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Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Breakaway Books; 3 edition (August 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891369849
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891369841
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #588,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"I tried Parker's heart rate monitor training program for two months, then obliterated my best racing records at 5K, 10K and 15K. And not just by a little." -- Jeff Testerman, St. Petersburg Times

"The bottom line is: I ran 20 PR's in 26 races." -- Mark Guralnick, Running Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

John L. Parker Jr. is the author of "Again to Carthage" and "Once a Runner," and is a former editor of Running Times Magazine.

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Customer Reviews

Very well written, easy to follow, and honest.
Laura S.
This is the best book on heart rate monitor training for runners out there.
Alexander Solon
Stick with it, it really does work, and it makes sense.
J. Rice

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

224 of 234 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
I bought this book after reading all the 5-star reviews from Amazon readers, but found it not so useful for someone like me who is new to running. It's written in a friendly, conversational style but the author assumes you are already a runner and know quite a bit about training. For example, Week 1 of his "Novice" training program includes a 5-mile run and several 3-mile runs, and he assumes you already know about intervals, tempo runs, and other training techniques. If you're below this level, there's not much guidance for you here. This book is probably terrific for the experienced and committed runner, especially one who has had some coaching. However, if you're just starting off with running for fun or fitness, an alternative I'd recommend is the chapter on heart rate monitors in "The New York Road Runners Club Complete Book of Running and Fitness" (Random House, 1997), which I found after I purchased this book. It offers a much shorter, clearer discussion of training with a heart rate monitor and includes a good plan for those just getting started.
Happy running to you experienced folks and us beginners too!
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 17, 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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58 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Actual User on May 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
During the years that I've been training and competing in races from the mile to the marathon, I've read everything I could get my hands on about running. This Book Is The BEST!. It is the only book I have ever recommended to anyone on the subject. Here's why.. (1) The author is extremely readable. He informs without being condescending or a becoming a statistical drone. (2) The program works for you and with you. No more guessing whether you're training to hard or not hard enough. As you're fitness improves (and it will), so does your pace -- with NO ADDITIONAL effort. (3) Running has becomes a pleasure again. The core of the program are runs done at 70% of your max heart rate. These runs build endurance at a pace that leaves you looking forward to the next run. (4) The book gives training plans for those who don't want to plan a program, but, also explains the "philosophy" clearly enough so that one could confidently adapt your training to meet your individual needs.
Now, you may notice that I haven't mentioned faster race times. I believe the author has the best comment on that -- IF YOU DON'T RUN A PERSONAL RECORD AFTER FOLLOWING HIS PROGRAM. HE PROMISES TO REFUND YOUR MONEY.
I could go on but the proof is in the pages. If you want to improve your health and your running THIS IS THE BOOK.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is the best book I have found for heart rate monitor training with running. He explains why and how HRM training works. He gives good max heart rate tests. He also suggest training programs and gives several case studies. I also bought Ed Burke's book "Precision Heart Rate Training". It was more suited for a variety of sports and did not go into the depth that Parker's book does. Sally Edwards' "Heart Zone Training" is too basic for the serious recreational athlete. This is THE book to get if you have or are thinking about getting a HRM to use with running!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Before you strap on a heart monitor, you should definitely read this book. It will improve your PRs (it did mine). If your running has become a chore, the tips in this book will put the fun back into your training. I definitely recommend this book!
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Format: Paperback
The primary emphasis of this book is on how to use a heart rate monitor for sports performance improvements. The text is focused on runners, but the principles described apply to cycling, swimming, or cross-country skiing, in short in can be applied to any sport endurance training. Nevertheless the same principles can be used for general fitness improvement.

When I bought this book, about six years ago, I was looking for an introductory reference on the use of heart rate monitors for general fitness improvements, and wasn't disappointed at all, since what I learned really worked out for me: Armed with a Polar Heart Rate Monitor (the old M61) I was able to drop more than 200 lbs in about eight months, and the heart rate monitor training has helped me keep those lbs off for over six years. Not only I went fro size 44 to size 32 pants, but also obtained substantial benefits that included weight control, cardiovascular improvements, lowered blood pressure, and improved muscular-skeletal strength and flexibility, but also the myriad of mental and psychological benefits derived from being in the best shape of my life.

The book teaches you how to calculate the most important parameters for heart rate monitor training: Maximum Heart Rate, Resting Heart Rate, the Recovery Ceiling, and the Threshold Flour. When I first started training with the heart rate monitor I was unable to jog even for five uninterrupted minutes without gasping for air. After a few months of following one of the training principles lay out in the book (The Hard/Easy Principle): alternating hard training days with easy training days, I was able to go jogging for 90 uninterrupted minutes six days a week.

The book is written in a clear and conversational way, that makes it a must have for anyone and everyone looking for introductory information on the use of heart rate monitors training for sport performance, health improvement or weight control.
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