Brain Training for Runners: A Revolutionary New Training System to Improve Endurance, Speed, Health, and Res ults (Anglais) Broché – 4 septembre 2007
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Présentation de l'éditeur
- Resist running fatigue
- Use cross-training as brain training
- Master the art of pacing
- Learn to run "in the zone"
- Outsmart injuries
- Fuel the brain for maximum performance
- And more
Packed with cutting-edge research, real-world examples, and the wisdom of the world's top distance runners, Brain Training for Runners offers easily applied advice and delivers practical results for a better overall running experience.
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Tout n'est donc pas vérité irréfutable mais le système qu'il dessine est fascinant par les perspectives qu'il ouvre par rapport à la théorie "classique" de l'entrainement.
Un must à mon avis pour qui veux se familiariser avec les nouvelles approches de la performance en course à pieds... avant d'approfondir chacun des concepts par soi-même
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Of all the books, I had narrowed my "favorites" down to three = Lore of Running by Timothy Noakes, ChiRunning by Danny Dryer, and Run Less Run Faster by the Runners World and the Furman Institute. I found these books contained the science, running form, and training plan I needed that made the most sense and seemed to be the most current, effective information available.
When I received Brain Training for Runners, I was immediately impressed and I'm happy to report that it does an excellent job of summarizing the key points in my three favorites noted above and is now my new favorite.
If you are ready to take your running to a new level, I strongly recommend you read this book. The author does a good job of explaining the role our brains play so you can understand what's going on behind the scenes...and train smarter to push through mental barriers that may be holding you back from your true potential. He is a believer in the "central governor model" proposed by Timothy Noakes and I think he does a great job explaining how it all works in layman's terms us runners can comprehend.
In my opinion, the author also does a great job of explaining stride mechanics and providing some excellent cues for you to focus on while running to improve your stride. I found ChiRunning to be an excellent book regarding how to use gravity to run more efficiently and reduce injuries. However, it wasn't until I read Brain Training that I put it all together and now I'm just amazed at the difference it has made in my running.
In Brain Training, the author talks about the ballistic style of running that elite runners use and how they are actually floating in the air the majority of the time. Practicing his cues helped me evolve my stride to emulate the elite runner form and all I can say is wow. The real world changes for me, based on actions I took after reading Brain Training, are nothing short of amazing. Over a period of 3 weeks, I have seen my target marathon pace drop by a full 30 seconds per mile. I now run much faster when doing track intervals and the speed of tempo runs is mind boggling. I continually focus on the authors cues and somehow I am now running my long runs considerably faster with a lower average heart rate!
Should also point out that the training plans the author suggests are very similar to the Run Less Run Faster plans where focus is on 3 quality key runs per week. Difference being that the author is more flexible in his approach whereby he advises you to alter your plan last minute based on how you feel during your workout. He's all about adaptability and also provides an excellent table you can reference to pick target training speeds based on your current perceived fitness level. Something he says you will increase 4 to 6 times over the course of an 18 to 24 month training program. The author also includes a lot on stretching, strength exercise, and nutrition that I found helpful.
In summary, The author really does a great job of covering the full spectrum and putting it all into an easy to follow plan you can customize to your own unique fitness level and self-coach yourself to be a faster runner. I truly believe this is a must read for all runners who are looking to run faster and hit new PR's.
The two-part book begins with a well thought out presentation of the brain-training system applicable to runners of all experience levels. Fitzgerald's motto, "train the brain and the rest will follow," explains how the main goal of brain-training is to develop a heightened awareness for feedback from the running experience to increase maximal capacity, efficiency of stride and injury-prevention.
The Brain Training System
The three feedback loops--collective, objective and subjective--compose the awareness center of the brain-training system. The first step in transitioning to a brain-centered training model is with a thorough understanding of the feedback loops, which Fitzgerald explains extensively in the book. Basically, the collective feedback loop includes classic training strategies; the objective feedback loop records and applies your own performance data such as speed, distance and heart rate to customize the brain-training system; and the subjective feedback loop is information relayed from body to brain through experience. Developing effective communication of this feedback is essential to getting the most from your training.
Fitzgerald's journey through the biology of the brain was a tad overwhelming, but he actually suggests that the reader skip forward to the next section, which illustrates how well he knows his audience.
