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Lore of Running

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,735 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Lore of Running gives you incomparable detail on physiology, training, racing, injuries, world-class athletes, and races.

Author Tim Noakes blends the expertise of a physician and research scientist with the passion of a dedicated runner to answer the most pressing questions for those who are serious about the sport:

-How your body systems respond to training, the effects of
Paperback, Fourth Edition, 943 pages
Published December 3rd 2002 by Human Kinetics Publishers (first published July 16th 1987)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  1,735 ratings  ·  67 reviews

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Dec 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I found the 3rd edition to be thorough and excellent. The 4th edition refined a few points, expanded others, and toned down what might be considered controversial condemnation of fad diets.

This is my basic running reference which I refer to for any serious running question. Although I bought it almost a decade ago, I continue to pull it off the shelf to answer questions. It is just so much more complete than other running books.

"The marathon is less a physical event than a spiritual encounter.
Vernon Chaplin
Jan 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The bible of distance running. No one would ever read it straight through, but if you're serious about understanding your body and getting better, you should own it. Reads like a review of the academic literature at times, but also contains pages of engrossing stories and examples from the training of world class athletes.
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book has an amazing amount of information - more probably than some will want. Medical information, running history, many current popular training methods, treating injuries, eating, drinking, and much more. If you only own one running book this probably should be it.

Highly recommended for the scientific runner.
Jesse Hackell
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Everything you could possibly want to know about running-and some pretty great stories, too.
William Schram
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When a book reaches its fourth edition it is a reason for questions. Some books are textbooks and might have included some typos or neglected to cover something clearly in the previous editions. There are cases when it is a well-earned release though, and the book Lore of Running is one of those situations.

Lore of Running is written by Timothy Noakes, MD. Doctor Noakes comes across as a somewhat well-informed man, but the only reason I say that is because he perpetuates the idea that Columbus p
Pete Danko
May 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Noakes is the fearless, relentless and indispensable expert on our sport. There is so much in this book. You'll go to it if you're exploring lengthening your tempo runs, or turning your focus to 5Ks, or wondering what mitochondria have to do with it all or feeling tenderness in your Achilles ... but you'll also go to it just because you love running and you want to read again about the training that brought Zatopek to that mind-bending 5000/10000/marathon triple-gold ridiculousness at Helsinki i ...more
Mr. Bartlett
Nov 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Haven't read the entire thing, but this is the most comprehensive book about running EVER! Great, scientific information.
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I would have assumed the author of this book was arrogant due to the title had I not met him and if I hadn’t ever read the book. Insightful, honest and self-deprecating but if you tend towards neuroticism - read this only as a reference book - read as one would a normal book on running this becomes harrowing.
I have to say that I believe there is no book that comes even remotely close to this book as far as expounding on running research. Its large size is daunting at first. It's not for casual reading. But if you want to learn what scientists have discovered over the past century about running, this is excellent. The author is well respected (sits on editorial boards for well regarded academic journals, is long-time faculty at University of Cape Town, has an MD, has run marathons and ultramarathons, ...more
Feb 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book answered a lot of questions I had as a runner. Especially concerning food & fluid intake, training methods, and problems like injuries and overtraining. As an older runner I also found it informative that he carefully documented a gradual decline in running speed with age--there's no way around that so we might as well get used to it.

But I thought that Noakes is fixated on the elites, who arguably are "different" from recreational runners. He goes into incredible detail about every asp
Dec 19, 2009 rated it liked it
First off, I should qualify my poor rating of this book as not a reflection of the book itself, which is well written and researched, with superb advice, and some serious exercise physiology education. Tim Noakes is one of the true epic modern exercise physiologists today and one of the most prolific writers to boot!

