Unbreakable Runner
The sport of running is founded upon unchallenged beliefs about how to train. Unbreakable Runner tears down these traditions to reveal the new rules for fast, powerful running. The creator of CrossFit Endurance, Brian MacKenzie, dispels the tenets of run training like high mileage and high-carb diets to show how high-intensity training can make runners strong for races from 5K to ultra marathon.

Unbreakable Runner Details

TitleUnbreakable Runner
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 5th, 2014
PublisherVelo Press
ISBN-139781937715144
Rating
GenreSports, Fitness, Nonfiction, Health, Sports and Games

Unbreakable Runner Review

  • Dustin Davis
    January 1, 1970
    It's somewhat motivational, but if you're already a somewhat experienced runner, if you already do speed work, and particularly if you're already an experienced lifter or Crossfitter, don't waste your money. I personally don't think I learned anything from this book. There's certainly nothing in here that you couldn't learn for free on the internet. Additionally, while the claim is that this allows you to train for a marathon by running fewer "junk miles," the time commitment is at least the sam It's somewhat motivational, but if you're already a somewhat experienced runner, if you already do speed work, and particularly if you're already an experienced lifter or Crossfitter, don't waste your money. I personally don't think I learned anything from this book. There's certainly nothing in here that you couldn't learn for free on the internet. Additionally, while the claim is that this allows you to train for a marathon by running fewer "junk miles," the time commitment is at least the same, if not worse. The expectation is that you will progress to two-a-day training sessions which include CF workouts and speed work. Most people don't have that kind of time. Finally, the tips on form and the accompanying drills are vague. If form is a problem for you, this is not the book for you. You could probably find some better info for free on YouTube or spend a little cash on some sessions with a certified running coach. Then there's that Ultra Marathon plan that includes a 20 mile run as your longest training run. I would be reluctant to attempt a 50 miler with nothing longer than a 20 mile run in training.
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  • Greg Hickey
    January 1, 1970
    The byline of Unbreakable Runner (T.J. Murphy and Brian MacKenzie) deceived me from the start. The book reads as though written entirely by Murphy, punctuated by references to what MacKenzie says and does for himself and the athletes he coaches. Given his experience as editor of Triathlon and Competitor magazines and author of Inside the Box, Murphy's writing abilities are up to the task, but an introductory text to Crossfit Endurance would seem more credible coming firsthand from its founder Ma The byline of Unbreakable Runner (T.J. Murphy and Brian MacKenzie) deceived me from the start. The book reads as though written entirely by Murphy, punctuated by references to what MacKenzie says and does for himself and the athletes he coaches. Given his experience as editor of Triathlon and Competitor magazines and author of Inside the Box, Murphy's writing abilities are up to the task, but an introductory text to Crossfit Endurance would seem more credible coming firsthand from its founder Mackenzie. Compared to MacKenzie's Power, Speed, Endurance, which offers a comprehensive guide to strength and conditioning for the endurance athlete, Unbreakable Runner deals mainly with the rationale for Mackenzie's innovative approach. Again, Murphy is not the best source to make these arguments, but the numerous studies cited in support of the book's claims lend them a great deal of credence . The training plans which comprise the second half of the book are fairly bare bones, which is understandable for a book which will be read by athletes with a variety of different goals and abilities. Far more illuminating is the highly detailed two week plan Mackenzie programmed for one of his own athletes, found in Appendix B. For those with experience in coaching and training, this plan can be adapted to fit an athlete's needs in a way that more closely parallels MacKenzie's philosophy. Read Unbreakable Runner for the source material and the training plan outlines; read Power, Speed, Endurance for a more complete picture of Crossfit Endurance and the technical aspects of this program.
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  • Andreas
    January 1, 1970
    A disappointing book. The part I liked most was about running form and goes hand in hand with the (superior) Runner's World Your Best Stride. Improved mobility and strength will support a more efficient running style, which will result in faster times. It's a bit strange to think that you can drastically cut your weekly mileage and become a fast runner without running too much. The author gives Sebastian Coe as a prime example but forgets that Sebastian didn't count slow jogging when reporting h A disappointing book. The part I liked most was about running form and goes hand in hand with the (superior) Runner's World Your Best Stride. Improved mobility and strength will support a more efficient running style, which will result in faster times. It's a bit strange to think that you can drastically cut your weekly mileage and become a fast runner without running too much. The author gives Sebastian Coe as a prime example but forgets that Sebastian didn't count slow jogging when reporting his schedule. If you add all these slow miles then you will get a different picture. Everything has its place and my impression is that Murphy's approach is very imbalanced. I give 2 stars for the drills. Borrow the book from your local library or read it in the bookshop.
