Customer Reviews


17 Reviews
5 star:
 (10)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


85 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting, Highly recommended.
Matt has written a book which brings together much of the latest thinking on training for runners. He moves forwards the "central governor" theory of Tim Noakes and proposes programmes to develop the central governor to be able to let you run faster, for longer. (The central governor theory says that when you are fatigued it is not really that your muscles have run out of...
Published on 25 Nov 2007 by Nigel Charman

versus
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting collection of ideas, but not "revolutionary"
Matt has collected an interesting selection of training ideas, methods and research from a wide range of sources, and related them to the "Brain Training" concept. I found a lot that I have seen before, but not always related to distance running.
The first half of the book collects inputs from track training, pilates, yoga, swimming, cycling, ultra-endurance and a...
Published on 23 April 2010 by Pete Lanc


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

85 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting, Highly recommended., 25 Nov 2007
By 
Nigel Charman (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Brain Training for Runners: A Revolutionary New Training System to Improve Endurance, Speed, Health, and Results (Paperback)
Matt has written a book which brings together much of the latest thinking on training for runners. He moves forwards the "central governor" theory of Tim Noakes and proposes programmes to develop the central governor to be able to let you run faster, for longer. (The central governor theory says that when you are fatigued it is not really that your muscles have run out of energy or got damaged but that your 'brain' decides to protect them from damage by letting them do less and less work for the same 'mental' effort - as evidenced by the fact that when the brain knows the finish is near, the brain lets the brakes off and much of the 'fatigue' disappears).
I have started a training programme from this book but not yet completed it, (aimed for London 2008), and it includes plyometrics, cross-training, distance and tempo running, most of the mainstays of distance training, but in slightly different proportions. I am excited about this book, and it is certainly worth reading.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars training your brain to run better, faster and longer, 28 May 2009
By 
Mr. J. W. Howarth "Wes" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Brain Training for Runners: A Revolutionary New Training System to Improve Endurance, Speed, Health, and Results (Paperback)
I've followed a number of Matt's programs from training peaks with great success. I decided to buy this book to gain a greater understanding of running and training principles.

The book gives you a great insight into how the brain governs running performance and capability. This coupled with the other training techniques that Matt discusses provides a solid basis to improve your running.

I've been following the level 3 10k programme now for 6 weeks and can already see a significant improvement in my running, and more importantly in understanding what my bady is telling me!

I have no reluctance in recommending this book to anyone, it is excellent and well worth the money.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superceded, 22 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Brain Training for Runners: A Revolutionary New Training System to Improve Endurance, Speed, Health, and Results (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book, which draws together research on fatigue in an interesting read.

Before you buy it you should know that Fitzgerald has changed many of his ideas about how best to game the Central Governor, and published his new thinking in Run: The Mind-body Method of Running by Feel. The later book also has the advantage of being available on Kindle.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepare your Min, prepare your Body, 27 Sep 2010
This review is from: Brain Training for Runners: A Revolutionary New Training System to Improve Endurance, Speed, Health, and Results (Paperback)
I bought this book before my first marathon. I highly recommend reading it and using it to prepare for your event. It rationalizes fatigue and how your body deals with it and then goes into the core elements of running training. A must read for any runner planning on getting serious.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sound Theories - Eventually, 10 May 2010
By 
Graham Mccarthy "gmccarthy15" (Cheshire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Brain Training for Runners: A Revolutionary New Training System to Improve Endurance, Speed, Health, and Results (Paperback)
Have you every wondered why you aren't running faster than you are in your selected race (5K, 10K, Half-Marathon or Marathon)? Especially when you seem to have enough left in the tank to put on that final sprint for the last 500m. I have and so it seems has Matt Frizgerald. Brain Training for Runners goes a long way towards explaining this paradox and what you can do about it.

Predicated upon the `central governor' principle it explains (quoting real research) how your brain limits your performance to protect your body from damage and that this limit can be set too low and can be increased. The bad news is that your brain cannot be consciously re-set but must be taught to re-adjust its limiter upwards.

