on 17 July 1998
For anyone serious about coaching the distance events, this is a must-read. Technically sound and practically written, it is a valuable tool in the quest for achieving optimal athletic performance in the distance events. Although it doesn't go into full depth of physiological concepts, it does more than an adequate job in this regard for most coaches. Certainly its sections in terms of physiology are much more extensive than most other books of similar subject-matter. But its greatest strength is its adaptability towards implementation in distance training programs. The bottom line is that it is a must-read for distance coaches of any level.
on 3 August 1998
Of all the books on training runners, this on book offers the most comprehensive explaination of what it take to get to the other level. Although its aim is for serious runners and coaches, it can be used as a reference guide for those 'tweener runners who are not weekend warriors but neither national class or better atheletes. This is a great book that I wished were around when I was in high school. If you ever wanted to run that sub 4:00 mile then this is where you would learn how to do it. Great book!
on 2 February 1998
If you are a competitive runner who races 800m or farther, look no further than this title for serious training advice. This is a virtual bible in terms for technical advice, training guidelines, and example programs. It covers the science, strategy, and psychology of seriuos training and competition. No serious athelete or coach should be without this book.
on 19 June 2013
David Martin was a well-known American coach and professor of physiology at Georgia State University. The late Peter Coe, who died in 2008, was best-known as the coach and father of Lord Sebastian Coe.
The book is divided into eight chapters:
* The Biomechanics of Running
* Muscle Physiology of Running
* The Energy Dynamics of Running
* Heart, Lung and Blood Adaptations to Running
* Developing Running with Periodisation of Training
* Developing Total Fitness
* Preparing to Race
* Managing Balanced Training
The first four chapters include a significant amount of scientific detail. Chapter five is the longest chapter and includes some very interesting examples of the training which Seb Coe was doing as a 16-year-old. The authors comment that the art of coaching is `to identify the smallest amount of the most specific work needed to ensure continual progress in performance ability. All other training is overtraining and increases the risk of injury, excessive fatigue or the problems of staleness.' The sixth chapter observes that `after training, probably the most important contributor to improved performance is remaining injury-free for long periods'.
The penultimate chapter includes a pace chart for the marathon, although the authors' background in dealing with elite runners rather than mixed-ability runners is betrayed by the fact that this pace chart does not cater for anyone running slower than 5 minutes per kilometre (which will give a time of 3 hours 31). The section on track racing also includes a pace chart, although it does not cater for anyone running at slower than 90 seconds per lap (which will produce times of 11 minutes 15 for the 3000 metres and 18 minutes 45 for the 5000 metres).
The book does contain the odd eccentricity. For example, when discussing interval training, David Martin describes an interval as the period for which an athlete runs (e.g. each 400m in a session of 400m reps). As the British coach Wilf Paish pointed out in a review of the book, most coaches and athletes use the term `interval' to refer to the break between two periods of running (e.g. 90 seconds of rest between 400m repetitions), and this is more consistent with the definition in the Oxford English Dictionary.
As the book was written in 1997, it is inevitable that a few sections now look out of date, such as a discussion on how soon a woman will run a marathon in less than 2 hours 20 minutes. This is quite a demanding book, but it does contain a great deal of interesting and useful information.