Daniels' Running Formula-2nd Edition by Jack Daniels, PhD
From perhaps the most respected runners' exercise physiologist comes an updated guide to training. Retaining much of the basic principles of 1st edition, written in 1998, Daniels uses science to outline training programs designed to help any runner from beginning to elite. From as little as one race, a person can determine their VDOT value (pseudo VO2 max based on race time), which can then predict their race times for various distances (provided they train for that distance), as well as prescribe training times for different distances and workouts. Like other running guides, Daniels' Running Formula maps a running program to span a season. In this case, the season is 24 weeks. However, for those with less time to prepare, he offers alternative training schedules. Daniels relies on tables, charts and formulas to arrive at his schedules, which appear daunting as you leaf through the book. Some runners would respond well to such a schedule, dividing all phases and workouts and paces into a prescribed formula. No stone is left unturned as he discusses a wide range of topics including stride rate, breathing rhythm and running into the wind. For those who train on a treadmill and are never sure how much elevation they should use, he charts different mile efforts with actual treadmill speeds and elevations needed to reach them. I found some things to be tedious, such as the worksheet for caculating fluid loss and the VDOT adjustments for time off from running. He offers training plans for fitness and for racing. I doubt that a fitness runner would find much use for this book, however. It is long on the science and short on the practical necessities. However, for the racer it is invaluable. It offers an extensive primer on competition, then goes on to outline specific training programs for different events ranging from the 800m to the marathon. For the serious runner intent on improving their times and using science to improve their training, Daniels' Running Formula is an indispensable tool, and a valuable addition to their library.