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Loved the book, having to refer back across different chapters to work out training program was a pain though.
Trained with heart rate monitor for first time & I was training to focused on intervals. I brought the book as I was running out of puff towards later stages of interval work outs & realised I was lacking endurance. I am preparing for for my first half marathon & will use program, which once put together seems very easy to follow
I read the excerpt on the Amazon website and decided I wouldn't buy it. There were factual errors that I found irritating - for example the 1956 Olympics were not held in Sydney - which didn't give me confidence that the rest of the book would be any better. An experienced athlete in our training group had a similar experience but had found the latter half of the book to be much better, and so I purchased the kindle version. There is indeed some guidance that would be useful to newcomers to distance running, especially if they don't have access to any coaching support. However, I found further factual errors and some dubious inferences. There is a reminder of the hard-easy principle and much of course is made of the work of exercise physiologist Stephen Seiler, but it does not need 200+ pages. I doubt whether many established competitive distance runners in the UK club system will find that much of use here - the work of Arthur Lydiard is well-known and there are better books on the market that bring current knowledge of exercise physiology to bear on the principles that Lydiard derived from experimenting on himself. Now on the coaching side of the sport, I doubt if I shall refer to this book that often, and so the kindle option was a good decision.
I have followed Matt and Dave's 80/20 Marathon plan with great results. Prior to the 8020 system, using a more traditional plan I was in and out of physio and getting taped to the hilt just to try and get around, with constant pain in my knees.
It says something when my own physio couldn't believe the volume of training I had been doing and how little work I required once I started following this plan. He now recommends the 80/20 system to his clients.
I am 100% sold on the system, and managed to complete my first full Marathon off the back of it in 3hr 47mins. Not amazing, but considering when I first attempted to do a 5 mile run at a 4 hour marathon pace, I blew up 2 miles in and had to walk the last 3 miles. It was this horrible experience that led me to purchasing this book, and the results speak for themselves.
Since this time I have followed the 80/20 Ironman training plan, again with PBs set all around, and no injuries during training.
Going slow to get fast sounds counter-intuitive, but it really does work ! This transformed my training, enjoyment of the sports, and significantly reduced recurring injuries from old plans that I followed - I cant recommend it highly enough
The challenge with any long distance training plan is the leap in to the unknown. You put a huge amount of effort in and have no real certainty that it's paying off. After reading the book and getting acquainted with the principles I followed the Level 2 Half Marathon plan. I missed a few sessions, but not many and I was lucky with injuries.
At the end of the plan I ran the Bournemouth Half Marathon in 1:54:42. My goal was sub 2 hours, so I was delighted. That's my recommendation.
I’ve read a number of training guides but this one is so easy to follow the ethos of Matts 80/20 rules. After 6 months of following those rules, my pace improved to a scary level and I was running on the track and road significantly faster than I have ever dreamt of.
Also highly recommend Matts Endurance Diet book too.
I'm not a high level runner at all. I run around 3 times a week and was looking to up my distance and improve my times. I think this book is aimed at hobbyist so it should have been perfect for me. I didn't know about the 80/20 method before reading this book and I did find it useful to know about the reasoning and evolution of this way of training. Although at times I felt like this point was laboured bit too much. There are three training plans per distance contained in this book, of varying degrees of difficulty. My biggest issue with this book is the "easiest" training plan asks the reader to run 6 times per week, with the "hardest" plan running multiple times a day. I feel like this is asking too much of a hobbyist runner. Running 6 times a week for a 5k seems a bit excessive. The training plans themselves are quite complicated. Each daily workout has a corresponding key to explain what should be done. For example, there are multiple different speed play workouts with further explanation. Ultimately I did learn things in this book but I'm not sure how much I'll be able to use the training plans or how I can adapt them for easier use.
This book and a few other books I have read recently have made me reassess how I run. Making more of my running at a lower intensity has really improved my training. I can do more miles because I am not knackering myself out running hard all the time. My race times have come down and my fitness has improved. You may want to adapt it slightly for your personal training preferences, but the theory is sound and worth reading about.