and explanations in Second Wind are simple, easy to understand, and extremely practical. It is short enough to not be overwhelming and can easily be read in a few days.

If you wish to purchase Second Wind, it can be found on

Levi also has a personal blog which is as informational and enjoyable to read as his book, at