Coaching distance runners is both a science and an art. Unfortunately, many coaches only concern themselves with the science of coaching. This is not hard to do, as there are plenty of books, periodicals, and websites dealing with the scientific aspects of coaching. This kind of knowledge, of course, is required in order to develop competitive athletes.
However, the extent to which a runner derives benefit from their training is dependent not only on the workouts that the coach assigns, but the enthusiasm that the runner has for those workouts. A well-crafted interval workout is of little value if the athlete's level of motivation is insufficient to do it with effort. This is where the art of coaching comes into play.
While the science of distance coaching is concerned with the physiological impact those workouts have on the runner, a wise coach also cares about the emotional state of his athletes. Distance Running & Cross Country Training Games (Fourth Edition) by Eric Anderson and Stewart Cotterill, thus takes as its starting point the need for scientific evidence in the training processes, but stresses that the art of coaching is equally as important. This book helps coaches learn how to maintain motivation among their athletes. It also helps them increase team cohesion and enjoyment from distance running.
Chapter 1: What Is Motivation?
Chapter 2: Motivational Training Runs and Games
Chapter 3: Racing Tactics and Mental Games
Chapter 4: Motivational Tools and Techniques
Chapter 5: Counseling and Communication
Chapter 6: The Team Environment
What others are saying:
Distance Running & Cross Country Training Games is a valuable tool for the coach and athlete alike. It is much more than an innovative guide to how to keep training fresh; it also provides a sophisticated analysis of coaching and training theory. Complete with a comprehensive discussion of racing tactics, it is a book that coaches should wear out.
Deena Kastor (U.S. Marathon Record Holder, Olympic Bronze Medalist) and Andrew Kastor (ASICS Mammoth Track Club Head Coach)
Eric Anderson has a great understanding of what it takes to coach runners. His unique perspective on social motivations and training tactics to improve long-term performance is refreshing!
Nicholas Arciniaga, 2013 USA Men’s Marathon Championship Winner
Professor Eric Anderson’s enthusiasm for running is nothing but infectious. This enthusiasm is matched by his knowledge and understanding of all of the components of distance running. He is a coach/academic who gives equal weight and balance to running’s multiple dimensions, making him what I would term a truly holistic coach.
Jim Denison, Ph.D., Author of The Greatest: The Haile Gebrselassie Story and Bannister and Beyond: The Mystique of the Four-Minute Mile