RUN, by Matt Fitzgerald: RBR Book Review by Jeff Benjamin, note by Larry Eder

RUN is a recent book by Matt Fitzgerald. Matt Fitzgerald is an integral part of the Competitor Group editorial team, and a prolific author on training. This is one of his most recent books, which we, of course, missed during our travels to track meetings far & wide this past summer.
Jeff Benjamin, our ever alert book reviewer, sent me several emails on this one, so, without any further adieu, please find Jeff Benjamin's thoughtful commentary on Matt Fitzgerald's book, RUN.

Runners generally are always in pursuit for some kind of "magic"--whether it is workouts, nutrition, the new stretch technique, or the new shoe (or lack thereof nowadays!). However, when one looks to take stock in certain books for their answers, the "magic" truly comes from two words--Inspiration and faith!

Authors have recently published books which contain great ideas about our sport which, if you can combine them with the inspiration that they possess, along with their faith in their plans, can be of great benefit to runners of all abilities and ages! However, one author, seems to be thinking outside of the accepted curve.
Noted runner and author Matt Fitzgerald attempts to show runners the way through the power of the mind. In his book RUN, Fitzgerald who also has his own website, has written about how, through his own experiences, he has always been fascinatingly perplexed about how certain runners excel, while others cannot.

Using Haile Gebrselassie as a starting point, the author emphasizes that he is not the expert, but rather someone who gathered data from many of the respected coaches and athletes of the sport. Some of these notables include Steve Scott, Jim Spivey, Greg McMillan, Jen Rhines, Shalane Flannagan, Jack Daniels, and Alberto Salazar, among others.
Rather than come across as the all-knowing, by the book trainer, Fitzgerald gives the reader many of the training theories and approaches used by runners all over the world. However, what sets him apart from other authors on the subject is his emphasis on the mind-body method, or the "go as you feel" philosophy.

Not that there are not suggestive workouts or strategies in the book. This book is filled with great anecdotes and training help for runners of all levels. But, what Fitzgerald is trying to get across is the notion that,  once you have committed yourself to training, the most important component, as Jim Spivey has said, is "the 9 inches from your neck up".

Knowing how your body reacts with your mind is the main theme of this inspiring book. Whether the reader absorbs it from Kara Gouchers' story on doing interval work under Coach Salazar, or Jim Spivey's approach to the 1992 Olympic Trials, there is inspiration aplenty combined with a cool, calm writing style that will keep the reader very focused and relaxed.

The plan obviously works. As shown in detail throughout the book, runners come in all different shapes, sizes, forms and from different training philosophies. However, brain power is very strong in all of them! That faith, the power of the mind over the body, along with strategies shown by Fitzgerald contained in RUN, will make you a better runner if you allow your mind to accept it!

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