- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Human Kinetics; 2 edition (October 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0736054928
- ISBN-13: 978-0736054928
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 372 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Daniels' Running Formula - 2nd Edition Paperback – October 1, 2005
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""This book is a fine example of the perfection that the running world has come to expect from Jack Daniels. Well thought out, concise, and purposeful, it embodies the training programs of time-proven principles that enhanced my own running performances. Simply put, Daniels' formula works. This book is a must read for every runner and coach interested in achieving peak performance."
About the Author
Jack Daniels became the head track and cross country coach for both men and women at the State University of New York at Cortland in 1986. Under his guidance, Cortland runners have won eight NCAA Division III national championships, 30 individual national titles, and more than 130 All-America awards. Called the World's Best Coach by Runner's World magazine and designated Master Coach by USA Track & Field, Daniels has advised some of America's finest runners, including Jim Ryun, Alberto Salazar, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Ken Martin, Jerry Lawson, and Olympians Lisa Martin of Australia and Penny Werthner of Canada.
Daniels' first sport of interest was swimming, in which he competed at the University of Montana. He got involved in running while serving in the army in South Korea in 1956, when he began participating in triathlons involving swimming, pistol shooting, and running. His success in these events led him to compete in the modern pentathlon in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, where he won a silver medal, and the 1960 Rome Olympics, where he won a bronze in team competition.
In the years between Olympics, Daniels studied exercise science at the Royal Gymnastics Central Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, under Per-Olof Åstrand, one of the world's best sport scientists. Daniels went on to earn a doctoral degree in exercise physiology at the University of Wisconsin.
In addition to serving as a consultant to the U.S. Olympic track team and Sports Canada, Daniels was named NCAA Division III Women's Cross Country Coach of the (20th) Century and three-time Coach of the Year. Daniels lives in Cortland, New York.
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Second, I used the DRF ten years ago (at age 44) to go from an 18:55 5k to an 18:05 in about six months. I just got back into competitive running last year (after several years of doing ultras), and I had no real speed at all. After three or four months, I found I wasn't improving my times much, so I decided to give Daniels another go-round and bought the new edition. On November 1, 2014, I did a 6k in 24:52 (a 6:40 pace). Then I bought this book and started the 5k program, and in March of 2015 I did a 10k in 39:36 (a 6:23 pace). That pace, of course, would have been faster had I done just a 6k, so there is evidence in my experience that shows that this program works if you give it a chance.
Here's what I've done, and what I recommend to others to whom I've given this book. First off, you need a current running time for a specific distance. If you don't have one, go get one, either by signing up for a local 5k or going to a high school track and pushing yourself for a mile. And it has to be a decent effort on your part, not just a leisurely jogging time, otherwise this program will be useless to you. With your time, go to Table 5.1, VDOT values (page 81 in 3rd edition), and find your time, then find the associated VDOT, which is listed to the right and the left of all the times. For example, if you did a 49-minute 10k, your VDOT will be 41. That's the most important thing to know.
Now you need to choose a training program. I'm doing 5k, so I go to Chapter 11. If you're a very beginning runner, start on Phase 1, page 176, for 4 to 6 weeks. If you've been running but not necessarily pushing yourself hard, then start on Phase 2, page 180. You'll find there a full workout for you that can last as long as you want it to, and that will improve your times. Let's look at Week One of Phase 2. You start with a long run, then do an easy run with 10 strides, and then on the third day, you find your first quality workout: 2E (two miles easy run) + 2 sets of (8 x 200R w/200 jog) w/ 800 jog between sets + 2E. I sometimes modify the starting and ending 2E to either 1 mile easy or 1 1/2 miles easy, depending on time constraints, but the sprinting you'll want to keep. The question you have to answer now is what does 200R mean? For that, go to page 84, Table 5.2, for the Training intensities table.
There you'll find that since your VDOT is 41, you should be running each of these 200's at 51 seconds.
