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The Science of Running: How to find your limit and train to maximize your performance

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  408 ratings  ·  23 reviews

If you are looking for how to finish your first 5k, this book isn't for you. The Science of Running is written for those of us looking to maximize our performance, get as close to our limits as possible, and more than anything find out how good we can be, or how good our athletes can be. In The Science of Running, elite coach and exercise physiologist Steve Magness
Kindle Edition, 344 pages
Published February 17th 2014 by Origin Press (first published February 16th 2014)
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Feb 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: exercise
Running literature is rife with gimmicks and fluff for 2 very simple reasons:
1. doing something works better than doing nothing.
2. the capacity and propensity to adapt to training varies widely

The first is why previously couch bound sedentary humans might see improvement from silly exercise regimens that have a low improvement ceiling. The second results in testimonials about gimmicky programming from those who tend to adapt quickly to any stimulus.

In the first section, Steve Magness provides
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was ok
A big disappointment, as I normally find Steve's blog very informative. Unfortunately this book is very difficult, and not because of the material.

First, it is painfully typo-ridden and misformatted, with Random Capitalization, homonyms, simple letter transpositions, and tables with cut-off contents. Second, it is disjoint on scales large and small. There's a lot of fat to cut and both the first half (which does read like a thesis introduction that grew out of control and was dumped in unedited,
Ha Truong
May 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: running
More than enough for who just love to run and run for fitness. It's perfect for sport scientist and coach and who want to maximize their performance.
Mar 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014, running-books
(originally published in Canadian Running Magazine, along with this interview:

The Science of Running by Steve Magness is a seminal work in training literature. If you want to improve as a runner, or as a coach, you should read this book as I can almost guarantee that you will learn something. In fact, one of the themes of the book is that improvement comes from change. Of course, you need to be consistent in your training, but the body reacts to stimuli
Paul Deveaux
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fitness
This is a decent book, not a great one. This reads like a good second or third draft, not a finished product. There are typos and grammatical errors throughout the book. The most annoying thing us that the author frequently introduces concepts or acronyms without first defining them or explanation.

With that said it is a book that I will study more on the future. His command of the literature and the science cd behind running is very rare and a welcome addition to the all the fluff out there in
CJ Fusco
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Let me be frank here: Ive read many books on training for distance runners, and this is easily the best. Moreover, Ive found that when Ive integrated the concepts therein into my own coaching, its had a sizable, noticeable, and measurable impact. The only reason Im not giving it 5/5 stars is because of the frequent grammatical errors, as well as the fact that the units of measurement displayed in the sample training plans are inconsistent; if there was a 2nd edition that smoothed out these rough ...more
Michelle Lines
Nov 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Oooof. Fitness, nutrition and of course, running, are huge passions of mine...even with having that profound interest in the subject matter, this book was a tough read. I'm giving it three stars because I learned a handful of interesting theories and workout ideas that I'm excited to test out in my next big training block, but finding it took wading through a lot of seriously dry, mind numbing sections.
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Title & Author: The Science of Running: How to Find Your Limit and Train to Maximize Your Performance by Steve Magness
Publisher & Year: Origin Press; 2014

The training of endurance athletes is a complex process that is not entirely understood. S. Magness

The quote I chose above perfectly characterizes this book, because The Science of Running read part text book part memoir for me, which partly made the process of reading it difficult and thoroughly enjoying. Difficult, in that
Mark Koester
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very comprehensive book about running, training and performance improves. Not for a first-time runner, but definitely a great source for anyone who wants to dig deeper into the science behind running and training to run faster.
Alstin Benton
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Quality Book... this book is spot on with the coaching trend of getting away from the focus being solely on Physiology and moving to the mental aspect of sport. Every great coach has found out the importance of this in athletic success
Brad Cooke
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book contains lots of good stuff; it's basically a thesis. However, it is rife with so many spelling and grammatical errors that it's about as readable as the average twitter post written on an iPhone. Hopefully future versions benefit from some editing!
Anders Risager
I use it as a encyclopedia for running 😉
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-on-running
Reads just like it promises, like a scientific report. Very interesting and exhaustive on the subject at hand.
Ankit Hawk
The Science of Running by Steve Magness begins with assumption that you already have lot of races under your belt. You are not a person who is reading the book trying to understand how to run my first 5k. As book progress I realized that analogy is still understated. The examples given and experienced shared could only be understood by a racer with training hundreds of kilometers per week. At least.

I am not one of the them but the book is not lost cause for me since to me the book is of insight
David John
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Being an aspiring coach, this book outlined a ton of great information that really changed how I look at running. From the body being forced away from homeostasis to the real benefits of hill workouts early season, I kept making all the great knowledge that filled the pages cover to cover. Thought that the training plans that were outlined were easy to follow and were made even more purposeful by the information that lead into them. This book will definitely be a great resource for me moving ...more
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An fascinating book if you are interested in the bio-chemical processes that lead to adaptation of the body when you run. There is no magic formula, and somewhat surprisingly, the best coaches always seem to be a step ahead of science.

The author does a good job in comparing the different approaches and makes it clear when theory is shaky. The presentation of the material itself could have been better, I think I have read the parts I was interested in a couple of times until I understood the
John Doyle
Dec 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a dense but worthwhile read for young runners working hard to get faster as well as old runners working hard to slow their decline. The most interesting learnings for me came from descriptions of recent research that undermines conventional wisdom about the utility of training to increase V02 max, raise lactate threshold, or reproduce a program that worked well for another runner. The author does a good job of outlining the outcomes that runners with different physiological starting ...more
David Tiefenthaler
Mar 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book. It pits science against running norms to help serious runners and serious coaches learn the best practices for helping a runner improve. I've followed Steve Magness' blog "The Science of Running" for years, and I was hoping that this book would serve as a great resource for me. It is! A word of warning. This book is not for beginner runners. This is for people who know a good deal about running already and want to know a whole lot more.
Roberto Rigolin F Lopes
Jun 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
The science in this book states that we don't know much about running! Science always pushing butts forward, literally in this case. Nevertheless, the literature review on fatigue was entertaining. Nice to meet you fatigue! I can feel you better now, doing my best to tolerate you. After science comes training, and it was mind blowing for a curious, not serious, runner. Hands up homeostasis, we are having a daily fight!
Paulo Adalberto Reimann
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Biochemistry for runners

Biochemistry for runners or wannabe runners. You should not start to read not knowing a thing about biology, chemistry , reactions. The book is excellent but ain't a run in the park, if you know what I mean.
Ruslan Voronkov
Aug 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Advanced book of running science

Liked practical aspects of training plans, there are alot of them to choose for every race distance. Too little is written abour weight training ans supportive cross-training.

Chapter about running mechanics ended too soon.
Andrea Kladar
Sep 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great, research based book. A good bridge between scientific theory and the real world of coaching.
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not the easiest of the books to read. But he makes it clear in the prologue and you know what to expect.
Dan Mahoney
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Jun 18, 2014
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Apr 17, 2015
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Jan 29, 2015
Michael Rasmussen
rated it it was ok
Jul 23, 2015
Douglas P
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Jun 04, 2019
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