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Lore of Running, 4th Edition Paperback – December 3, 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Timothy Noakes is Discovery health professor of exercise and sports science at the University of Cape Town and director of the medical research council/UCT research unit for exercise science and sports medicine at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa in Newlands. Noakes received his MD from the University of Cape Town. He is a veteran of more than 70 marathons and ultramarathons. He is an editorial board member for many international sport science journals and a former president of the South African Sports Medicine Association. In 1999, he was elected as one of 22 founding members of the International Olympic Committee's Olympic Science Academy. Noakes is also a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. He and his wife, Marilyn Anne, reside in Cape Town, South Africa.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 944 pages
  • Publisher: Human Kinetics; 4 edition (December 3, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873229592
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873229593
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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I think it is important that readers understand precisely what this 931-page books IS, and what it is not. Dr Noakes is a trained physician, a professor of exercise science, and a highly published researcher in the field of exercise physiology. His meticulously researched book (the online references occupy over 100 pages) offers an authoritative compilation of the latest and best research to guide the intelligent coach or self-coached runner in the structuring of productive and safe training regimens. For those who lack a PhD in physiology but still want to understand WHY they should perform specific types of training, based on current research, this book is simply unsurpassed. If all you want is a "table" of training prescriptions with no grounding in research or explanation of validity, then look elsewhere: this book is not for you.
In my opinion, Dr Noakes has done an excellent job of extracting results from current research and translating them from the highly specialized language of sports physiology into language that the intelligent layperson can understand. Indeed, I found the book pitched at a slightly less technical level than the popular competitor by Martin and Coe---a book I hve also found to be invaluable.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of the Fourth Edition is Noakes' unapologetic challenge of THE prevailing paradigm in distance running; he questions the widely accepted belief that an individual's VO(2) max, or maximal oxygen uptake figure, is the key limiting factor in distance running performance.
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Format: Paperback
I have been reading about running for the past couple of years--probably more than I ought to. I came upon this book recently in the library (most of my reading is online!) and upon poring through its pages have realized that a lot of what I've read either came from this book, or this book has a lot of what I've read in it. Noakes has written this tome relying upon the best science we have for running with all of its available studies. He bases his conclusions and statements on journal articles where possible and where not does not go overboard in conjecture.

He is an accomplished marathoner and ultra marathoner and in his practice has treated a lot of runners.

Go ahead and buy any book on running. It will have a section on nutrition with the basics that we all know. Contrast with the nutrition section in this and it's actually worth reading; he spends many pages on such details as the proper sodium levels in a beverage, the amount of liquid we need to drink while exercising (not the vague catch-all of "drink as much as you sweat"). His guides on injury and footware are the best researched I've found anywhere.

This is not just the best book on running I've seen, it's the best book _by far_.

I slight this book in two areas:

1) Injury treatment seems to be really slanted substantially toward footwear and orthotics. Now, there may be a reason for that I'm not aware of, and he does give time to exercises and "holistic" approches for injury prevention, including training the hips for, say, a knee problem and not just the feet, but I would have just preferred a bit more.

2) Running technique.
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Format: Paperback
It would be hard to overstate the reach of this landmark tome on running. Noakes has put together, quite simply, THE authoritative resource on all things running. With a stunning level of historical and scientific research, Noakes reviews the entire global history of running, drawing well-reasoned conclusions about sports medicine, psychology, all aspects of training, injury prevention and acheiving the highest level of performance possible. Then he backs these theories up with irrefutable testimonials from the world's best runners of all time.

Noakes does all of this with a measured and humble attitude that presents his views with confidence, while acknowledging that there are always exceptions to any theory. Most importantly, he recognizes the importance of self-discovery and the illusory nature of "training secrets."

I can't recommend this book more highly, but offer one word of caution: don't try to digest this all in one sitting. It's a read best taken in small doses.
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Format: Paperback
This book is one of the best resources for a runner of a coach that I've come across. Noakes details a diverse sampling of current theories in exercise science, and explains them in a readable and comprehensible fashion. Alongside Daniels' Running Formula, this book is at the head of the pack with regard to allowing the non-scientist to understand research-based explanations concerning running performance.

Noakes is so rigorous in his standards of proof that he dismisses as unproven much of what is commonly accepted in the running community: the idea of improving VO2Max as a prime training goal, hydration recommendations, carbo loading, etc., unless there have been multiple clinical studies demonstrating their effectiveness, not only in improving a certain beneficial element of the runner's physiology, but in improving actual performance. This is refreshing, in that whatever he describes as beneficial will certainly improve your performance, but it also leads to a lot of question marks concerning what types of training are effective; a lot of practices are dubbed "potentially beneficial, but not potentially useless".

This is probably unsatisfying to the majority of runners, who want an authority to determine which of these potentially-beneficial practices are probable enough candidates to warrant incorporation into a training program, but that isn't Noakes' M.O. However, the book should provide solid shoulders from which current and future athletes--amateur researchers all--can experiment to determine just what works for them. Therefore, I strongly recommend that you purchase this book.
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