Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Book Review: RUN by Matt Fitzgerald

This is a very comprehensive book on how to run by feel. It is revolutionary in the sense that it forgoes the use of Garmins/Polars, heart-rate monitors, and even how to find the right shoe based on foot type. All these things will prove useless once you get to know how to run by feel.

Matt's approach is most often covered by scientific research studies that I, a low comprehension type of reader, gets to doze off easily. It's like that boring Chemistry or Physics teacher when you were in college. It's like hitting the marathon wall, hehe. But if you keep going (turning the pages), it gets quite interesting in the long run.

The most useful point that this book covered that I'm now using as part of my marathon training for Condura 2011 is the daily logging of "how you feel" after every run. You rate your run if 1=felt lousy, 2=felt alright, 3=felt great. I think uses this same concept. I've actually made an Excel table for this, color-coding my runs according to how I felt during/after the run. When I see that there are two many rate=1, then I back off and take a few days rest. Then, once I resume training, I feel alright/great again.

There is also a discussion on picking the right shoe which, according to Matt, essentially boils down to getting the "lightest, most comfortable" shoe that you can find. Pretty simple, huh?

There are a lot more points covered by this book. I highly recommend it for those who've been running already (not for newbies since most topics might not be appreciated at such an early stage). Think of it as a way to iron out your training towards better race performances in the future.

A good read.


  1. a good read indeed!

    when i trained for camsur marathon, i logged how i felt in some of my runs, especially when i had difficulty completing a workout. the log was very useful for me in tracing the cause of a running injury i had during training.

    hopefully, the log would also prove useful when i tweak my marathon programs in the future.

  2. this is one of the best (& serious) running books published so far. but what impressed me most is the author's emphasis on the 3 principles of training---consistency, specificity, and recovery. very simple and basic but these principles should be followed religiously if you want to improve in running. keep on writing!

  3. @ricky, yup the log will prove useful in future marathon trainings. I hope to do 1 (or 2) every year so I'll save my current logs for future comparison.

    @baldrunner, what I like about Matt is that he thinks out of the box, challenging the different principles out there (including Chi and POSE running). he makes you think, "oo nga ano?!" :)