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Daniels' Running Formula

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,727 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
Get in the best shape of your running career with the scientifically based training in "Daniels' Running Formula." In the book that "Runner's World" magazine called ""the best training book,"" premier running coach Jack Daniels provides you with his proven VDOT formula to guide you through training at exactly the right intensity to become a faster, stronger runner.

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Paperback, Second Edition, 304 pages
Published November 3rd 2004 by Human Kinetics (first published May 1st 1998)
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Ruben Valdez Escobedo You might want to check out this previous response. I've tried and it works, but it does not list the second edition next to the third: …moreYou might want to check out this previous response. I've tried and it works, but it does not list the second edition next to the third:

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 14, 2013 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a recreational runner I found this book very helpful but also pretty advanced. It is definitely a resource that I will continue to utilize as I continue to improve in my running.
Simen Næss Berge
Oct 16, 2015 Simen Næss Berge rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to get serious about their running
Shelves: personal-library
This book is simply amazing. I read it, followed one of the 26-week marathon training plans and dropped my marathon time by over 50 minutes in less than a year. From 3:55 to 3:03 after doing the 41-55 miles (66-89 km) per week plan.

The book does a good job telling you why you do every run as you do. It tells you what paces to hit for each run also. The plans are easy to follow and they are easy to customize to fit your life.

The only critism I have is that the long runs are too easy/slow. While
Henri Hämäläinen
Jan 31, 2013 Henri Hämäläinen rated it really liked it
Jack Daniels is a professor of physical education, coach of Olympic athletes and olympic medalist himself. That was proof enough for me, to take a closer look on his ideas.

For me there were two important things in this book. First one was the idea of training load. I've understood that there is different load for different type of exercises, but this book got me to understand more about it and quantify the loads to some extend. I took that part directly in to use on my training diary and will us
Lüc Carl
Feb 21, 2012 Lüc Carl rated it liked it
Daniels is a genius. At times almost a little too smart. I do not recommend this book to anyone who's never run at least a 50 mile week at one point or another. Most of his techniques don't apply to people not hoping to qualify for the Olympics.
His methods are cutting edge (especially 30 years ago) and this book is a must read for anyone who spends a great deal of their life in their running shoes.
Mark Law
Some good tips but I had higher hopes. I appreciate the scientific approach, but sometimes felt the discussion was in place just to talk about the science, rather than enhance the author's premise. A nice structural change would be a bullet point "need to know" at the end of each chapter to reinforce the important points or lessons in that chapter.
Lucas Zileri
Feb 28, 2016 Lucas Zileri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ended up with some mixed feelings about this book.

Basically, I liked it because it has a very scientifically-tested answer to the question: how should we train?

No doubt he has studied A LOT the topic, no doubt he knows a LOT about it. He talks about everything that goes from how you should breath to the types of runs there are. He also explains how to train considering you VO2Max, what he thinks about altitude training, how to run a marathon if you've never runned before and... million of othe
Liked it, seems like a good reference, but I read a library copy and have no plans to buy it. Frankly, it seemed like more of a manual for coaches, rather than for runners (maybe it started out as that in the first edition, and still has that outlook). The chapters on racing specific distances, and cross-country, especially, made me think: this was written for coaches.

Specific things I would have appreciated were (1) way more detail on improving running economy, (2) more detail on training adapt
Feb 06, 2014 Guy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book ranges from simple guidelines to complex training plans. Actually it is more like a how-to on how to make a personalized training plan, rather than specific plans, though full examples are given. Personally, I have trouble sticking to even very simple plans, let alone something 18+ weeks of things like '2 E + 8 M + 4 T + 2 E' (8 miles at marathon pace followed by 2 at tempo, with a 2 mile warm-up and 2 mile cool-down). But there is a lot of great advice in the book, even if online plan ...more
Adrienne Twain-witton
Too complicated for its own good

There are a ton of variations on plans in the book, but strangely, they still seem inflexible. The plans are geared toward people who do nothing but run. I currently log 40 miles a week, crammed in around work, school, and raising a family. The marathon plans in this book wouldn't work for me - 7 days running, two massive long runs a week, and lots of charts to figure everything out (even mileage) yourself. I think the "plans" are written to be so complicated that
Feb 11, 2008 John rated it really liked it
Shelves: fitness
Every now and again I get back in the running habit. And what with it being so long since I've done any formal training and my bust ass not being able to afford an actual coach, I usually call on my Brooklyn Road Runners Club buddies to recommend a decent training book.

Turns out Jack Daniels, the author of the book they recommended, lives less than an hour from where I spent my summer in 2006, in upstate New York. Not that it did me any good, as he's almost 80 years old and not taking in new ath
Kyle Edwards
This book is one of the better running/training reads out there. It shows different types of training speeds and how they are beneficial. They are E for easy, T for Tempo, I for Interval, and R for Repetition. It goes on to tell you exactly how fast and how long to train based on your current fitness level. The Fitness level he uses is called the 'VDOT'. This can be found based off of current personal bests in races. The information helps you to get to get the most for your training, and you ca ...more
John Rivera
May 12, 2014 John Rivera rated it really liked it
This is one of the best running books that I've come across. I've had a difficult time discarding the old notions like "add 10% a week" or "40 miles a week or more for marathon training" but Jack Daniels (I love that name) makes a very solid scientific argument for time and intensity versus racking up miles that's also backed with decades of both personal running and coaching experience.

