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Brain Training For Runners: A Revolutionary New Training System to Improve Endurance, Speed, Health, and Results Paperback – September 4, 2007


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Brain Training For Runners: A Revolutionary New Training System to Improve Endurance, Speed, Health, and Results + The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition: A Cutting-Edge Plan to Fuel Your Body Beyond "the Wall" + Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance (The Racing Weight Series)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: NAL Trade; 1 edition (September 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451222326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451222329
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Matt Fitzgerald coaches online through TrainingPeaks.com and serves as a communications consultant to sports nutrition companies. A former editor at several top fitness magazines, he is the author of numerous articles and books. He lives in Northern California.

More About the Author

Matt Fitzgerald is an award-winning endurance sports journalist and bestselling author of more than 20 books on running, triathlon, fitness, nutrition, and weight loss, including Brain Training for Runners and Racing Weight. His byline appears regularly in national publications including Men's Journal, Outside, and Women's Running. An experienced running and triathlon coach and certified sports nutritionist, Matt serves as a Training Intelligence Specialist for PEAR Sports and as a featured coach on active.com.

Customer Reviews

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It's an easy read with a lot of useful training tips.
MB
My favorite advice from Fitzgerald is his incorporation of proprioceptive cues into each of these training plans.
A. T. Guillette
If you are ready to take your running to a new level, I strongly recommend you read this book.
M. Lee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 55 people found the following review helpful By M. Lee on April 1, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying that I'm a 42 year old runner who got back into running about a year ago. Was way out of shape and knew I needed a big goal in order to get my brain to take things seriously. Chose to run the San Diego Rock N Roll marathon and got started with 20 week training program. I managed to finish, but made many rookie errors along the way. However, I was hooked so I started reading every book I could get my hands on in an effort to run faster, more efficiently, and pain free.

Of all the books, I had narrowed my "favorites" down to three = Lore of Running by Timothy Noakes, ChiRunning by Danny Dryer, and Run Less Run Faster by the Runners World and the Furman Institute. I found these books contained the science, running form, and training plan I needed that made the most sense and seemed to be the most current, effective information available.

When I received Brain Training for Runners, I was immediately impressed and I'm happy to report that it does an excellent job of summarizing the key points in my three favorites noted above and is now my new favorite.

If you are ready to take your running to a new level, I strongly recommend you read this book. The author does a good job of explaining the role our brains play so you can understand what's going on behind the scenes...and train smarter to push through mental barriers that may be holding you back from your true potential. He is a believer in the "central governor model" proposed by Timothy Noakes and I think he does a great job explaining how it all works in layman's terms us runners can comprehend.

In my opinion, the author also does a great job of explaining stride mechanics and providing some excellent cues for you to focus on while running to improve your stride.
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103 of 111 people found the following review helpful By A. T. Guillette on September 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
Author, coach, triathlete and Active Expert Matt Fitzgerald presents a revolutionary approach to running in his latest book, Brain Training for Runners. Fitzgerald compiled evidence from the latest research in exercise physiology that challenges conventional runner's wisdom by shifting focus to a "brain-centered" model.

The two-part book begins with a well thought out presentation of the brain-training system applicable to runners of all experience levels. Fitzgerald's motto, "train the brain and the rest will follow," explains how the main goal of brain-training is to develop a heightened awareness for feedback from the running experience to increase maximal capacity, efficiency of stride and injury-prevention.
The Brain Training System

The three feedback loops--collective, objective and subjective--compose the awareness center of the brain-training system. The first step in transitioning to a brain-centered training model is with a thorough understanding of the feedback loops, which Fitzgerald explains extensively in the book. Basically, the collective feedback loop includes classic training strategies; the objective feedback loop records and applies your own performance data such as speed, distance and heart rate to customize the brain-training system; and the subjective feedback loop is information relayed from body to brain through experience. Developing effective communication of this feedback is essential to getting the most from your training.

Fitzgerald's journey through the biology of the brain was a tad overwhelming, but he actually suggests that the reader skip forward to the next section, which illustrates how well he knows his audience.
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59 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Charles R. Connolly Jr. on September 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
Fitzgerald's new book is not as good as the "Cutting Edge Runner." The book looks thick, but there isn't as much substance to it as you would think. This is because half the book consists of training plans. Fitzgerald does back up a lot of what he says with scientific research, but there are still some conclusions he draws that experienced distance runners reading the book will disagree with. This is especially the case with his chapter on hydration. Nevertheless, Fitzgerald does an excellent job of incorporating new ideas on training into his book. There is probably nobody better than him at keeping runners updated on the latest advances in training research and methods. While the book may not be as good as "The Cutting Edge Runner" it is well worth reading for any runner of any level.
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69 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Jason V. Kilmer on June 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
I have one question for Fitzgerald and those who rave about this book and the author's mixture of triathlete training and the proven philosophies of coach Jack Daniels: Do the great African runners (Kenya, Ethiopia, Morocco) do a lot of cross training or triathlons? I think you all know the answer to that is a resounding no. They run. They run multiple times daily. They run in groups that push each other in each run. They have fun. They live and eat together. They run on dirt all the time and avoid injury. They wear light minimalistic training shoes that allow the foot to actually move and spread out properly. They run constantly on hilly or mountainous terrain. But they don't cycle, and they don't spend any time in swimming pools or the weight room at Gold's Gym. They improve their running by focusing on their running and enjoying the spirit of community competition. It is part of their culture. Americans and Europeans can't compete in the distance events because they will not train in this manner. Americans run on asphalt, generally avoid mountainous terrain, wear thick clunky shoes advertisers have convinced them are necessary to protect their heels, strike with their heels with each footstrike, and then wonder why they get hurt and aren't as fast as their international competitors.

To combine the principles of a great triathlete's training with the running philosophy of Jack Daniels may be "revolutionary" in the sense that no one has put such a combination forward promising improvement for runners, but that may be because it is a combination that overlooks the fact that the worlds best runners don't use any such training ideas.
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