For example, I can see how the scientific community would benefit from the breakdown of how the "fatty sheath insulates axon-dendrite connections," but it was over my head, so I chose to follow the author's advice and skip ahead to the section on brain-training plans.
Part II of Brain Training for Runners is a selection of plans that are based on the brain-training model from part I. These plans are for the 5K, 10K, half-marathon and marathon distances and, as Fitzgerald explains, they are flexible to promote responsive training and injury-prevention.
Brain Training at Work
Before I encountered Fitzgerald's book, my training was struggling with a lack of direction, and I had two important events approaching: a 5K race and a 50-mile ultra marathon. I applied the brain-centered system to my own training and competition. As my focus shifted from body to brain, a fresh supply of potential was unlocked.
I experienced my first brain-training breakthrough during my 5K race. I had just finished reading a section about the mechanism of "teleoanticipation," which Fitzgerald describes as "knowing intuitively just how much to hold back at the beginning of a maximal running effort to complete the effort without anything left in the tank, yet also without any decline in performance." I was making a conscious evaluation of my abilities as a runner on that given day with what Fitzgerald calls "subconscious brain calculation." Essentially, I was convincing my brain to allow me to sustain my goal pace for the entire duration of the race. Three six-minute-miles later, I had done just that.
During the past month of brain-training, I have not only run the fastest mile split of my athletic career in a 5K race, but I also completed my first 50-mile ultra marathon less than two weeks later. This book provided the mental edge I was looking for and was the catalyst for my recent performance breakthrough.
My favorite advice from Fitzgerald is his incorporation of proprioceptive cues into each of these training plans. Fitzgerald states, "Proprioceptive cues are images and other sensory cues that enable you to modify your stride for the better as you think about them while running." This gives runners a means to monitor and improve their stride during each workout with drills and offers a valuable edge over conventional training systems.
As a multi-sport athlete, I was also happy with Fitzgerald's consistent focus on the customization of training. His assimilation of cross-training and variety into workouts along with the "brain-centered" model made it a no-brainer for me to believe in this system. He even included a section on corrective stretches with pictures and descriptions of each yoga-like movement.
Fitzgerald has taken the science of running to a whole new level with this book. Brain Training for Runners is for any runner searching for a customizable system that supports the continued development of the mind and the body. I am training and competing on a whole new level because of what I discovered while reading this book and have never been more confident in my potential as an athlete because I now have a better understanding of how my brain regulates my body--not the other way around.
The author cites numerous studies but rarely, if ever, tells the reader what the titles of the studies are, where they were conducted, or where the results were originally published. Simply saying "Studies show that..." or "A study done in (insert place name) revealed..." wears thin after a while. As a trained researcher, I was disappointed that these claims weren't backed up very well. The lack of a proper bibliography or list of references definitely caught my attention.
This author clearly has significant experience and enthusiasm. It would appear, however, that most of the evidence cited in this book is based on his personal experience or anecdotes, rather than science.
I found the book easy to read and follow, but I would have liked more evidence to support his claims.
To combine the principles of a great triathlete's training with the running philosophy of Jack Daniels may be "revolutionary" in the sense that no one has put such a combination forward promising improvement for runners, but that may be because it is a combination that overlooks the fact that the worlds best runners don't use any such training ideas. Cross-training may give a brief mental break from the demands of running, but many people run because it is the simplest and least expensive way to exercise: No gym membership needed, no bicycle equipment (big $), no need for a pool or the danger of open water swim areas, you just put on a good pair of shoes and head out the door. If cross training were the answer for major running improvement, everyone in the world would have been cross-training for decades. However, the world's best runners do very little, if any, cross training.
Days later now, and I will modify this review to say that the sections in this book about the psychology of running and how to train the brain to push through fatigue are well done, and the portions that focus on specific exercises to develop core strength are also quite useful and easily incorporated into even the least experienced runner's training. There are good sections on racing and how to prepare for competition, whether your goal is first place or a PR. These are the book's strength. I stand by my evaluation that cross training is emphasized a bit too heavily in some sections, but don't throw out the baby with the bath water, as they say, and miss the useful parts of the book because of the cross-training "revolutionary" revelations.