And that's really all you need to know. If your training says 2E + 5 x 1kT w/ 2 minutes rest + 2E, you're going to find that your pace for one kilometer at a 41 VDOT is 5:00 even. So you'll run a kilometer in five minutes, rest for two minutes, run a km in five minutes, rest for two minutes, etc. All of your paces are on pages 84-85, for Easy, Marathon, Threshold, Interval, and Repetition. Personally, I would recommend reading chapter four in which Daniels talks about each of these paces and what you're trying to accomplish with them, but it's not absolutely necessary for the training.
Keep in mind that after a few weeks the paces will probably become very easy for you, and then it's time to move to a new VDOT. Just be careful when you do so that you're not moving up too early--injuries and burnout can easily happen. Also, keep in mind that Daniels is a strong advocate of rest, and makes it clear that there's no problem making one or two of the E days complete rest days. I run six days a week, and rest one.
You'll notice that many of the workouts have strides indicated (+10 ST, for example). He defines strides on page 177, paragraph 4: "are not all out sprints but are light, quick runs that last about 10 to 15 seconds each, with about 45 seconds' rest after each stride."
Personally, I have read the whole book, and I'm glad I have, but I would recommend doing so after you have your running plan worked out. The scientific info supplements what you're doing, but you don't need to know it to improve as a runner. My strategy is simple, and I use index cards: I write down one week's worth of runs on a card, and then I write the two quality workouts on separate index cards to take to the treadmill with me in the winter, and to the track in the summer. And by the way, these workouts are wonderfully suited to the treadmill--once I set a speed on the treadmill, I have to maintain that pace for the entire time indicated.
I hope this helps! Have fun training!
Along with being comfortable with stats and tables, as well as used to tracking your own running data, this book is best utilized in conjunction with the Daniels Tables spreadsheet freely available online. You could even use the spreadsheet without ever reading the book, though the book is VERY useful for understanding the data and analysis behind the use of the Tables, and online research of freely available material will only get you so far with it.
The outlined training plans for races are not for the faint of heart. Never mind that there are a LOT of them based on average weekly mileage and desired training goals. The tone of the material and the plans strongly indicates the intended audience are experienced runners, particularly those with a track and field background or otherwise a serious practicing runner.
The plans include nuanced and increasingly complex tempo work. Someone who doesn't get more complex than 4 reps of 400 meters at the track for speedwork, or throwing a few fartleks or strides into a simple run, may find following and remembering the needed shifts between different distances, intensities and times more challenging than the actual workouts.
Also, a key wrinkle: The plans in the book assign most training runs by minutes rather than miles. This is probably better for most runners, but someone used to planning runs by miles rather than time may find the adjustment challenging, especially if they prefer to run along routine routes of a fixed length.
This book is best utilized by advanced runners who regularly track their runs plus monitor their heart rate... and are comfortable with numbers. It's not totally advanced calculus or anything, but someone not comfortable with numbers will probably find the material too daunting to use.
If you're highly experienced with statistics, programming, as well as possessing a good memory, you will find it easier to follow the plans and benefit greatly from them. This may be too advanced for most others, though.
There are lots of useful templates (from single workouts to full plans) accompanied by VDOT tables that let you customize any workout/plan to your current fitness level.
Highly recommended, particularly, if like me, you find that most running related books are missing the all important aspect of: how fast should I be running?
Now with that out of the way, this book is a classic for runners. Daniels was one of the first to try to add more science to running, this book has graphs to illustrate principles with citations to the literature. (Unfortunately, most academic journals are hard to get ahold of without paying unless you have access to a college library.) The book begins with the basics: stride rate, foot strike, and breathing. It then gives you the information for you to develop a training plan for yourself based on race distance and pace goal. Developing my plan required paper and pencil.
One other interesting feature is that since Daniels has coached college teams, he discusses training for an entire running season instead of just one race. He also discusses over the year. Many of us runners keep running even when we don't have a race to train for, so this is helpful.
Daniels has changed some of his advice in the third edition. He keeps learning.