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

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Matt Fitzgerald is an acclaimed endurance sports and nutrition writer and certified sports nutritionist. His most recent book, Iron War, was long-listed for the 2012 William Hill Sports Book of the Year, and he is the author of the best-selling Racing Weight. Fitzgerald is a columnist on Competitor.com and Active.com, and has contributed to Bicycling, Men s Health, Triathlete, Men s Journal, Outside, Runner s World, Shape, Women s Health and has ghostwritten for sports celebrities including Dean Karnazes and Kara Goucher.

TIM NOAKES is the Discovery Health professor of exercise and sports science at the University of Cape Town (UCT), as well as co-founder 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 2002 he received a doctor of science degree from UCT for seminal research findings in the exercise sciences. Noakes is one of the 22 founding members of the International Olympic Committee s Olympic Science Academy and is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. A veteran of over 70 marathons and ultramarathons, Noakes is the author of the award-winning "Lore of Running".
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: NAL; 1 edition (September 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451222326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451222329
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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By Charles C. on September 26, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback
This book is thick and looks meaty, but half of it is comprised of stock training programs that may or may not work for a given individual.

The author cites numerous studies but rarely, if ever, tells the reader what the titles of the studies are, where they were conducted, or where the results were originally published. Simply saying "Studies show that..." or "A study done in (insert place name) revealed..." wears thin after a while. As a trained researcher, I was disappointed that these claims weren't backed up very well. The lack of a proper bibliography or list of references definitely caught my attention.

This author clearly has significant experience and enthusiasm. It would appear, however, that most of the evidence cited in this book is based on his personal experience or anecdotes, rather than science.

I found the book easy to read and follow, but I would have liked more evidence to support his claims.
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