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Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot [Paperback]

John L. Parker
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 30 April 1998 --  
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Book Description

30 April 1998
You have nothing to lose but your old PR's!

Attention Runners, Triathletes, Cyclists & Fitness buffs!

Do you suspect that your best race or sleekest body is in there somewhere, waiting for the right schedule, coach, or series of workouts to bring it out? The author agrees. He thinks most athletes and fitness buffs train incorrectly.

This book is the only one on the market that comes with a guarantee: Use the system for a month and if you're not running or training better than you ever thought possible, return it for a refund and an apology! The book even includes a chapter of case histories of runners who began using the program and within weeks started seeing amazing improvements. And not by running harder, but by using the heart monitor to ensure that their recovery days were run easy enough!

The author offers athlete/readers the following enticements:

* Race and train better than you ever thought possible
* Get fewer injuries and avoid overtraining
* Train efficiently without feeling tired all the time
* Learn to USE a monitor, not just wear one
* Get out the door in 10 minutes, WITH A PLAN!
* Adapt the monitor to YOUR training, not the other way around

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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 (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 408,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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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.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
84 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot 5 July 2002
By A Customer
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
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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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful and easy to read 30 Aug 1999
By A Customer
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 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book transformed my life 5 May 2004
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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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beginner's perspective 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
5.0 out of 5 stars this is the only running book you need 2 Jun 2005
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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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HRM for the complete novice? 29 May 2003
By A Customer
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic training help, and not just for the cardiovascular system.
I bought this to use with my heart monitor, as I wanted to avoid variations in shape, like when you binge run one day and need several days to recover after that. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Wanderer75
5.0 out of 5 stars This is so useful!
I thought that either HR training was so obvious that why do you need a book about it, or that it was unnecessary. After all I've trained without one for years. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Bookwormrunner
5.0 out of 5 stars Explains a difficult subject clearly
When I bought my Garmin 110 and heart rate monitor I had no idea about training to heart rate and why I should bother. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Sog
5.0 out of 5 stars Grrrrreat
Is easy to understand and helps you use your heart rate monitor correctly. I only used this plan for a short amount of time and I could notice the difference. Read more
Published 13 months ago by P
5.0 out of 5 stars It works - provided you do as asked
I spent 30 years pacing myself by feel alone and never running more than 3 times per week. I have a research background, so when a friend recommended this book late last year I... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mr. R. I. Lilley
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for heart rate training
I have owned a heart rate monitor for years but not got the best out of it. When I purchased the new Garmin 6 series I bought this book to use alongside it. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Robin
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT!!!!
John L Parker is a genius!

I had the chance to read this book yesterday after a few weeks. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Matthew
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart Monitor Training
If you're looking to improve in any area of fitness then this book is a must. It's an easy read and the results I've achieved specifically with running are fantastic - I was fairly... Read more
Published 20 months ago by AJKTF
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart Monitor Training
I was some what intrigued by the reviews of this book. Well I am very suitably impressed and now only train with the heart monitor and enjoy my running all the more.
Published 21 months ago by Andyt
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book
I have been running since I ran for my school at 14, I am now 68 and was still running until an injury (In Karate, not running) stopped me for about a year. Read more
Published 23 months ago by david hunter
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