Run with the Champions: Book Review
This is a must own book for any serious runner. Marc Bloom ranks 50 runners. The top 30 men and the top 20 women. Whether you agree on his list or not, that is not the point of the book. The book was written in 2001 so it’s obviously missing anyone since then. This book is filled with inside information on some of America’s greatest distance runners. Each runner has 4-5 pages dedicated to them. There is a brief bio and story on each athlete. Each runner has a page with a brief look at certain workouts, a week or two of training, or a philosophy the runner had towards training.
You can compare a snapshot of Bill Rodger’s training vs. Frank Shorter vs. Bob Kennedy. For instance, Rodgers relied on a steady diet of very high mileage (over 160 mpw at times) and few intervals. Shorter trained at high altitude much of his career and used short fast intervals as well as high mileage to become one of America’s greatest marathoners. Kennedy didn’t do nearly the volume that the two marathon runners did, but he had incredibly intense track workouts, while maintaining 100 miles per week.
Other runners include Steve Prefontaine, Alberto Salazar, Joan Samuelson, PattiSue Plumer, and Mary Slaney.
There isn’t enough information in here to really devise an entire training program, but understanding what elite runners did and how they approached training can be useful. At the very least it’s entertaining.
This is a book that you will likely come back to a few times per year and flip through.
It would be great if this book was re-published including runners from the last 15 years, especially on the women’s side.
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