The book overall is probably a great starting place for new SERIOUS runners. Folks who want to achieve their best, whatever that best might be, not for someone want to run for fun.
Aug 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
My fave for totally geeking out about running, which you would think (and you'd be right) is pretty dang simple. Noakes is just kind of kooky in an endearing way: Bernd Heinrich in a lab coat. But there's useful stuff in here, for sure.
Jun 08, 2008 rated it liked it
This book has WAY more information on running than most people would ever wanna know! I find it as a useful "encyclopedia" of sorts if I have a running question.
Thomas Strömquist
Oct 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All runners
Shelves: book-collection
The book for the serious runner. No matter level or goals, this is the reference work for everyone. Incredibly comprehensive and detailed.
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I have to admit that this is one of the very few books I did not finish.
This book is full of information, very well researched, and fat.... I managed to read about half of it when I realized that by the time I am done, some of the information will likely have become erroneous. It's the kind of book you can read a little bit at a time, but then, it can take you forever to finish it. So after 4 years, time to admit I'll never finish it.
I will choose the easier way and look on the web any specific
Shane Skelcy
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the definitive book on running. The canonical compilation of all things running. Noakes brings together studies and theories in a serious manner that shows deep respect for the reader. This book is not just for runner though! The information found within this tome can be applied across the spectrum of sports to any athletes delight. It took me a while to chip away at this bad boy, but it was well worth it. I do not recommend reading it cover to cover. Overall, I learned a lot from this b ...more
Jiří Kaplan
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I spent a year of reading this book as English is not my native language. It was awesome, I really get many new insights into world of running. I believe this book can help everyone from hobby runers to elite, from school gym teachers to olympic trainers. Book is well structered and its written with humble premise that this is current state of running science and things may change when our understanding of physiology of human body during exercise and especially running will improve over time.
Jul 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Lore is right. This tome collects everything you would ever want to know about running and more. Much more. Likely extremely helpful to people working in the sports medicine field and marathon runners, the Lore of Running was a bit less relevant to this runner of 5K's and middle school cross country coach. That said, I got some helpful ideas for workouts, stretches, and on site treatment for minor injuries.
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was comprehensive! I believe I will never need another book about running 🙃 To be honest, this is not a book for everyone. As a medical doctor, I read it page by page, fascinated by the amount of information collected there. But beware, it often reads like a huge collection of scientific research papers (but again, it was what I liked about it).
Andriy Bas
Jan 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: smartreading, sport
Many practical suggestions how to run properly.
Based on many-many researches, the author analyzed the best athletes in the world.
Recommended for every runner.
IMHO - the original version is too long, for non-professional athletes short version would be enough.
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lots of info and data. Sometimes practical coaching gets lost in all the detail but a great resource on training. I needed to skim through some sections or my brain would have exploded.
Isaac Vanwestrienen
Dec 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Yikes. This book has a ton of graphs and stuff on training for marathons and other long races. It is very dull but if you are a runner you should read it.
Matthew Hudson
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The one book every runner should have. Evidence based scientific backed studies to help you achieve your running best.
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fitness-health
The runners encyclopedia.... Not a page turner but a great reference book.
Walt Haas
I learned a lot about training and nutrition. It's has a major effect on my activities for the last few months, and as a result I've been gaining rapidly in fitness.
Yatir Linden
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Definitely the bible of rinning.
Eva Sandor
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If there's something about running that isn't in this book, eh, "she no important".
stuart pearson
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loads of information in here. I use this as a text book and dip in when I need some information about a specific area of running training or nutrition. It’s a lot of information to try and read cover to cover but a great reference for any runner.
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health
First a big warning: Don't try to read all the chapters in order, or to understand everything on the first go. Treat it more like an encyclopedia.

Some of my favorite chapters:

Chapter 3: Energy Systems
It was interesting learning how much energy is consumed running at different speeds and the physiology of how the body accesses energy stores.

Chapter 4: Temperature regulation
I often have to run in the hot and humid weather in the summer, so it was interesting learning the science of why this is so
Dec 19, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a veritable encyclopedia of running and all things related to running: training, racing, injuries, illnesses, running history, nutrition; just everything under the sun. It is the most comprehensive running book perhaps in existence. The only thing is that it's old. It was first written in the 70s or 80s, I think? Last updated in the 1990's, which is still a pretty long time ago, and you can tell. It's definitely dated, but there is still some good stuff in here.

I read it in pieces (you h
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Timothy David Noakes is a South African professor of exercise and sports science at the University of Cape Town. He has run more than 70 marathons and ultramarathons, and is the author of the running book Lore of Running.

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  Justin A. Reynolds burst onto the YA scene last year with his debut book Opposite of Always, a heartfelt novel about love and friendship...
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“Your body will argue that there is no justifiable reason to continue. Your only recourse is to call on your spirit, which fortunately functions independently of logic.” 23 likes
“The marathon is less a physical event than a spiritual encounter. In infinite wisdom, God built into us a 32-km racing limit, a limit imposed by inadequate sources of the marathoner's prime racing fuel - carbohydrates. But we, in our human wisdom, decreed that the standard marathon be raced over 42 km.

So it is in that physical no-man's-land, which begins after the 32-km mark, that the irresistible appeal of the marathon lies. It is at that stage, as the limits to human running endurance are approached, that the marathon ceases to be a physical event. It is there that you, the runner, discover the basis for the ancient proverb: "When you have gone so far that you cannot manage one more step, then you have gone just half the distance that you are capable of." It is there that you learn something about yourself and your view of life." Marathon runners have termed it the wall. (Chapter 10)”
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