The Distance Runner’s Handbook is a comprehensive approach to the science and art of distance running. Written for the coach and self-coached athlete alike, it examines the latest science, sport psychology, coaching psychology, and racing knowledge that relates to running and racing from the 800 meters to the marathon.
It is written by a highly experienced distance running coach, Professor Eric Anderson. Professor Anderson is a California native and former California high school and college cross country/track coach. He is a sociologist, a chartered psychologist, a certified personal trainer, and he holds the title of Professor of Sport, Health and Wellbeing at the University of Winchester, in England. His credentials and experiences help make this book more than a ‘how to train’ text, he also teaches us how to promote teamwork, social bonding, and make racing and training more enjoyable.
Competitive athletes will particularly enjoy his detailed strategies and tactics for races from 800 meters to the marathon. The chapter covering learning to deal with pain, and the chapter on the use of mental imagery for performance enhancement, will also greatly benefit the competitive athlete.
Coaches will appreciate the chapter on promoting a positive team environment, how to counsel athletes on the run, and the use of training games to promote novelty and enjoyment in training. They will find the book loaded with practical coaching psychology research and advice.
Recreational runners will appreciate his systematic explanations of how to build a training regime and how often and of what type of workout to be run. They will benefit from his explanations of running form, diet, and other chapters that help the self-coached runner remain injury free, motivated, and enjoying their runs.
Everyone will benefit from his refreshing and honest approach to the science behind training methods. Anderson does not shy away from controversial areas of research, like HIIT training, stretching, and weightlifting, and he expertly delivers a balanced presentation of the research findings from both sides.
This is also a modern text, inclusive of gender, racial, and sexual diversity. The text is complete with ethical considerations of coaching, and promotes an inclusive and athlete-centered perspective.
Finally, having written over 20 books and 75 research articles, Professor Anderson has mastered the delivery of complicated ideas related to training physiology and biomechanics, nutrition, psychology, and team sociology, in easy-to-read prose.
Chapter 1: The Health Benefits of Distance Running
Chapter 2: Principles of Training
Chapter 3: Types of Training Runs
Chapter 4: Developing a Training Pyramid
Chapter 5: Training Games
Chapter 6: Other Forms of Physical Training
Chapter 7: Climate-Related Training Factors
Chapter 8: Form Analysis
Chapter 9: Flexibility
Chapter 10: Sport Psychology
Chapter 11: Utilizing Valuable Assets
Chapter 12: Tracks, Times, Talk
Chapter 13: Pre-Race Activities
Chapter 14: Racing Tactics
Chapter 15: Racing Strategies
Chapter 16: Team Tactics and Strategies
Chapter 17: Mental Tactics
Chapter 18: Pain
Chapter 19: Energy Requirements for Performance
Chapter 20: Nutrient Utilization
Chapter 21: Coaching and Communication
What others are saying:
Dr. Eric Anderson combines the perfect blend of science and art into the craft of distance running. This book represents years of scientific study and practical coaching knowledge. Dr. Anderson's book also serves as the most comprehensive discussion of racing tactics and strategies we have seen. If there was ever a university course offered in distance running. The Distance Runner's Handbook would undoubtedly be required reading.
-Deena and Andrew Kastor, U.S. Marathon Record Holder, Olympic Bronze Medalist
Dr. Eric Anderson's enthusiasm for running is nothing but infectious. His attitude is matched by his knowledge and understanding of all 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, PhD, Author of The Greatest: The Haile Gebrselassie Story and Bannister and Beyond: The Mystique of the Four-Minute Mile.
With The Distance Runner's Handbook Professor Eric Anderson teaches you to be the director of your own training and racing. He surmises decades of scientific and psychological research into running and training, and delivers it in an entertaining, logical, and easy-to understand fashion. As my coach, the philosophies and practices he espouses have helped me succeed, both on and off the track.
-Jesse Strutzel (Warren), 1:45 800-Meter Runner
Professor Anderson is known to be a creative thinker and dynamic lecturer at our university. He has a way of synthesizing different academic disciplines into coherent ideas that stretch our understandings of what we once thought. The Distance Runner's Handbook does for its readers what he does for his students: it engages them, challenges them, and helps them develop more complex understandings of how to train and race.
-Dr. John Batten, Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology, University of Winchester
This text not only provides a highly accessible insight into pertinent psychological issues related to training and racing, it also intelligently applies these psychological concepts to situations that are likely to be encountered by most runners and their coaches.
-Dr. Sam Carr, Sport and Exercise Psychologist, University of Bath