The Distance Runner’s Handbook

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Eric Anderson
248 pages
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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.