For runners of every level looking to take the next step in their training, Build Your Running Body presents a breakthrough exercise plan that goes beyond the conventional pursuit of mileage. The best way to improve our personal bests, run more comfortably, and reduce injury is to target all the components that go into each step we take: muscles, connective tissue, the cardiovascular system, the nervous system, hormones, the brain, and more.
This illustrated training manual shows us how, with step-by-step photo instruction and exercise regimens fine-tuned to individual skill levels. Featuring a wide-ranging slate of over 150 workouts—from weightlifting and cross-training to resistance exercises and plyometrics—as well as a nutrition guide with dozens of recipes to help speed recovery and cement endurance gains, Build Your Running Body presents the ultimate program for runners seeking whole-body fitness.
Pete Magill is a 55-year-old masters runner and coach, co-author of the book Build Your Running Body (The Experiment, 2014) and author of the soon-to-be published book The Born Again Runner, and creator of the SPEEDRUNNER training system. He lives in South Pasadena and competes for the Cal Coast Track Club.
Magill has coached at the youth, high school, open, and masters levels. Over the past decade, he’s led his Southern California clubs to 19 masters national championships in cross country and road racing. He’s won the individual title in six masters national cross country championships, holds five American age group records, and is the oldest American to break 15:00 for 5K, running 14:45 for 5000 a few months before turning 50.
The Build Your Running Body training approach is based upon a simple premise: If you want to become a better runner, you must begin by building a better running body.
And how do we do that?
Just as weightlifters target muscle groups, we runners need to target the individual components of our running body. Specificity in training is the key to running fitness.
Some of our running components are easy to identify: muscles, nerves, connective tissue, and the cardiovascular system. Some are more elusive, like hormones and our brain’s regulation of effort.
Once a component is identified, we target it with a workout designed specifically to produce maximum improvement in that component.
By isolating each component, two things happen: We train the component to 100 percent of its potential, and we don’t waste energy overtraining our entire body in hopes of achieving the same effect. The result is a variety of workouts–from distance runs to speedwork to resistance training, plyometrics, and form drills–that maximizes the benefit of each training session and leads to top fitness and performance.
Improved running performance and whole-body fitness aren’t unsolved mysteries. Coaches, athletes, and exercise physiologists have been working on both for decades. The trick lies in utilizing advances in training to realize each runner’s personal fitness goals. While it’s tempting to embrace magic bullet solutions (to believe that success can be had by running barefoot, counting your strides, or embracing a fad diet), the truth is that your body is an incredibly complex biological machine with hundreds of working parts, and good training demands that you target all of them.