Last year I was invited to participate on the coaching panel at Colorado Springs’ “Garden of the Gods 10-Mile” race clinic along with endurance running legends Pablo Vigil and Ted Casteneda. Pablo, Ted, and I preceded the featured speaker, Runner’s World editor Bart Yasso but we had precious little time to make our points before the better known Yasso took the stage.
Since the crowd was clearly not very interested in what Pablo, Ted, and I had to say, for my part I decided instead to take a quick “running literacy” survey of the 50 or so attendees before I said a few words. My survey was simply asking how many had heard of Coach Jack Daniels, the author of “Daniels’ Running Formula”. The relative percentage of “yes” or “no” answers would give me a much better idea of how I might approach the crowd in terms of their knowledge of exercise physiology and training.
As I displayed my copy of the book, I wasn’t surprised when only a single hand went up in the affirmative amongst standing-room-only crowd. Although Daniels is widely considered to be the sport’s preeminent exercise physiologist and has been dubbed “The World’s Best Coach” by Runner’s World Magazine, my historical interaction with runners had indicated that Daniels was not really that well-known, even in coaching circles, and my straw-vote survey simply reinforced this knowledge and allowed me make remarks befitting of the audience.
So, my presentation became an unabashed plug for Daniels’ book. Not only is the document based on years of extensive field research, it contains the basic exercise physiology and methodology needed for a runner or a coach to design a good training program, and Daniels himself has successfully applied his “formula” to thousands of runners across the spectrum of backgrounds, nationalities, and talent levels over the course of his coaching career.
The world of running would certainly a better place if every runner read Daniels’ book.
In my forthcoming series, I will present how I use the Daniels’ method in designing my running programs with the with the ultimate objective of improving YOUR running.
Please check in next week for my next "How I use Daniels" installment.