5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2008
I have a lot of books on running, but if I needed only one, it would be this one. Quite simple to understand (no real formulas), tables that explain where you are in term of your current running ability, which paces to use, how to make a training plan... everything is inside. You can use one of four predefined training plans or make your own by using Dr Daniels' instructions (how many quality workouts, which one in each phase of your preparation, their duration and pace).
Every runner knows the terms like Repetitions, Intervals, Marathon, Easy (or recovery) pace, but nobody knows what it is and how fast it is.
For the first time I found in this book which time corresponds to each one of these paces (according to my current fitness).
Even if you are not too interested to know all the physiological details on running, stress and recovery, it is worth of trying to understand the benefits of each pace.
So, once again, if I had to keep only one book on running I own - this would be The One.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2004
My running library contains more than 20 books and I rate this one the best. It offers a truly scientific way of training. Each and every point is thoroughly explained. A book like this is an absolute delight for the thinking runner who not only wants to know what to do, but also why. The book is very practical too, as the instructions are distilled into just a few tables - all easy to use. You will learn Daniels' proven methods to improve endurance, lactate threshold, VO2Max and mechanical running speed. The real beauty of this book is that it can be used by elite runners and slow beginners alike; the tables accommodate all runners and tell us exactly what to do based on our recent race times. If I could choose only two books on running, it would be this one and The Lore of Running by Dr Tim Noakes.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2012
This book has been a great tool for my training. After reading the book I realized that a lot of my previous training was done too fast, especially my "easy" runs. I was injured regularly. Now that I have been training at proper intensities(after reading the book), I find running more enjoyable and I'm staying injury free. The book can be a little technical, but I feel it is required to fully justify Daniel's approaches to training. This is definitely the kind of book you will keep nearby during your training as you will want to reread certain parts depending on where you are in your training. I am extremely happy with this book, and have no reservations recommending this book to beginners, mid-packers and elite runners.
on October 20, 2003
This book is the most effective tool for coaches who want to have their teams run their best. It is a way to have each runner running at their own level so that each of them can go home and tell mamma that they did exactly what the coach wanted them to do for that day.
I have read and reread this book many times and recently really begun to understand that there are exact times that must be run for each training cycle. If the athlete runs faster or slower he will be in a different training cycle and will not be running what the coach designed for that day. It is critical for intervals and reps days especially. Coach Daniels sets out the pace and the recovery for each athlete to follow. If the coach and the athlete follows the plan, there will be a marked improvement in performance.
This book is very important for the kid [and coach] who wants to push daily. It will help them to realize that they must train at the correct pace [not faster or slower] to get the desired effect. Harder workouts will not achieve the desired effect.
on December 27, 2001
After 10 years absence of training I've started again 2000. My personal best on 10 000m is 31:30 (-87) and I'm now at a level of 39 min and I've set an ambition to decrease my time by 2min per 10K per year.
During my "come-back" I sketched on a training program based on my previous experiences. But to get some external input to my training program I ordered Jack Daniel's "Daniel's Running Formula" and I found it very valuable. It explained things and I found especially the VDOT tables very usefult to base my training pace upon. I would like to say: -it's all about speed when it comes to training. Not as fast as possible, but the RIGHT speed. Jack Daniel's explain why and what the right speed is.
After reading this book I can clearly say that I know *why* I should perform the particular intervall and at what speed, etc.
It all makes sence!
PS. I can also recommend "Road Racing for Serious Runners" by Pete Pfitzinger, Scott Douglas. DS.
on August 5, 2001
This is the one, for a number of reasons.
First of all, Daniels has done his homework, both on the track and in the lab. He is a practical coach who also has serious exercise physiology credientials. There is no mumbo-jumbo and no personality cult stuff happening here. This book is NOT about Jack Daniels, but about the science and art of training.
Second, the racing and training pace charts alone are worth the price of the book: nowhere else will you find a way to link your current race fitness to pacing for easy, anaerobic threshold and VO2-max workouts -all of which are explained with great clarity for us laymen and women.
Third, Daniels' guidelines for different events are neither so vague that they leave the reader still wondering what to do tomorrow, nor so precise and specific and/or personal (a la the Peter Coe book) as to preclude any adaptation to your personal situation.
If you want to be a better runner, you have to be a smarter runner, and this book will take you at least part of the way there.
on June 22, 2001
Jack Daniels, the author of this book, holds a PhD in Exercise Physiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He first got involved with running when he used to compete in triathlons. He is currently the head coach of the SUNY-Cortland women's Cross Country team. This book is FULL of EASY TO UNDERSTAND technical information that will make you FASTER...period.
