Monday, July 20, 2009

Book Review - Training for Young Distance Runner by Larry Greene and Russ Pate

As a former high school cross country runner, the book Training for Young Distance Runner by Larry Greene and Russ Pate seemed to do a great job of providing a comprehensive overview of the skills needed to coach high school cross country runners. Greene and Pate offer advice on nutrition, running physiology, psychology and biomechanics for high school athletes. They book also covers training methods that improve the flexibility, mobility, and running technique as well as the proper amount of recovery time after hard workouts and competition.

As an adult runner, I only race once per month, but I remember racing several times per month in my high school days. This book will provide insight into running for high school runners, but adult runners can also benefit from the advice on creating a proper training microcycle and mesocycle. I loved the author's post-workout questions for cross country runners on page 171:

How are your legs feeling after an interval workout?
How is your breathing (during the workout)?
How did your technique feel on that last stride?
Did you like that workout?

These questions are valuable for me, because I tend to want to overtrain and overachieve in anything I set my mind to. Asking myself the right questions and listening to my body will help me prevent running injuries and keep my motivation to keep on training.

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