Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Multiple-Race Training Manual—Something for Every Runner!

In my 20+ years of running, it didn't take me long to learn that a lot of the endurance race training books on the market are very similar in content and strategy. So, when I saw this odd-sized, spiral-bound training manual, I figured it was the same old plans in fancy packaging. I quickly discovered I was wrong. From the spiral-bound lay-flat binding, to the laminated “sweatproof” pages and the built-in cover-flap page holder, not to mention the 21 training plans for 7 different types races—Run Workouts for Runners and Triathletes (Velo Press, 2009) has it all!

Beyond the bells and whistles, I was delighted to see that the authors were none other than legendary running coach, Bobby McGee and one of South Africa’s greatest marathoners, Mark Plaatjes. This gifted pair has drawn from their more than 80 years of experience in running to write a practical training manual for any runner or triathlete who wants to enhance his/her performance as well as gain a better understanding of the complex connection between their physical and mental bodies.
The book offers something for just about every runner. Twenty-one training plans for 7 different races (5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon, Olympic-Distance Triathlon, Half-Ironman, and Ironman) as well as 15 different types of workouts (that are incorporated into the training plans) are provided. In addition to the immense content, equally appealing is the flexibility built in by McGee and Plaatjes. For example, the workouts are designed so you can train by pace, heart rate, or perceived effort. Also, you can use the material to supplement a plan you’re already using or you can use one of the 21 plans provided.

To prevent you from doing all of your training at “one speed”, McGee and Plaatjes have created plans that put runners through a balance of endurance, strength, speed, and rest. Each of the seven race distances has three levels of training plans. Each training plan is broken into five phases—base, general, strength, specific, and taper. The 15 workouts implemented in the various training phases typically contain a warm-up, a main set, a cool-down, and a training tip.
Another extremely helpful tool that McGee and Plaatjes provide are six test s that help you establish several baselines to help you make sure you’re training at the most effective intensities.

The only drawback to the book is the multiple coding used for the different workouts and tests in the various training plans. It takes a little time to familiarize yourself with all the codes, but this extra time is well worth the solid, quality training plans you get in return.

In the book’s Foreword, Samantha McGlone (2004 Olympian and 2006 Ironman 70.3 World Champion) states, “Bobby McGee has coached all kinds of runners—from amateurs to world and Olympic champions. I’m confident he can make you a better runner too.” I couldn’t agree more.


Anonymous said...

sounds like a really great resource; thanks for sharing!

Regina said...

i so need this, thanks!

runrgrl2007 said...

I hear you might be joinig us tomorrow for Foundation Fitness workout. I have requested you not be in charge of planks! Those look crazy hard! See you in the a.m.

Paul and Beth said...

I'm waiting on mine to arrive from Amazon! Thanks for sharing...

RunnerDude said...

Hey Paul and Beth! That's awesome! Takes a while to get the codes down, but after that, it's a great resource. Use mine all the time!