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Daniels' Running Formula

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  3,584 ratings  ·  200 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: https://www.go…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:

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Michelle Curie
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Running is my weak spot. I can't even say why, but I count picking up running a few years ago to the best decisions I have ever made and now can't even imagine a life without it. Having that said, I'm not an athlete. I run and that's all I do. I don't train. But then I realized I actually did want to increase my knowledge on that subject and get more into the scientific bits. And that was when I was recommended this book!

Jack Daniels (not related to the whisky, but I wonder how often he gets jok
Simen Næss Berge
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 10, 2013 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.
Henri Hämäläinen
Oct 26, 2012 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
Jan 12, 2012 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.
Joseph Siefers
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Done them all...Hansons, Pfitzinger, etc. The Daniels 2Q marathon plan is the right fit for me (your mileage may vary).

The 2Q method is wonderful and roughly follows the 80% easy 20% hard rule of thumb (which in my opinion is a far more sustainable way to train). I love how each Q is unique (some have a long warmup, others short, some marathon pace Qs have a break roughly halfway, others don't, tempo Qs sometimes have rests, other times, recovery intervals). With Hansons and Pfitzinger you were
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. ...more
Brian Rock
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: runners.
Shelves: running
Like many people, I got into running earlier this year during the covid lockdown.

I'd run previously, so I wasn't entirely new. But my last extended bout with running was 5 years ago. Since then, I've run on and off a little bit but I've never been able to sustain things.

This frustrated me somewhat, because I've previously trained up to running a half marathon. That was six years ago, when I was 30, and I just haven't been able to repeat that success. Every time I started running, I'd either get
Polina S
Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s a good book for the beginner. Gives you understanding why you need to run low intensive long runs and how to mix it with high intensive. Gives you that base in understanding you need if you were not much into sport in your childhood. For experienced runners it won’t be helpful
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: running
The way the book is written is very easy to follow and use. I think it's a great helper for anyone who is serious about his training. Now it's time to apply the VDOT values in the road and see if the training programs of the book do make a difference in marathon! ...more
Hexar Anderson
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book changed my entire view on what running training should look like - and it flies in the face of my preconceptions that I've held ever since I started running. The first and most important thing I learned is that I've been running entirely too fast for the majority of my runs - when in fact, you obtain the greatest benefit for the lowest risk when you run pretty slowly (easy pace) for the majority of your runs. The second is that I should be running much more than twice a week - ideally ...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
Stephen Topp
Nov 02, 2020 rated it liked it
This is, of course, mandatory reading for anybody who wants to be serious about their running.

BUT it also drives me absolutely nuts and hits a whole bunch of pet peeves/triggers I didn't know I have.

The biggest ones:
1: It doesn't do what it says on the cover.

The book blurbs all basically indicate that this is a book oriented towards runners - they say some version of "reading this book will make you a better runner".

But this book is not written for runners. It's written for coaches. Most of the
Kyle Bale
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Back in college I had my two roommates Jake and Joey relay me the sparknotes version of this book as I was preparing to run a marathon January later that year. I had been building a base of aerobic endurance the previous 6 months and was looking for some direction in my leftover training. Both gave me the basic idea, and referred me to an 18-week training plan I could jump into.

Fast forward to post-marathon, post Joey and Jake roommates (*dab*), and post-unplanned break from running (laziness),
Miguel Pais
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Exactly what I was looking for!
The perfect manual for every mildly self-conscious and motivated runner who wants to improve their times and an overall awesome introduction to fitness in general.

There's just so much misleading information being exposed every day on blog posts, while this gem has been lying around for 20 years with everything you need to know, written not by a journalist or some sort of fad-creator, but from an actual scientist that has been researching about this for years.

