Unbreakable Runner

Book review from the July/August 2015 Summer Sports Issue

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Unbreakable Runner

224 Pages, VeloPress

The authors of Unbreakable Runner want the reader to “break free of stale training and repetitive injuries to become an Unbreakable Runner!” MacKenzie, the founder of CrossFit Endurance (CFE), and Murphy, former editor-in-chief of Triathlete and Inside Triathlon magazines, say conventional mega-mileage endurance training is resulting in injuries and plateaus for many runners. They say a combination of high-intensity strength training with less running will allow you to become a more durable athlete.

Murphy had some success and broke three hours in the marathon several times, but suffered persistent injuries. Despite adding core training, physical therapy, stretching and icing, he found little relief. Then he met MacKenzie, who was going against convention by proposing lifting weights and adding high-intensity circuit work to run training. So the two combined efforts; Murphy to examine CFE from the point of view of a traditional runner and MacKenzie to illustrate how to put CFE into practice.

The authors teach indestructible running form by improving mobility and motor skills. The authors present the disadvantages they see in high-mileage training, including injury, limited mobility and even compromising the immune system. Their alternative is high-intensity strength training as a means to boost coordination, speed and running economy. There’s a chapter on nutrition and others on the building blocks of CFE; terminology, drills, exercises with and without body weight. Complete weekly training plans from 5K to Ultra distance are included, for beginner to advanced runner.

— Myles Gaulin

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