Run Like a Champion by Alan Culpepper

Run Like a Champion: An Olympian's Approach for Every Runner by Alan Culpepper with Brian Metzler

Steve Prefontaine once said, “To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.” Do you give your best? Have you reached your full potential as a runner? I know I train hard, but I don’t think I’ve ever fully realized my capacity to race. Run Like A Champion will help you train smarter, race faster, and crush your running goals.

Two-time Olympian, Alan Culpepper has had a remarkable running career. He’s won national titles ranging from 5K to marathon distance over his 25 years as an elite runner. He’s been incredibly lucky to last that long. But, it’s his thoughtful approach to training and racing that have allowed him to stay competitive and avoid major injury.

In Run Like a Champion, Culpepper shares his secrets on training, nutrition, injury prevention, racing, and sports psychology. He illustrates many of the concepts in his book through story telling. And, given his 25-year running and coaching career, he has lots of great stories to share.

Alan Culpepper
Alan Culpepper,

Much of what Culpepper says can be distilled down to one simple statement: Run with purpose. Know what you’re doing, know why you’re doing it, and maintain 100% laser focus on reaching your goals. That means knowing when to rest, when to push, and how to race. Every run has a purpose.

There is an excellent chapter on periodization training that clearly explains the base phase, transition phase, race phase, and rest phase of training. This is followed by a chapter on training workouts. So, for example, the next time you see long intervals on your training plan you’ll understand exactly how to run them, and why they are important to your development as a runner.

Static stretching is something that many runners avoid. However, Culpepper advocates for regular stretching as a form of injury prevention. He outlines the best times to stretch and the best stretches for runners to keep their muscles healthy and reduce risk of injury.

“Races are special moments when opportunity meets execution.” – Alan Culpepper

When it comes to racing, nothing should be a surprise. Research the race course, the weather, and prepare accordingly. Take time to truly visualize your race. Know your pace and mile splits. Imagine how you will feel at the start, middle, and end of the race. And visualize successfully completing your race goals repeatedly in the days leading up to the event.

Racing is an art form, and Culpepper is a virtuoso. Runners of all abilities will benefit from his coaching wisdom and enjoy his tales of racing at the highest levels of our sport.

This book was sent to me by VeloPress for review.

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