An eye
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was definitely the most detailed running training book that I've ever read (which actually can make it a bit complicated at times). What I found most helpful in this book was the VDOT tables, which use data like VO2 max and vVO2 to determine optimal training paces for a variety of distances and workouts. Most of the training plans in this book last 24 weeks and have 4 phases; however, it is easy to adjust the training plans based on the time you have up until your race and your current fitn ...more
Pavel Linshits
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Kinda cheating to include this in my 50 books in 2019 challenge, but fuck it. Daniels writes in a clear, comprehensive style, making his ideas accessible to both elite athletes and complete beginners. I'm much closer to the latter than the former, which meant I skipped a few sections aimed at 100 miles/week runners, but I like the scientific approach and the amount of information he provides you with, and will use his plans in training for my first marathon in April. Depending on how that goes, ...more
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
If you're looking for a book aimed at beginner runners, this is not it. The author talks about complicated concepts using complicated words like VO2 and blood-lactate levels, rarely stopping to explain what he means.

Also, he mostly has this attitude of "these are facts" when the things written in the book sound very much like personal opinions.

Anyway, I didn't find a beginner guide here but maybe the kind of uber-athletes that can run 20km+ without stopping could get some use out of this boo
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually more like 3.5 stars

Good recommendations and general framework for running, but it seems to be more suitable for professional and/or people who are really into long distances on their weekly training than people like me who really like running but can't put in all that much mileage. I used it for marathon training and his lightest program was up to 40 miles per week while my aspiration was more like up to 20 or 30 miles per week
Michael Mason-D'Croz
If you want to learn how to coach running, set up training plans or just better your running, this book is a must read. It is so dense and full of information about running and training. Seriously, you should read this book if you care about running. If not ... skip it.

With that said, this book is so full of science, science data, science jargon and other heavy, research-based sections that it can be a bear to read and get through sections.
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Explains scientifically what happens with the body when running. Has a definition of VDOT and contains extensive reference tables for VDOT and different paces/distances.

Has many ready-to-use programs and gives enough knowledge so that you can try to structure a training plan on your own.

Everyone serious about running should give this book a try - at least the first half of it where more general concepts are described.
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
very complicated and overwhelming at first so it takes a while to get used to his terminology. i haven’t followed his programs yet but it helps me understand a lot better. the different paces and training intensities makes me realize there is so much more to running than i naively thought just a few months ago. i’m excited to try out some of his workouts (as long as i can keep track of how complicated it is)
Cheng Nie
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now that I have the proper knowledge from the coach, I am better prepared for a better training plan ahead. Before reading this book, I was thinking about tackling Marathon at the end of this year. After reading this book, I thought I'd be better off to target at half Marathon before the end of the year with carefully executed plan. Thank you coach! ...more
Dori Y Juan
Worthwhile reading and interesting but training plans are overly complex

I enjoyed reading this and I have taken away some useful tips that I will put into practice. It’s unfortunate that the training plans are overly complex which makes me reluctant to use them although I think the principles can be followed
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can only judge a book like this based on the results I get from its prescriptions. I'm still in the process of trying out his running plans, and I cannot yet speak for the results but I feel that the theory makes sense and the workouts are highly reasonable. If nothing else, I'm enjoying the runs. ...more
Dilyan Dimitrov
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely a very good book about running.
It contains plenty of useful information about breathing, HR, VO2max, different types of running, training for races and general running tips. He also gives complete running programs for almost all distances from 800m to a marathon.
On the negative side, the book is more for coaches than for runners and sometimes the MATH gets quite complex.
Stephen Dodson
Sep 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Helpful guide to running, covering a wide range of training programs and distances. Geared a little more towards HS/college runners and coaches. Informative, but unnecessarily complex/detailed for much of it instead of elaborating more on principles and ancillary things like race prep and nutrition.
Dec 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: other
Audience for this book is really coaches of high school or university-aged runners. Definitely for non-masters aged runners and more for those interested in running long distances. In other words, not me. However, for a young runner who is serious about the sport I can see this would be useful.

Martin Raybould
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
My marathon planning goes on.
This authoritative book helped although it was clearly written for those fitter and younger than me. Contains enough general tips to help casual runners who are motivated by personal achievement rather than winning medals.
Greg Streeter
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good for the intermediate to advance runner

Plenty of science and training plans for more experienced runners. New runners should slowly build up to at least 30 miles per week before tackling Mr Daniels' formulas. S great resource.
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