Books:

Lore of Running
by Timothy D. Noakes

If you have a top notch personal coach who tends all your needs, you don't need any book to improve your running. If you are like me who have the passion for serious running, enjoy reading and analytical thinking while having a full-time job + other professional activities, this book is a must-have. I got one for me and two as presents to my friends. Using this book as the major reference to coach and heal myself, I qualified for the Boston Marathon at my marathon debut after about one year's training, took 10 minutes off in another year and I am on my way to beat NYC marathon qualification time for guaranteed number. Running programs are everywhere. "Individualizing" has become a cliché. Understanding the fundamental mechanisms and principles behind body and training is essential to derive a healthy and effective training program that adapts to the body's response. Lore of Running distinguishes itself from other running books by offering a large volume of solid evidence to support the principles concluded by the author. The readers have the freedom of utilizing these materials, often presented in interesting ways such as stories about famous runners, to make their own conclusions. I feel like having a very pleasant academic discussion with the author who is convincing, but not dictating while reading the book. The background of the author - ultra-marathon athlete, researcher and practicing sports MD is perfect for writing such comprehensive running book.

This book is certainly not a quick recipe. It takes time to digest the material. If you enjoy reading, it is a plus. I have read some section multiple times. Another very good running book that takes much less time to read is Daniels' Running Formula by Jack Daniels that is geared more toward elite runners, but still very helpful for midpack runners like me.

Notes for 4th edition.

Daniels' Running Formula
by Jack Daniels

This book is geared more toward elite runners, but still very helpful to other  serious runners.

Jack Daniels has been ranked the number one running coach by Runners World magazine. He was a world class athlete, a exercise physiologist and an outstanding coach who has coached many elite runners and winning cross country teams.  We can trust him and his book.  This is why it does  not matter that the book does not refer to original scientific studies as academic works do.  This book has quite some programs for readers training for different events or at different levels, but it is not a running recipe book at all.  It explains the physiological principles behind different types of training and it is often done with very helpful graphics. By following the principles, tables or formulae presented by this book, readers can easily design their own training programs to address their specific conditions and needs.

Again this book is for serious runners, not for casual joggers or fitness runners who have no interest in competition.   

Racing the Antelope - What Animals Can Teach Us about Running and Life

by Bernd Heinrich

Bernd Heinrich is a very gifted ultra runner and an outstanding biologist.  Hence he is the best person to write such book that is the only book that focuses on linking evolution and animal physiology to running.  It is a fun to read.

The first half has many interesting facts about various animals related to endurance work.  The second half, the most fascinating and enlightening part,  links the animal physiology directly to running - training and racing.  People can get the most out of this book by just reading the second half. On the one hand the author is a well-established scientist, on the other hand he candidly defies some scientifically devised training and diet schemes based on his own very successful running experience.

Running
by Thomas Wessinghage

Thomas Wessinghage was on German olympic team four times and is an orthopedic MD. This background leads to effective, practical and scientifically sound advices on running. This succinct and still comprehensive book with a lot of graphics best suits beginners, but also offers interesting and useful information for experienced runners.

 

Links:

Coolrunning - The only place that runners, especially those in New England, US, need to get all race results, events information, etc.

Runner's World - A magazine for runners at all levels.  It is very enjoyable to read.

Marathonguide - The name explains itself.

Heat wave - every runner who run in sizzling summer should read this page by American National Weather Service.

e-mail the author

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