Top positive review
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Fantastic resource for all runners!! (Don't be deterred by the title!)
on June 3, 2013
For years, a friend who's quite an experienced coach and accomplished master's runner himself has been recommending this book to me. And I always thought, "Road Racing for Serious Runners" ?? No way! I'm NOT serious! Between two young young kids, a busy job, long commute, household chores and maintenance, volunteer stuff, etc., etc., -- oh, and at age 53 -- I barely have time to squeeze in 30 - 40 miles a week when things are perfect.
But finally, after a stretch of PWs (personal worsts) races the past year and herky-jerky aimless training, I broke down and bought it about 2 months ago.
One of the best training guides I've ever read/followed! (And I've been a runner for 35+ years.) Here's why:
1. The physiology/sports-science chapters up front are a great mix of information, presented in a very readable/conversational tone. Super approachable stuff that just makes sense as you read. Not over-done, either.
2. The training plans are tailored to fit ANY level of runner, looking to improve at ANY distance from 5K to the marathon -- and at ANY pace. So, even if you're jogging 20mpw and hope to break 34 min. for a 5km, you'll find a great plan to fit your needs.
3. The training approach is similar to my other favorite training book: "Jack Daniels' Running Formuala." So, instead of a day-by-day, 7/days/week strict regiment, it gives you just 3 key workouts/week to focus on. Do them in any order, and however best fits your schedule. Miss one of those workouts? Skip it and don't sweat it, and keep moving on... The key, it explains, is establishing a good pattern over 12- to 15-weeks.
4. Outside those 3 days, it encourages you to do what you like -- and what fits. So, easy running for most folks. Or, maybe cycling, cross-training or something else for others.
5. The flexibility is incredible -- and the progression feels do-able, even for us mere mortals who are less than obsessed with nailing PRs every race!
6. Reading it feels more like being mentored and encouraged by a great and wise old coach -- rather than being forced into a regimented, one-size-fits-all program. (My life outside of running is already regimented and scheduled enough!)
7. It respects the reader's intelligence and self-awareness. So, yeah, it requires a little more thought than following some cookie cutter training plan book. But that's awesome!
Take my word for it: Perhaps the best training book for "citizen" runners, ever. Highly recommended.