Brain Training for Runners is one of the more interesting books on how to improve your race times. At 562 pages it is a weighty tome split into two main parts. Part 1 (202 pages) is the more interesting section covering the `what' and `why' elements. Part 2 is a sequence of training plans for each of the four distances.

The real `meat' of this book is in Part 1 where all of the ideas are presented and justified over ten chapters: Overview, The Running Brain, Breaking Through the Wall, Target Pace Training, Pursuing the Perfect Stride, Cross-Training as Brain Training, Stress and Recovery, Mastering the Experience, How to Outsmart Injuries and Fuelling the Running Brain. As with all such works you have to run the theory through your own plausibility filter and evaluate whether it rings true; mostly for me it does.

The book has two weaknesses in my opinion; the first is that for me the links between the theories in part one and the training plans in part two are weak. I had to read through twice to find out why the practices employed in the training plans would address the limitations identified in the theory section. My second reservation is that I don't really subscribe to the whole training plan approach to running, plans seem too rigid for my liking; I'd like to think I had a life outside of running. Frizgerald recognises this and mitigates it by suggesting a more flexible approach but this is at odds with the format of the book.

Brain Training for runners is still a very useful and engaging book and worth reading but it could have been more concise and brought out the links between the theories and observations to the remedial actions more clearly.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting collection of ideas, but not "revolutionary", 23 April 2010
This review is from: Brain Training for Runners: A Revolutionary New Training System to Improve Endurance, Speed, Health, and Results (Paperback)
Matt has collected an interesting selection of training ideas, methods and research from a wide range of sources, and related them to the "Brain Training" concept. I found a lot that I have seen before, but not always related to distance running.
The first half of the book collects inputs from track training, pilates, yoga, swimming, cycling, ultra-endurance and a variety of established sports training methods and new research. He is very short on attribution and referencing, making it difficult for the reader to be satisfied about the reliability of the sources.
Exposing these training ideas to a wider audience provides an excellent resource to the runner who is always questioning their training. I fully agree with the basic concept of the book, that physical training is not the only or even the most significant influence on a runners performance. But this is not "new" or "revolutionary", these ideas have been used by coaches for years and been in many training books. Matt has just collected his personal selection of these.

The second half of the book is a collection of training programmes. In my opinion, this is just a waste of paper.
Read the book, investigate some if the ideas further, relate these ideas with your own body and experience; and then work some of them into your own training
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but another Matt Fitzgerald book of waffle, 17 Jan 2011
This review is from: Brain Training for Runners: A Revolutionary New Training System to Improve Endurance, Speed, Health, and Results (Paperback)
Having read a third of the book which is most of the good stuff, the rest is training programs.

He talks of the failure point being the brain and not the body which makes sense and is quite interesting. This is the second book I have read of his and if you are more than a complete novice then there is a lot of padded waffle you need to get through. Quite often you can skip whole pages.

Other bits are non mainstream advice such as pay more attention to your body than your doctor which is not the first time I have heard this and actually agree with. He has healed his own injuries by adjusting his workout based on body feedback.

So in summary, it was worth buying but only gets 4 stars because of the amount of waffle in it again!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Run smarter and faster, 18 Dec 2010
This review is from: Brain Training for Runners: A Revolutionary New Training System to Improve Endurance, Speed, Health, and Results (Paperback)
So much good stuff in this book. I am a huge fan of Tim Noakes who in the Forward writes of Matt's book "It represents a real advance" and "I expect runners who follow these guidelines to have more successes more frequently than if they were to follow other programs, mine included" I have had monster training weeks in years gone by but now have neither the time or the inclination to do those. I still love to run and race and the advice of Matt Fitzgerald means I am able to maintain my standard with minimal (once to twice a week) running as long as I do strength training and crucially the plyometrics. I like to create my own training plans taking ideas from multiple sources but I consider Fitzgerald the King currently. If I ever get to run anywhere near the amount he suggests in any of his plans I consider a break through performance a no brainer.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing., 12 July 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Brain Training for Runners: A Revolutionary New Training System to Improve Endurance, Speed, Health, and Results (Paperback)
Had high hopes for this book, but right from the off it annoyed me with it's apparent contradictions. The author tries to justify his claims with scientific proof, which served only to confuse. I didn't even get as far as a running program because I couldn't figure out what it was I was supposed to be doing.

