Book Review: The Triathlete’s Guide to Run Training

author : Iron MaYden
comments : 0

By Type A Girl Pilot
B.T.com Gear Reviewer

I was pleasantly surprised by the comprehensiveness of this book. I say “pleasantly surprised” because as I’d received this 300+ page book, I thought to myself, “I could master the systems on a simple turbo-prop aircraft in a 300-page manual, yet here I am holding a book instructing me on how to run?” As I flipped open the front cover, I remember hoping that there were a lot of pictures and a bunch of appendices to account for all these pages!

Ken Mierke does not disappoint in this VeloPress release of The Triathlete’s Guide to Run Training. Mierke wrote this book based on his study of elite runners using the revolutionary Evolution Running system, while the contents pertain to all levels of triathletes from beginner to Ironman distance athletes. While the main focus is run training, the book also addresses topics such as properly fueling for racing, includes 20 key strength training exercises, and also contains a section on how complete a fast bike-to-run transition. Did you know that you are still likely to have a “successful” run coming off of the bike with sore quadriceps as opposed to a “not-so-successful” run with sore hamstrings?

 

The Product

The Triathlete’s Guide to Run Training - By Ken Mierke

 

The Maker

www.velopress.com

The Price

$13-19

The Rating

 (5/5)

The Skinny

Ken Mierke does not disappoint in this VeloPress release of The Triathlete’s Guide to Run Training. Mierke wrote this book based on his study of elite runners using the revolutionary Evolution Running system, while the contents pertain to all levels of triathletes from beginner to Ironman distance athletes.

 

About 60 pages are dedicated to running technique based on Evolution Running. Its goals are to economize running by teaching the athlete to minimize vertical displacement, utilize elastic recoil, use short and quick strides, avoid “braking,” and accomplish a good heel-flick. Evolution Running also teaches the athlete how to run with the most economical use of energy, appropriate balance, and foot strike placement.

I always thought I ran ugly, but as it turns out, I only run half ugly, and half correctly – as per Evolution Running. My old school of thought was that long striding heel strikers made the prettiest runners as opposed to landing more on your forefoot and taking shorter (uglier), quicker strides. I take short strides and that’s about it, the rest is just ugly – and I’m a braker also! I will just have to work on it. Are you an ugly braker too? Mierke does acknowledge that the techniques for Evolution Running will take practice for it to feel natural – and if you recall my earlier wish for lots of pictures among these 300 pages, it was fulfilled. There are plenty of diagrams showing correct posture and foot strike, as well as accompanying drills for the runner to practice to train him or herself to Evolution Run. He devotes just the right amount of diagrams to even show a vector analysis of the running stride – how implementing Evolution Running is a more economical and less stressful way of running. Okay, fine, don’t care about rotary forces and the angles of deflection? Not to worry the text is easy to read, understand, and follow.

One thing that I really enjoyed learning was how you can keep your same cadence and stride whether you are running on flat land, running uphill or running downhill. Worried about that initial downhill part of the Boston Marathon course and how to handle that climb up Heartbreak Hill? This book will address how to handle those ups and downs, and everything in between.

The remainder of the book is filled with FAQs, and also addresses topics such as off-season training, injuries, and how to build a season. While one of my favorite sections is the running and brick workout menus, I also have to mention the section on mental skills.

In it are inspirational quotes from famous authors, leaders and sports figures, all very motivational – but my favorite quote of them all is not contained in this part of the book. It is hidden deep within the text, and was just a passing observation of the author, which I will share in just a moment. I highly recommend this book for its easy-to-digest content and comprehensiveness. This book was my first exposure to Evolution Running and I’m sold on the concept. I plan to use the off season to train myself to run using these techniques. But while we all strive to improve our performance, tweaking our training plans here and there, and sometimes are too hard on ourselves when we miss a workout, remember that “Great athletic performances are expressions of the joy of the sport.”

 

Enjoy the off-season, work on the basics of running with this book, and come back in season with a renewed joy of triathlon.

 


  "Check out velopress.com for additional titles in The Ultrafit Multisport Training Series. Also check back here for future Beginner Triathlete reviews on The Triathlete’s Guide to Swim Training and The Triathlete’s Guide to Bike Training.
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date: January 1, 2006

Author


Iron MaYden

 






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