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Whether you’re a new runner or a long-time competitor, having a well-thought out training plan is vital. If you’re not confident in your ability to create one yourself, go out and get a copy of Daniels’ Running Formula (2nd Edition). In my experience it is by far the best book on training theory for the masses out there.
It’s got several selling points:
1) Credibility – Jack Daniels is a PhD in exercise physiology and has been a leading researcher in the field for decades. Most of his work deals specifically with distance running and how to improve your training. So when he talks about a study and what it means for your training, he knows he’s right because half the time it’s his own study that he’s citing!
2) Accessibility – Even though the information presented is rooted in physiology, Daniels doesn’t expect you to understand the science behind it all. He explains the importance of different workouts and training in terms of how it helps your running instead of why. Even for runners with no background in the sciences, the concepts are easy to grasp and apply.
3) Usefulness – A lot of training books go into great detail on the science or the theory and provide precious little in terms of practical application. Daniels commits virtually every page in his book to usable information. There are detailed, 24-week training programs for every race distance from 800m to the marathon and often includes several versions depending on your ability level.
There are also charts for determining training paces, in-depth sections on racing strategy, how to put together your own training program and everything in between. Even at 280+ pages it doesn’t feel like there’s any filler.
4) New Information – If you have the first edition of Daniels Running Formula, it’s still worth it to pick up the new edition. While much of the information is the same, there are a number of major changes between the two editions. The two that I use the most are the inclusion of training plans for the 800m (the shortest distance in the first edition is 1500m), and a new table for calculating tempo pace for long tempo runs.
The first edition includes paces for 20-minute tempo runs, but the new version includes paces for tempo runs lasting from 20 minutes to an hour. It may sound like a minor addition, but it’s one of the tables I use the most. For me, the new edition was worth it for that addition alone.
Whether you’re just getting started in competitive running or are looking for a new way to spice up your training, Daniels Running Formula is a vital addition to any runner’s (and coach’s) library.
Get the Daniels Running Formula from: AbesBooks.com or Amazon.com