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Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot Paperback – 30 Apr 1998


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Paperback, 30 Apr 1998
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Product details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Cedarwinds Publishing Company; 2nd edition (30 April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0915297256
  • ISBN-13: 978-0915297252
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.4 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 690,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

John L. Parker, Jr. has been writing about runners and running since his competitive days as a member of the early Florida Track Club. His novel, Once a Runner, first published in 1978, has become a cult classic among runners.

The first edition of Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot was widely hailed as the first clear and cogent explanation of heart monitor training for runners. In 1996 using the training principles in this book, Parker finished the 100th running of the Boston Marathon, at age 50, in 2:58:45.As a masters triathlete, he has been ranked nationally, and has completed an Olympic distance triathlon in 2:09:15.

Parker has written for Runner's World, Running Times, The Runner, Ultrasport, Outside, and other magazines. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 84 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 July 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a 9 minute miler, always wondering why my training didnt produce the result I thought I was capable of. After buying a heart monitor, I just couldnt figure out why my heart was going fast, and why I wasnt able to keep going at a high rate. This book told me exactly what I was doing wrong, and offered lots of advice and instruction on how to USE a heart monitor as opposed to WEARING one. It is brilliant!!!.. Since reading this book, I am now training properly, feeling less tired, doing MORE miles, and loving my running. It was hard at first, following the advice of the book, and often I had to walk to keep my heart down. But now I have cracked it, and I feel great. My advice BUY THE BOOK!!!
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51 of 51 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Aug 1999
Format: Paperback
This is the best heart rate guide I have found for runners. Parker isn't anal about rules - like Jack Daniels, he gives you rules, but also gives you a lot of common sense with which to interpret, bend and if necessary break the rules. Plenty of training schedules for runners of all levels. Nice section on "periodization," or why you need to build up training intensity over a period of weeks, peak, rest and start the process over again. Nice personal stories. Great sense of humor. Parker is also very open about when and where to "cheat" on the rules.
This book, plus my monitor, has changed the way I train. My easy running is easier (I even stop and walk without guilt!), my hard running is more structured and intense, my injuries are nil and my times are improved. I would recommend it to any runner who is serious or thinking about getting more serious.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 31 Mar 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have never been able to stick to any form of running program in the past, so I have waited three months before submitting a review of this book.

I received this book for Christmas and read it from cover to cover before deciding that I would follow the twelve week novice program. I was already walk/running about 10 to 15 miles a week, but without any plan of where I was going. I often wore a heart rate monitor, but never really used it to train properly. This book changed all that, and I set myself a target of running 10km in less than an hour at the end of the program.

Before commencing the training, I did manage to complete 3 miles in 30 minutes, but my heart rate was around 90% MHR (Maximum Heart Rate) and I couldn't go any further or faster! This has often been the way of my "training" in the past - I have always struggled to increase speed or distance. The book taught me that this was because I was training at too high intensity, which was leading to burn-out and a lack of enthusiasm for running. All of my training took place on a treadmill at the Gym, so my records for time and distance are very accurate.

Armed with a plan, I followed the program almost religiously. I changed very little, other than to adapt the interval distances for treadmill running. My first three mile run at 70% MHR took 43:41, and my 5 mile run at the same pace was 1:06:48. In three months I never missed a single day of the program. It started off easy with a weekly mileage of 17 miles, including one "hard" day which wasn't too taxing. My times were gradually reducing and it was enough to keep me motivated.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By "wellywhittock" on 2 Jun 2005
Format: Paperback
Being an overweight lady of a certain age began running at the beginning of the year. I ran too fast too soon and came up against injury after injury. I invested in a heart rate monitor and have religiously stuck to Parkers advice in this book and have been injury free since. My fitness and endurance is improving and it feels much easier to keep to percentages than worry about how many minutes running/walking I should be doing which is how most plans work. This book is written with humour and is a very easy read.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Aug 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is a useful way to learn to use that heart rate monitor you just bought. The book is oriented mainly to runners, but the concepts Parker presents apply equally well to other endurance sports. It is easy, entertaining reading, but with enough information to put together a basic HRM training program. The training program Parker presents is simpler and easier to follow than many others I've seen.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By T. Matcham on 5 May 2004
Format: Paperback
From a coughing, spluttering, over enthusiastic, over weight, over 40, would be runner to a keen (read addicted) runner in a couple of months. This book has singlehandedly transformed my life. I have lost around 1 1/2 stone and now run at sub 10 mins per mile at less than my 70% recovery threshold. I can breathe easily and I now race, for fun!!! I'd also recommend the Runners World web forums for sharing experiences and progress.
You need this book!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 May 2003
Format: Paperback
This book should be read before you buy your HRM. It poo-poos the idea of 'heart rate zones' and instead uses a maximum HR for each level of activity, eg <70% instead of the usual 60-70% zone.
The chapters are well written with humour and give a good explanation of the concept of training using a HRM. There are several suggested 12 week programs for beginners through to "advanced" runners. Each program gets slightly harder week by week but the program relies on running distance as opposed to time. A minor gripe but when you run on rural tracks you can't always measure the distances involved and a time based session would probably be of more benefit.
A worthy introduction to HRM training.
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