Running Formula Book Review - The Running
Training Book You Have Got to Have
you were allowed to have one running book only I would probably
recommend you to get Daniels
I love this book.
In a nutshell... this book teaches you:
how to train
how fast to train
when to do what type of running training
how to design your running program
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He gives good advice whether you are training for a 1500 metre-race, a
marathon, or anything in between.
book in your hands, you can design an 18 week 10K-program, a
12 week 5K-program, a 15 week half marathon-program and so on.
And thanks to the book, you
know why you do it that way.
Daniels offers the template for your
running program, and you know how to fill in the blanks.
That's the single biggest reason why this book is always by the side of
In short, top-coach Jack Daniels overdelivers in
this outstanding book.
After reading his book you will know a lot more about how you can
improve your running by setting up a good running program.
You will not
know everything there is to know; there is no information in the book
about stretching, a runners' diet and running economy for example. But
Daniels' Running Formula will help you make your running training so
much more effective and, if you will, more intelligent.
Should Read This
tempted to say: every
When you are a casual runner, and you are happy with the running
programs you find on the net, then I'd say this book might be lost on
But if you want to improve your performance, understand why a running
program is set up a
certain way, why you do the types of runs you do and how you can
maximize performance with the least amount of discomfort, then Daniels Running Formula
the book to get.
In Chapter 1 Jack Daniels introduces ten training
These principles are not ground-breaking.
But they lay the
foundation for Daniels' approach.
Because the training principles are
of a general nature Daniels' Running Formula caters for a large crowd.
Not only elite-runners, not only newbies, but every runner out there.
Chapter 2 lays out the components of
Daniels identifies six components; a few of them are:
improving ability to
transport blood and oxygen
increasing aerobic capacity
Then these components are translated into different types of running
training (easy runs, long runs, threshold running etc.). Jack Daniels
emphasises that every time you go on a run, you need to know which body
system you are training and what for.
Chapter 3 introduces Daniels'
Daniels uses VDOT,
a reference number based on recent race
times or time trials.
It defines your current abilities and the paces
you should be training at.
"When you know your VDOT, you
can eliminate a great deal of guesswork from training, and avoid
I like that he puts a lot of emphasis on preventing injuries.
Throughout the whole book you can find his "better safe than
Chapter 3 contains two important graphs.
One graph gets you to establish your VDOT based on race times. The
second graph uses your VDOT to establish how fast to do the different
types of running training identified in Chapter 2.
In Chapter 4 to 7 Daniels explains the types of
running training thoroughly. Knowing how fast to do a certain type of
running training which you learnt in Chapter 3 is really only half the
Daniels explains how he wants you to build up your mileage,
how much rest to take in between intervals and so on. There is much
valuable information in these chapters.
I highly recommend
these chapters (heck, you should read the whole book at
least a dozen
times!) a few times so that you pick up on all he is saying here.
And again, as said before, he often helps you focus on preventing
injuries. Sub-headings like "Don't do too much too fast" and "Don't
push yourself past the proper intensity" say it all.
Another incredibly valuable chapter is Chapter 8.
Many, many runners out there do the same type of running training every
week again. Chapter 8 explains that, when training for a specific
event, your training needs to go through separate phases. Daniels
identifies four phases:
Daniels says that in an ideal world each phase would be six weeks in
length. So twenty-four weeks in total leading up to your key event. He
recognizes however that in reality, many runners do not use a 24-week
So that's why he gives you an overview which shows you how long each
phase should be if you use a shorter number of weeks. How convenient !
Chapter 9 is focused on what happens
when injuries do happen or when you do have to take time of running. It
also answers the question of how to get back to your level of running
training following a setback.
If I'd have to say anything negative about this book, then it would be
that Chapter 10, "Utilizing your training
environment", is a bit unnecessary. He explains how to deal with flat
terrain, hills, wind and altitude et cetera. Nothing wrong with that,
but the book would not have been any worse without this chapter, that's
Chapter 11 is about preparing for
competition, such as defining your goals, deciding how many races and
which races to do, preparing for your race, your race-day routine,
ideas for a pre-race warming up and so on.
I especially like the parts
where Daniels talks about the vigours of the race and that there will
be moments when you will not be feeling all that great: "I remind my
runners that if they find themselves feeling lousy as they run
alongside a group of other runners, they should realize that those
around them must be feeling at least as terrible or they would be ahead
of my runners."
He explains what to do in moments like those. One tactic which might
seem funny is "When struggling... speed up". This one was
for me and has helped me quite a few times since.
Chapter 12 to 14 give you the 24-week
program templates for any race from 1.500 metres to a marathon. With
the knowledge gained in the previous chapters you can add your own
twist to these programs and develop your own running schedule.
Running Formula is a
will teach you not only how to run and how fast to run.
book will also help you build up your knowledge of
running. Pretty much upto a
point where you'll be pretty comfortable creating your own running
programs from scratch.
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