Far too convoluted. It almost gives the impression the author is trying to demonstrate HIS knowledge of science and running, rather than help the readers improve theirs.

Not impressed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Got me to a PB I didn't think I could achieve!, 29 Sep 2013
By 
C. M. Perkins (Stirling, Scotland.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book has enabled me at achieve a seemingly unattainable goal. Having been doing 52-53 minute 10K's, something I read in a running magazine said `With the right training, almost everyone is capable of running a 45 minute 10K'. So I thought, `OK, that seems like a challenge, I'll give it a go'. I'd seen this book mentioned or reviewed in another magazine and liked the sound of the approach so I bought it.

The central theory is that when your legs feel like lead and are wearing out, they're not actually physically running on empty; that is your brain telling you to ease off because it's trying to protect you from what it thinks might become damaging activity (you're actually a long way from doing real physical damage). You can prove this to yourself if you've ever experienced that final surge to the finish line - if your leg muscles actually had no energy left to work with you couldn't do this - it's your brain `letting the brakes off' when it sees the end is in sight.

So Matt's plans train your brain over time to feel what `close to exhaustion' feels like and learn that it's OK to go just a little bit further. The result for me, having followed a Level 1 10K plan for 18 weeks (the lowest of 3 levels in running volume) was a PB of 44:45 on a hilly, off-road 10K course yesterday!

The book you'll read is only 200 pages - that's the thinking behind the theory and an explanation of the exercises and I like Matt's writing style (Iron War is an excellent read, and I've also followed his advice in Racing Weight). The rest is multiple training plans for 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon - three levels for each for low, medium and high volume. This I really like as I'll be following another plan to run a faster 5K next year and may also make use of the marathon plans in future now I know this system works for me.

You pick a set of target paces from a table based on a recent race time and then all sessions tell you what to do at what pace (eg `6 miles at base pace' or `6x400m at 3K pace'). Whilst there are base pace runs every week and warm ups and cool downs at recovery pace, the core sessions are tough - because you've got to get your brain used to, well, pain and know you can get through it. The amazing thing for me was looking ahead a few weeks to future workouts and thinking `I'll never be able to hold that pace for that distance', and then when I got to that week I was achieving those times. It's those tough sessions that are the most rewarding - and your brain is learning every week, `Wow! I can run at that speed over that distance and not suffer any physical catastrophe!'

I definitely felt a breakthrough about half way through the plan when I realised I was significantly stronger and faster - I was comfortable at the top end of my base pace range for long runs. In the final phase of the plan I had confidence I was going to achieve my goal time and I did - it hurt and the finish couldn't come quick enough when my watch ticked over 44 minutes, but 18 weeks ago I really didn't know if I'd be able to achieve what seemed like an impossible target.

Matt has since developed these ideas in `RUN', which focuses more on running by feel than doing everything as rigidly as he sets out here. I like the structure of these plans. Obviously life gets in the way of training plans and I couldn't do every workout as suggested, but I got a feel for the system and knew if I needed to drop back to do a missed session, squeeze in an extra one or just turn the page to the following week. And my improvement over the first half gave me faith in the approach - if I just stick to the programme I'll achieve my goal - there's a nice certainty about that when you're training and seeing progression, knowing that someone has laid out a plan to get you where you want to go.

All in all, a system which I really liked and enjoyed working with - and clearly it got me a great result and I'll be following these plans again. If you don't have a GPS watch or a smart phone running app you will need a stop watch and a way of measuring set course distances like 400m, 1K and 1 mile. I've used mapometer.com for this, now I use Runkeeper on my phone which is brilliant for giving you pace time feedback.

So, based purely on my experience, if you have a challenging goal time in mind for a particular distance - or just want to see how fast you can push yourself - this is a great book to buy!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews