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Unbreakable Runner: Unleash the Power of Strength & Conditioning for a Lifetime of Running Strong
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Unbreakable Runner: Unleash the Power of Strength & Conditioning for a Lifetime of Running Strong

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  484 ratings  ·  52 reviews
The sport of running is founded upon unchallenged beliefs about how to train. Unbreakable Runner tears down these traditions to reveal the new rules for fast, powerful running. The creator of CrossFit Endurance, Brian MacKenzie, dispels the tenets of run training like high mileage and high-carb diets to show how high-intensity training can make runners strong for races ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 5th 2014 by Velo Press (first published January 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.70  · 
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Dustin Davis
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
It's somewhat motivational, but if you're already a somewhat experienced runner, if you already do speed work, and particularly if you're already an experienced lifter or Crossfitter, don't waste your money. I personally don't think I learned anything from this book. There's certainly nothing in here that you couldn't learn for free on the internet. Additionally, while the claim is that this allows you to train for a marathon by running fewer "junk miles," the time commitment is at least the ...more
Greg Hickey
The byline of Unbreakable Runner (T.J. Murphy and Brian MacKenzie) deceived me from the start. The book reads as though written entirely by Murphy, punctuated by references to what MacKenzie says and does for himself and the athletes he coaches. Given his experience as editor of Triathlon and Competitor magazines and author of Inside the Box, Murphy's writing abilities are up to the task, but an introductory text to Crossfit Endurance would seem more credible coming firsthand from its founder ...more
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sport
A disappointing book. The part I liked most was about running form and goes hand in hand with the (superior) Runner's World Your Best Stride. Improved mobility and strength will support a more efficient running style, which will result in faster times.

It's a bit strange to think that you can drastically cut your weekly mileage and become a fast runner without running too much. The author gives Sebastian Coe as a prime example but forgets that Sebastian didn't count slow jogging when reporting
William Chinda
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Disappointing. So much of the book is spent in sales pitch mode, trying to scare the reader away from the horrors of long slow distance training. The authors should realize that, in purchasing the book, you've already bought into the idea of strength and conditioning on some level and don't really need to be convinced. 80 pages could've easily been stripped from the front of this book. More effort should have been spent providing training guidance and offering additional instruction. What little ...more
Dec 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Decent insight for anyone who runs and is not familiar with CrossFit. The skills and drills integration was novel to me (at the levels MacKenzie prescribes) - his short-hand notation for workouts is still pretty frustrating (and not nearly as intuitive as other CF jargon). I'd give it a higher rating if that were more of a focus, but it seems almost purposefully obtuse (no master index, helpful reference sheet, just an almost throw-away "This will get easier as you get used to it.")

Other than
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
Good approach: Skills and strength-based running. Wrong elements: Pose (it may help some runners although you can still have bad tech and run perfect pose but it may also totally stuff your running up) and cross-fit (OK, I suppose, but I think drills and running strength exercises are better; after all, it's just circuit training).

Apart from that, a lot of hype in this book and not much substance. When reading it, I got quite carried away with the whole thing and nearly bought into it. In the
Jul 22, 2015 rated it did not like it
Disappointing, basically the whole book seems to be an advertisement for CFE (CrossFit Endurance).

The premise being if I run less I'll get injured less. Well duh! Also, I run because I love to run, why would I run less?...
Jun 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
An infomercial grounded in pseudoscience- basically hell.
Jul 10, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is an OK read. It's pretty repetitive and lacks much new information, but I appreciate the alternative ideas for distance training. I am a bit skeptical of how little running is actually involved in the CFE training plans, especially for longer races, and I'm also disappointed that the authors did not consider the mental and emotional reasons that many endurance athletes run or do their sport. We don't all do it just to win or do well in races, a lot of us do these sports because they ...more
Timo Saloranta
May 28, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Positives: the book is pretty well written and key reasoning is explained pretty well (not saying the reasoning is always that solid)

Negative: The running formula this book teaches is mostly marketing of CFE (Crossfit Endurance) methodology. Almost half of the book consists of training programs (tables and such) which are not useful if you just want to pick some new inspiration for your training without going fully into the direction the author teaches.

As an experienced runner I agree that it's
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
A seemingly controversial approach to running but under further inspection, the themes of addressing muscle imbalances to prevent injuries, improving cadence and running form with running drills, strengthening hips, quads, hamstrings and the most overlooked muscles in the feet all seem like no brainers when it comes to improving running or to run injury free. I must admit I was a skeptic but after reading it and taking several of the warm up exercises and implementing some of the strength and ...more
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoughtful approach

This is a great synopsis of the CrossFit Endurance approach to training. It also includes drills and training plans for those wanting to complete 5k to ultra marathons using CrossFit Endurance. Parts of it seemed to be more about battling critics versus laying out the plan. This is a great complement to Power Speed Endurance.
Matt Davis
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good intro to CFE, good workouts and sample plans. I have some work to do.
Ryan Page
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am a runner, and a Crossfitter. This book really helped me refine my training for ultra marathons.

