Ultra Runners


Ultra Marathon Training book reviews? (Read 75 times)

100K or Bust

    I've just finished Relentless Forward Progress by Bryon Powell and noticed we have another book, Ultra Marathon Training by Wolfgang Olbrich in the book store. Has anyone read it or can comment on whether it would be redundant to add that to my reading list?

    2017 Goals: for races not to be exercises in futility

    Uh oh... now what?

      Redundant?  I have more running-related books than I can count using all my fingers and toes.  The only redundant ones are the two duplicates (the elements of effort, John Jerome; The Part-Time Runner, Reg Harris).


      A recommendation for ultramarathons:  A Step Beyond: A Definitive Guide to Ultramarathoning, ed by Don Allison, available through UltraRunning magazine Web site (NFI).  People tend to overlook it because of the 2004 date, but training for ultramarathons is timeless.  Tom Osler's Serious Runner's Handbook is just as applicable today as it was in 1978 (publishing date).

      100K or Bust

        Have read this book yet? I noticed it's a recent publication, Oct, 2012. With relatively limited funds for books and even less space for them, I'm trying to be as selective as possible in what I purchase.

        2017 Goals: for races not to be exercises in futility

          I'm all for people writing books and getting paid for their efforts.


          But, when it comes to ultra running, there is only so much that you can learn from a book.  You can learn a lot more by asking questions specific to your goals and issues.  While it is true that 10 ultra runners will have 10 different opinions, there is usually an "average" that can be inferred.


          Looking at your log, I would say that you will easily meet both of your signature goals if you do just a little more in general (a few more miles, a bit longer on long and tempo runs, a few more sessions of 8x400m intervals).  You already have mastered the tough part: consistency (which reminds me, I should run today).

            I haven't read it and couldn't find any comments on it, other than the bookstores'. I'm guessing it will different from anything you've read on ultras, perhaps coming from a European perspective and probably having more info on organizations. I think your goal is a 12-hr race.


            One of the things I've noticed about many US books on ultras is that a lot is based on various email lists and the experiences gleaned there - along with their own experiences. There's a huge amount of ultrarunning info available online these days with the blogospheres and irunfar.com, etc added to all the earlier email lists and fora.


            I agree that there's only so much you can learn from a book or online. But what they do key you in on is *what* you may need to learn. Hydration, electrolytes, fueling, hallucinations, fatigue, roots, hills, weather changes. But in "experiment of one" fashion, you need to learn that.


            In my own limited running, I've learned broad principles online (many of these books didn't exist when I started reading 10+ yr ago), tried myself multiple times, but then ask local runners or watch race starts for gear tips, etc. (Alaskan races seem to be a little different than lower 48).


            One thing I've noticed about Relentless Forward Progress (have only read part of it) is that he seems to have done a nice job of summarizing days-long email "discussions" into a few sentences or less. This is good to make the information available to those newer to the sport, rather than trying to search some of the online sources. I'm one that learns more from the war-story 1st hand writeups (or my own mishaps). (I'm a researcher by nature and profession.)

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              If you have a nook or e-reader there is some way I can lend books to you. I'm not sure exactly how it works but I have pretty much every running book I've ever found on my Nook.

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                Books? I'll admit I did read Powell's book - and read absolutely nothing that I hadn't read at least a half a dozen times before online. Even worse, his imperatives are often only things that have worked for him.

                I think ultra running is rather individualized ... there are many things that may, or may not, prove to be issues for you. Yes, there are things to be considered - and it's nice to have some idea as to what that universe of things is. But, really, you've got to get out there and do the work to find out what those truths are for you. And, these may well vary by distance and/or duration. [think less. run more]


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