Personally, I am a high school distance runner and on our cross country team we run about 40 miles / week. Our coach started using this book before our outdoor track season started. I ran a 5k road race in 19:50 (6:23 pace) on March 11th, 2001 before the track season had started and before we started using Daniels' formula. Daniels' book has you establish a VDOT based on recent race performances. He explains the PURPOSE of every workout you do. He believes it's important that you realize what you're trying to accomplish with every running session that you do. Therefore, Daniels has easy to use tables which set intensity guidelines to prevent overtraining and injury. He shows you that if you train anywhere in between the intensities, then you're training in "no-man's land." This means that you are doing "junk-training." There are four training paces in all for high-quality running sessions: the easy/everday training pace(65-75 percent of VO2 max), the interval pace (designed to stress VO2 max or maximum oxygen uptake, performed at 98-100 percent of VO2 max), the threshold pace (designed to improve lactate threshold, about 86-88 percent of VO2max), and the Repetition Pace (designed to improve running strength and economy, at a pace greater than one's VO2 max).
For me, I ran a 5:15 mile at the beginning of the track season so my coach used this to determine my VDOT. According to the book's tables, my VDOT was 56. I trained by doing "R Pace workouts," "T Pace Workouts" and "I Pace Workouts." R Pace workouts, designed to improve running strength and economy, consisted of 200, 200, 400 meter repeats with a 1 to 4 effort to rest ratio. For a 56 VDOT, the paces would be 39 and 80. The T Pace Workout, designed to improve lactate threshold, was 6 x 1000 for me with only 1 minute rest, at 3:53 pace. The I pace workout, to stress VO2 max, is also repeat 1000s. However, we do only 4 x 1000 at a faster pace, 3:34, but get 3:34 rest as a result of the 1 to 1 effort to rest ratio.
In addition, he shows you exactly how to schedule your training sessions around races so you can be in peak physical fitness to set a HUGE PR!!! As a result of his training for less than 2 months, I ran an 18:14 5k (5:53 pace) on May 6th, 2001. I was 7th overall out of 166 runners in the race. In the race last March 11th, 2001, where I ran 19:50, I was 47th in my race, PATHETIC!!! I have no idea what I would run the mile in if I were to race it now, but I would guess that I'd be around 4:50 thanks to his workouts which have resulted in an increase in my fitness level.
Jim Ryun, a former world record holder in the 800, mile, and 1500m says "Simply put, Daniels' formula works. This book is a must read for every runner and coach interested in achieving peak performance."
on June 13, 2001
Jack Daniels is recognized to be one of the world's leading authorities on distance training. This book encompasses the bulk of his wisdom, with a detailed approach to training for all races between 1500m and marathon distances. Daniels focuses on utilizing periodization training, with blocks of about 4 weeks dedicated specifically to repetition, threshold, interval, or aerobic training. The blocks are arranged according to your long-term season, resulting a very serious and demanding training program.
While extremely detailed and effective, Daniels' book is clearly oriented toward the serious runner with the ability to plan out his or her season and make regular visits to a track. Daniels provides specific workouts for each type of training (repetition, threshold, interval, or aerobic) and offers sample training programs for various distances. He devotes a good portion of Daniels' Running Formula to the physiological mechanisms of faster times, as well as racing, training conditions, taking time off, etc.
Ultimately, it is his extensive approach to periodized training that truly stands out. Complete with detailed explanations of each kind of training and effective workouts for serious runners, Daniels provides the kind of coaching that the elite use. Nevertheless, the specificity and dedication demanded by his training program is clearly oriented toward intermediate/advanced runners, and beginners would be at a loss with this otherwise exceptional book.
on May 3, 1999
I'm a 40-yr-old runner. Jack Daniels' book has been my training companion for the last 24 weeks. (My goal was to break 16:30 for 5K, and the book led me there.)
What separates Daniels from even his finest competitors (e.g., Coe and Martin) is his peerless teaching ability. His presentation is direct, clear, concise, and logical.
Daniels doesn't assume that the reader has access to any special support system. He thoroughly explains (i) the kinds of training a runner needs to do, (ii) the proportion to be done of each kind, and (iii) the timing of each within a given cycle.
Daniels' "formula" is flexible and will meet various time constraints or levels of commitment. He shows one how to get the job done with the least amount of work and how to avoid "junk" quality.
Besides the training formula, Daniels offers wonderful lessons on crucial topics such as cadence and breathing.
There are limits to the book. Important topics such as nutrition, stretching, and strength training receive relatively little attention. Yet even this is for principled reasons. A distance runner must mainly run. And Daniels truly teaches one how to do that.
on August 2, 1998
On the Fourth of July, my 11 year old son and I ran our first 5K race. We had a blast! My son told me he wanted us to run faster in the future. Shortly after the race, I read some nice things about "Daniels' Running Formula." Being that I knew nothing about how to actually train for a race, I decided to purchase the book for myself.
Dr. Jack Daniels provides running instruction that anyone can follow - beginner to experienced. The book contains some technical material, but overall it is very easy to understand. It includes useful charts to determine your fitness level, based on your most recent race results, and from that fitness level another chart tells you at what pace you should perform different workouts. Dr. Daniels offers sample training schedules that are very helpful to beginners like me. I am especially impressed with his placing limits, based on total weekly mileage, for the various workouts in order to avoid over training. My son and I ar! e following Dr. Daniels advice and are making improvements in our conditioning. We are also enjoying our workouts more! And NOT because they're easy! But they are worth it!
In summary, if you are looking to improve your running performance, or if you have a child who is, get this book. I think you, and yours, will benefit greatly.