Highly recommend!
A good short read

This is more of a manual than a book, however I enjoyed it all the same. I'll likely try one of the training routines in the future to prepare for my next race.
Jul 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I am a runner, and a Crossfitter. This book really helped me refine my training for ultra marathons.

Highly recommend!
May 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Average read. Not much new information presented. It is pretty much known now that strength training helps runners with injury prevention.
Douglas Lord
Nov 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This may prove a real eye-opener for weekend warriors and hardcore endurance athletes alike as it makes many valid, common-sense points about optimizing our bodies and reducing our proclivity for injuries. Regular Crossfit is a fun, if polarizing, activity due to injuries people get when they are doing it wrong or are simply not ready for its rigors. Crossfit Endurance (CFE) is a halfbreed that straddles “traditional” endurance training and Crossfit. CFE is one of many endurance training ...more
Nelson Candelario jr.
Overall the book is a great resource, with the bulk of the value coming in the form of CFE training plans from beginner to intermediate levels. However, there are a few things that I found problematic. For one thing, it is unclear on which audience the book targets. It is written as though it is meant for folks with little familiarity with CFE, but then there does not seem to be enough info to really guide someone who is completely new to crossfit. On the other hand, if you are familiar with CFE ...more
Evelyn Hornbarger
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Based on my experience of running an Ultra Ragnar, with what I perceived as "no training" changed my philosophy on what training to run long distances means. This book aligns perfectly with my experience, and I am so excited to have methodology and experience behind it. The philosophy is to run smarter, utilizing high intensity aerobic strength workouts to compliment speed work. The body gets equal, or better, conditioning as long runs provide, but without the accompanying injury that comes with ...more
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good book with training guidelines on being a better runner. My running has improved after following Murphy and Brian Mackenzie's precepts and training plans. Exercises are illustrated with black and white photos and if one goes to their CrossFit Endurance website, there are videos that a very helpful in learning how to properly perform the drills and exercises. To all the Crossfit haters, don't knock it until you try it. I have incorporated CrossFit (or HIIT, if you'd rather) into my training, ...more
Jan 11, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will be running the SeaWheeze half marathon this August in Vancouver, B.C. This will be my third half marathon and I decided I wanted to take a Crossfit training approach this time. My training for the last two races was sub-standard at best, so following the training plan in this book will be an interesting experiment. The general approach has the athlete doing more interval and strength work, with long runs only once a week. The goal for my run is to be comfortable for the entire 13.1 miles ...more
Mark Law
Feb 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
In my quest to improve my running and fitness I picked up this book. The book is written in convincing manner and will add food for thought as I begin the off season of strength training and recovery before launching into the next training cycle. While I believe much of what is written, I am still not ready to completely chuck current convention for this new upstart. I II believe in many of the principles and test myself to see what happens. I encourage you to the same.
Gabe McGowan
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a valuable resource WRT building a kinetic-chain strength base for running. The good stuff is the training plans, strength workouts, etc. The background is basically the same minimal/paleo stuff you've heard before, and probably a little too absolute. The material presented is valuable if you looking to effectively train for endurance events (I'm a competitive distance runner) while keeping weekly mileage in the moderate range.

Apr 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Good info, but like so many exercise books, too much of it is "why this info is correct" and far too much of it is redundant. This didn't really need to be a book - it would have been just fine as a magazine article and an app. However, the publishing world being what it is, I understand why it had to be turned into a book.
Eddie Black
Jul 06, 2015 rated it liked it
A bit redundant, but good information. As some reviewers scoff at it, being "experienced" runners and all, I learned from it. I've got 9 marathons in 5 years and a couple thousand miles. I'm new to CrossFit, about 7 months, and would've liked to have had this book back then. I've learned this stuff the hard way.
Joshua Mooney
Feb 16, 2015 rated it liked it
A solid resource with great suggestions for strength training and speedwork. I am still not cold on the idea of abandoning all runs above ten miles, but I do agree with the central principle of quality of quantity when it comes to mileage.

The number of stars may rise or fall depending on how much success I have with techniques advocated in the book.
Oct 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
An "outsiders" look at the CrossFit endurance mindset and how to run great races on less mileage. After becoming a CrossFit endurance trainer and reading his first book, this one is geared a lot more to why the system is the way it is and how it works
Mikey Sklar
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Short and to the point. Cross fit endurance has lots of great attributes for distance runners. More importantly there is a history of interval and weight work creating champions. This books does an excellent job providing background and workouts for trying cross fit endurance.
Joe Gates
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good book. I like CFE and the thought that went into it. Less miles, more strength training will lead to less pounding and wear and tear in the body. Clear distinction that you may not be elite by following his program but his whole idea is you will be competitive and run healthy for a long time.
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