Customer Reviews: Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon: How to Be Your Own Best Coach
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on August 7, 2008
This is one of the best books ever written on running training. I'm a masters athlete racing mile, 5k and 10k and I think I've just about read them all -- Brad's is the clearest breakdown of what you need to do, and when, that I have ever read.

If you've struggled with Daniels and Noakes (great though they are), this is the book for you. I predict you will finally understand what you are doing!

What I loved about Brad's book is that he can explain thing so simply. In his system/no system he's got 12 most effective training methods and three - yes just 3 - basic types of training. I love it.

System/no system? Yes; the book's plan is kind of interactive. Brad insists that your schedule MUST be individualized. You need to read, absorb, plan, try stuff out -- and adjust according to the feedback you get, not just blindly follow tables of speed and distances. He gives all the tools you need to work things out.

Bear in mind, too, that Brad is not coming at this from an academic/theoretical point of view, but is a highly successful coach currently training Olympic-level runners.

Totally recommended. A caveat for fellow masters runners: the typeface is small and sans serif. It's a 278-page book that should probably be twice that size with a more readable typeface. It's the only book I've read for months for which I've had to dig out my reading glasses!
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on December 27, 2008
Bingo! At the age of 50, with 21 marathons and somewhere around 400 races under my belt, I thought I had read everything on the subject of running.
I was wrong!
This book really gets to the point on how to improve your running.
As nice as the running books are that discuss shoes and sports drinks, etc, Run Faster is more advanced and to the point.
If there is any one thing that will really help you improve alot, it's HILLS, pay special attention to the Hill Training!
Don't be afraid to experiment with your training.
Buy this book, read it at least twice and do your HILLS!
Well done Brad.
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on September 27, 2010
I've been running for over half my life, and just recently got into serious miles and marathon training. Tom Holland has an AWESOME book for people training for their first time marathon, and Brad Hudson/Matt Fitzgerald has an AWESOME book for getting faster and understanding HOW to get faster...for whatever race you are running. In my case it was a marathon. I ran my second marathon in 28.5 minutes FASTER that my first marathon only 3.5 monthes of serious training in between. Ok, so I'm not an elite runner, but I still went from a 5 hour marthon to a 4:30 marathon....and never thought I could EVER do that. In a little over 3 monthes.

This book is slightly confusing for someone like me that doesn't understand the lingo completely, but he gets to the point. Change it up, hit your hills, and LISTEN to your body in HOW you think you should train TODAY. He also has awesome training guides for pretty much any race you are training for. Really good guidlines. He recommends running EVERY day. BUT, his plans vary, depending on your time level...from 4 days a week to 7.

The ONLY thing I did NOT agree with was his statement that all his runners DID NOT lift weights. AND he didn't recommend it. WHAT?! I guess if you are an elite runner and that is ALL you care about...but in the real world, I care about my muscle tone! So, despite his thoughts on the subject, I still lifted at least twice a week, plus core work and flexiblity training.

But he does say to listen to your body and train in a way that you become your own coach. So, I guess I didn't go too far from his coaching.

If you are looking for something to motivate you to run faster and train harder, buy this book. I bought it on kindle and wish I had the book cuz the charts are really hard to read, but sometimes it is just hard to wait for that one thing you know is going to get you going....NOW!!!
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on September 22, 2010
I have been running for two years and have read a few books about running, primarily beginner running books. This book does offer some good advice about training as a whole. But I think it is more geared to the serious and / or competitive runner rather than just the casual runner. For the record I typically run 5k races in the Spring, Summer, and Fall, and my times are generally in the 25-27 minute range.

The approach offered as a whole will help me. I really feel like I'm "training" now rather than going out for a run. Varying the running distances, speeds, and hill / strength training has already boosted my performance after three weeks.

But I just found the whole "adaptive" running thing, that is to run how you feel, to be impracticle. I think it may be good advice for a college athlete or someone with a lot of time on their hands. But if you're a working professional like me, you have about 45 minutes a day to work with. I've got to get certain workouts in on certain days. Also, I'm more of a routined person. I like to do certain things on certain days.

I just found the overall tone of this book to be much more geared toward the true running junkie, the ones who run the 5k in 16 minutes, versus the casually competitive runners like myself. Some of the training recommendations are great, I just didn't have a use for about 3/4's of this book.
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on December 28, 2010
I found the content of the book to be very good. I agree with the author's adaptive training techniques. I bet we'd see fewer running injuries if more people followed the advice in this book.

I bought the kindle version of this book, and I wish I hadn't. This book provides a lot of great information in charts. Unfortunately, these charts in the kindle version are TERRIBLE. To view most charts, I had to turn my kindle on its side and reduce the font-size to super-small just to be able to read the text in extra-wide tables.

What's worse, the most valuable charts are the multi-week training plans in the back of the book - in the kindle version, these charts are images for some reason, which means that increasing the font size to read the words won't work!

