Chapter 13: Further Reading
This chapter is an annotated reading list for people who want to know more about running. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list – there are far too many books and articles for that. It simply highlights the most important books, and some personal favourites. The books are listed in alphabetical order by author.
Anita Bean is a former body-builder, whose book is comprehensive and easy to read. It is packed with examples (including menu plans) to bring the theories to life. Bean is not afraid to roll up her sleeves and gets stuck into the biochemistry, but everything is presented in an approachable way.
Despite the illiterate title, Jack Daniels’s book is a must-have classic that every serious runner with a scientific bent should have on their bookshelf. Daniels’s approach is to divide training into five quite precise training zones, based on the runners’ VO2 max. All training should happen in one of those zones (and by implication, any running outside one of these zones is junk miles). Daniels also proposes a complex programme of periodization of training to obtain the best benefits. The book is based on a great deal of scientific research, and is quite numerical.
The top-selling book in running in the world, Galloway’s book on running is a standard text. In the current version it covers training for the 5km, 10km and half marathon (if you want to know about marathons you’ll have to buy a separate book Marathon: you can do it!). Galloway’s approach can occasionally seem a little old-fashioned, but there is a lot of good sense in this book.
A comprehensive book tightly packed useful information for runners who want to race. The Glovers are leading lights in the New York Road Runner’s Club, and Bob Glover has thirty years experience of coaching. A book to dip into, rather than read in a single sitting.
Hal Higdon is a runner and writer, including a popular column for Runner’s World magazine. He also organises training camps in the US for runners who want to run a marathon. His book on the marathon is a classic, which has inspired thousands of people to take to the streets. Simple and well-written, in a chatty style, it draws on his deep reservoirs of knowledge and experience. Higdon has written more than thirty other books, including Smart Running which contains lots of useful material, but in a slightly irritating question and answer format.
Frank Horwill – An Obsession for Running (1991)
Horwill’s slim volume describes his own odyssey, including his fight with stomach cancer, while explaining the theory behind his 5-pace training theory. More than anyone else, Horwill was the drive behind the renaissance of English middle distance running in the 1970s and 1980s. Peter Coe (Sebastian Coe’s father and coach) credits Horwill with the breakthroughs in training on which Coe’s remarkable career was built.
This is the ultimate runner’s reference book. Tim Noakes is a marathon runner, and Professor of Sports Science at the University of Cape Town. Noakes covers each issue comprehensively, setting out the evidence and then proposing his own conclusions (but always distinguishing his own comments from the facts). The latest edition (currently only available in hardback, and weighing in at over 1,200 pages) was published in 2001, and has been significantly revised.
This is an excellent practical manual for training for races from 5km to the marathon. The book assumes a reasonably high starting point, both in terms of running ability and knowledge about the subject. The approach owes much to the techniques of Jack Daniels, and the book sets out simple and specific training programmes. It is clearly and simply written. Unusually (and unexpectedly, given the title) there is advice on training for cross country.
George Sheehan – Running to Win (1992)
George Sheehan – Personal Best (1989)
George Shehan – Running and Being (1978)
George Sheehan was a medical doctor, who took up running in his mid‑forties. Five year’s later he set a world record for the mile for a 50-year-old (4:47). He ran more than 60 marathons, including a personal best of 3:01 at the age of 61. In 1968 he began to write about running for a local newspaper; ten years later his book Running & Being became a national bestseller. He established himself as the foremost philosopher of running, with a knack for expressing in words the ideas that many runners have subconsciously about their running. Sheehan’s books are an absolute inspiration for every runner. He died in 1993.