The VDOT tables and a handful of the other figures(like the treadmill conversion charts) are alone worth buyin
David Taitelbaum
Sep 22, 2011 David Taitelbaum rated it really liked it
This is a great book for anyone who trains for any sort of distance running, whether that be the 1500 all the way up to the marathon. Daniels brings his scientific mind to training and as a result he provides you with a very detailed training program that even tells you what pace you should do for each run. He even has a training table that estimates what your time would be for a marathon based on a recent 10k or half marathon race you've recently run. The McMillan website has a similar calculat ...more
Dec 23, 2014 Karl rated it it was amazing
This is a very comprehensive and complete training encyclopaedia for the serious runner. Might be too much for beginners. If you're just getting started in the running game but want to be a serious competitor, I suggest you star with Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathon first, and then read this as a follow up.
This is one of the best, if not the best, marathon training guides out there.
Andy Nieradko
Jan 19, 2014 Andy Nieradko rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best book on running I've read so far. The author has many years of coaching and training experience. He has worked with a wide spectrum of athletes from high schoolers to Olympians. As a runner himself, he also speaks to the mindset of those who love to run, addressing such ideas as layoffs, the benefits of cross training and the strategy aspect of racing. What I liked most about this book, is the author's insistence that rest days are just as important as training days. It's a conc ...more
David Jijelava
Jan 30, 2016 David Jijelava rated it liked it
Shelves: running
Nice book, but with a surprising amount of unnecessary fluff. The Hansons' book reads better, but this one gives more flexibility in terms of choosing the training plan that suits you most. But requires quite a bit of figuring out to deduce different paces and other parameters that you will be needing for your workouts.
Leonore Lee
Mar 06, 2014 Leonore Lee rated it really liked it
Shelves: fitness
First off - don't get the Kindle version. There are too many charts and information that you will want to refer back to. Excellent training program for advanced runners. Talks down to age-groupers a bit, but if you are a former collegiate runner or if you can look past that, you will get something out of this training method.
Sep 01, 2013 Jon rated it liked it
I can definitely see the influence Daniels had on McMillan but I'm not sure it's worth spending the time with Daniels' materials now. He emphasizes VO2Max when nowadays the more accepted organizing principle is functional threshold, and to really dig into even VO2Max you'll need his Oxygen Power pamphlet ($35 on his website only.) He also attributes certain physiological changes to long slow distance that Coggan's work suggests is better found through threshold training. There are some interesti ...more
Shana Simmons
Jun 10, 2015 Shana Simmons rated it liked it
This book has a lot if information for people who are already avid runners. It is very scientifically written and was out of my league. I will revisit it when I am more familiar with the terms of the running world and have more knowledge on the subject.
Nov 13, 2014 Owen rated it it was amazing
I read the 3rd edition. It all makes sense and is easy to understand. For beginning to very advanced runners. Why to run easy some days, and harder on other days. Different distances, times, etc. Very scientific.
Carly Authement
Mar 02, 2015 Carly Authement rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a young coach, it was a super informative read. Highly recommended if you are trying to learn more about competitive running from both the coach's and athlete's perspective.
May 16, 2015 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: running
Fantastic book. No one would ever know that it was written by an 82 year old. A plethora of new information added and a modern layout. Jack Daniels strikes again!
Derwin Peppers
Apr 25, 2015 Derwin Peppers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great information for us mortals!

Good read and caused me to run my best times. Started at the base color and moved my way up to better fitness.
Jan 02, 2016 Vicky rated it it was amazing
Not recommended for a first time marathoner as a book to help train/guide ,but absolutely worth a read for there after! Superb insight and worth a read.
Willie O
Dec 05, 2015 Willie O rated it liked it
Lots of great info. However too technical for me, who would just as soon go out and enjoy a run and not have to worry about VO's and heart rates etc..
Aug 28, 2015 Lee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid science behind running and rigorous plans, but very heavy for the casual - intermediate runner.
Aug 28, 2014 Philippe rated it it was amazing
This book has ALOT of content. Might be a little overwhelming for a new runner with its scientific notions but it's definitely the best way out there to improve yourself without wrecking yourself! ;)
François Modave
Sep 06, 2015 François Modave rated it it was amazing
THe book you want if you coach runners, or if you coach yourself and you'll read only one book.
Mike Harry
Apr 25, 2015 Mike Harry rated it it was amazing
I qualified for the Boston Marathon 4 times using this book as the training basis.
Tomasz Kulig
Oct 05, 2014 Tomasz Kulig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of interesting information and tips. In many places too complicated for me but I'll definitely back to it at some time in future.
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“Don’t waste your time wishing for things you don’t have. Do your best with what you do have.” 1 likes
“The result is that you get about 3 minutes at O2max in runs one and two, but you get no time at max in runs three, four, and five. What was the purpose of the workout? If it was to hurt, you accomplished the purpose, but if you had planned to spend 15 minutes or so stressing your aerobic maximum, you missed that completely.” 0 likes
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