Here's what I had to do to read them. I opened the kindle version on my Mac (I'm sure this same technique would work on a PC). Found the charts I wanted to read, took a screen shot, then printed the screen shot - the Mac kindle software won't let you just print a page. The text in the charts isn't perfectly legible, but it's easy enough to make out the words 'interval', 'progression', 'hill-repeats', etc.

Considering the paperback is only 50 cents more, I wish, I wish, I wish I had purchased it instead. 5 stars on content, but just 1 star for kindle adaptation = 3 stars.
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on March 20, 2009
Brad Hudson is an experienced coach, working mostly with elite athletes and competitive runners as far as I can tell. I am neither, but like all runners am interested in running faster. The solid basis he provides for his schedules I found very helpful, but the actual schedules were of only limited value to me.

For me, the best thing about the book is his concept of adaptive running schedules. In summary, the idea is to use the schedule as an outline of what you plan to do, but adapt it to your own experience as you work with it. This means adapting the schedule to the way your body responds each week, each day, even each run if need be. The book helped me clarify my own approach to running schedules, which I term "flexibility". "Adaptive" is a more appropriate terminology than "flexible", since it implies adapting the schedule to fit your body's needs, rather than just changing it randomly.

I recommend this book to competitive runners and elite athletes. For plodders like me, it has value in understanding more of why we are plodders and how we can choose to change this. By adapting his aggressive schedules to our own needs we can maximize the benefits of our training.
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on March 6, 2009
This book in my opinion conveys what I've been looking for all over the internet, blogs, forums. It describes cutting edge training methods that are used by current elite athletes but explained in a way that a runner with lesser experience can get quite a lot from it. Brad Hudson's training philosophy is not one size fits all kind, as every athlete and runner is different, he articulately shows how based on a template training plan one can do adaptive training, where runners can modify their workouts based on how physiologically they are feeling on the day of running. He has also given deep insights as what it takes to be a great athlete for an athlete of any ability and how to improve year after year, a knowledge previously held only by top national coaches and not available in one place. He also gives out various training plan templates for athletes of varying abilities and methodology for readers to devise their own training plan once they understand all the principles for adaptive training written in this book. In all a wonderful training book that can open your mind to lot of useful new information and change your training forever.
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on August 25, 2010
I consider myself a beginning to intermediate runner. I'm in my 40s and have been running for a few years and still learning.

This book was excellent for explaining different aspects of training to improve my running. It is clear, concise and very easy to understand and apply.

I definitely recommend it to any level of runner!

Additional KINDLE Note: I purchased the Kindle version of this book which was fine for the most part but some of the tables in the book ran off the edge of the page. Plus the schedule templates in Chapter 12 of the book were images that were VERY small and at times difficult to read. Just FYI for Kindle users.
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on December 28, 2009
Intuitive, excellent work. Take advantage of Brad Hudson's years of experience in research and application of running methodology and technique and directly apply it to your running. Warning, not for the casual "I wanna finish a marathon someday" crowd, this is real and it works.

Big negative on Kindle is that it is IMPOSSIBLE to read the workout charts at the end of the book. Would appreciate if anyone can provide a link to those charts online.
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on August 29, 2010
"Run Faster..." is the book I have been hoping to find to help me attain my running goals, but never thought I would find. I ran into this book, no pun intended, almost by accident. I was reluctant to buy it, but, I took a chance. Let me just say that this is my first book review on Amazon. In fact, the only reason I am writting a review is because I want other runners, like me, who spend hours and hours searching the WEB for the perfect marathon training schedule or program to know, look no further than "Run Faster...". I will never again spend time looking for that perfect marathon training schedule, for this book has quite literally taught me that there is no perfect marathon schedule for me, at least not one I find pre-made. I learned that the best schedule for me is the one "I create"! That's right, I can do better myself than one from Hal Higdon or other outstanding coaces, and I'm just a regular dude who loves to run long, but I have big goals. However, this book arms one with the knowledge and confidence to tailor their marathon training schedule, or other racinf distance, just for them. And, more importantly, it teaches that schedules should not be concrete, rather, they should be flexible, changing daily perhaps, depending on several key factors, the most important of course, is how one feels. Hence, it forces you to think daily about being in tune with your body so you can adjust your schedule accordingly. It teaches so much, you cannot absorb it all at once - but it will be there for you tomorrow.

I use to do a lot of research to find the perfect schedule based on my goals (race pace) for a particular race and then strictly follow-it, regradless of any other factors, which of course, was not allowing me to reach my full potential. This book, in effect, let's you be your own "coach" and gives you the knowledge and confidence to be a really good "coach". Sure, I would rather have Brad Hudson coaching me, but, when all you can afford is "you", this book is well worth the price to make you an effective coach and change the whole way you look at training - forever. I will still buy and read other books on running long, but, this book will be "The One" I will keep coming back to time and time again to make sure I'm on track. Oh yeah, this is the type of book you want to have a highlighter near by, for every page has a beatiful nugget you just can't help but highlight for easy and quick reference later; trust me; you will love this book, no matter your level of experience. May this book help you, as it has me, to reach your running goals. "Run Long - Run Strong!" Jorge O. Soriano
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