Book Review: Run Workouts for Runners & Triathletes

Author: Bobby McGee (Training Plans written by Mark Plaatjes)

Bobby McGee - Run Workouts

Bobby McGee - Run Workouts

The combination of its small size, spiral binding, and sweat-resistant finish prevents any excuse for it not being used. This book is made to be brought into the field and referenced during workouts; not left at home on a book shelf.

If you want to train with purpose and track your progress, this binder has all of the workouts and benchmark tests necessary to do so. It reminds triathletes that to be fast runners we need to train like runners do, and Bobby McGee is a master at doing this. Each training plan is organized into 5 phases: base, general, strength, specific and taper and provides examples of how to use low-priority races in place of strength or specific phase workouts.

Sticking with Bobby McGee’s training approach, walking is included in all workouts. Note, that he doesn’t condone walking as a rest break, but as a short burst of recovery while maintaining form.

If you aren’t familiar with the running form that McGee teaches, check out his USAT DVD. We at Trismarter are advocates of his running techniques and believe its the best way to become faster and more efficient. Maintaining this form during walking breaks is key.

The one major side effect of its compact size is that everything is written in abbreviations. This requires the user to constantly flip through the book to find out what the abbreviations mean. For example, “Run, HR at 5 beats below 30 min EP – 3:00 W/JR”. Granted if you follow a program, over time you will learn the abbreviations and not need to look them up. However, when you are skimming through each training program trying to get a sense of the volume and mileage difference between beginner, intermediate and advanced plans, you have to look up every workout and re-write a translation to make a comparison. You can’t just look at each one and see that the beginner plan starts with a long run of 13 miles, and the intermediate begins with 16 miles.

As McGee states, “It’s my responsibility with this book to prepare you for the running leg of your triathlon. I leave it up to your coach to figure out where the rest of your bike and swim training will fit in.”