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  • William Chinda
    January 1, 1970
    Disappointing. So much of the book is spent in sales pitch mode, trying to scare the reader away from the horrors of long slow distance training. The authors should realize that, in purchasing the book, you've already bought into the idea of strength and conditioning on some level and don't really need to be convinced. 80 pages could've easily been stripped from the front of this book. More effort should have been spent providing training guidance and offering additional instruction. What little Disappointing. So much of the book is spent in sales pitch mode, trying to scare the reader away from the horrors of long slow distance training. The authors should realize that, in purchasing the book, you've already bought into the idea of strength and conditioning on some level and don't really need to be convinced. 80 pages could've easily been stripped from the front of this book. More effort should have been spent providing training guidance and offering additional instruction. What little there is is already common knowledge for most long distance runners.
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  • Jer
    January 1, 1970
    Decent insight for anyone who runs and is not familiar with CrossFit. The skills and drills integration was novel to me (at the levels MacKenzie prescribes) - his short-hand notation for workouts is still pretty frustrating (and not nearly as intuitive as other CF jargon). I'd give it a higher rating if that were more of a focus, but it seems almost purposefully obtuse (no master index, helpful reference sheet, just an almost throw-away "This will get easier as you get used to it.")Other than th Decent insight for anyone who runs and is not familiar with CrossFit. The skills and drills integration was novel to me (at the levels MacKenzie prescribes) - his short-hand notation for workouts is still pretty frustrating (and not nearly as intuitive as other CF jargon). I'd give it a higher rating if that were more of a focus, but it seems almost purposefully obtuse (no master index, helpful reference sheet, just an almost throw-away "This will get easier as you get used to it.")Other than that, decent read, worth it for anyone looking for a change in their racing or CF focus (and I believe it would make races like Ultras more safe).
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  • Rob
    January 1, 1970
    Good approach: Skills and strength-based running. Wrong elements: Pose (it may help some runners although you can still have bad tech and run perfect pose but it may also totally stuff your running up) and cross-fit (OK, I suppose, but I think drills and running strength exercises are better; after all, it's just circuit training). Apart from that, a lot of hype in this book and not much substance. When reading it, I got quite carried away with the whole thing and nearly bought into it. In the e Good approach: Skills and strength-based running. Wrong elements: Pose (it may help some runners although you can still have bad tech and run perfect pose but it may also totally stuff your running up) and cross-fit (OK, I suppose, but I think drills and running strength exercises are better; after all, it's just circuit training). Apart from that, a lot of hype in this book and not much substance. When reading it, I got quite carried away with the whole thing and nearly bought into it. In the end, though, I went looking elsewhere for more convincing answers.
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  • Steven
    January 1, 1970
    Disappointing, basically the whole book seems to be an advertisement for CFE (CrossFit Endurance).The premise being if I run less I'll get injured less. Well duh! Also, I run because I love to run, why would I run less?...
  • Patrick
    January 1, 1970
    An infomercial grounded in pseudoscience- basically hell.
  • Jill
    January 1, 1970
    This book is an OK read. It's pretty repetitive and lacks much new information, but I appreciate the alternative ideas for distance training. I am a bit skeptical of how little running is actually involved in the CFE training plans, especially for longer races, and I'm also disappointed that the authors did not consider the mental and emotional reasons that many endurance athletes run or do their sport. We don't all do it just to win or do well in races, a lot of us do these sports because they This book is an OK read. It's pretty repetitive and lacks much new information, but I appreciate the alternative ideas for distance training. I am a bit skeptical of how little running is actually involved in the CFE training plans, especially for longer races, and I'm also disappointed that the authors did not consider the mental and emotional reasons that many endurance athletes run or do their sport. We don't all do it just to win or do well in races, a lot of us do these sports because they make us feel good and it's enjoyable. I would be bummed if I only followed these training plans and did not include long runs or bike rides in my workouts--purely for the joy of them! Also, rather than just encourage HIIT and body weight strength training, this felt like just a huge sales pitch for CrossFit. so, meh.
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  • Timo Saloranta
    January 1, 1970
    Positives: the book is pretty well written and key reasoning is explained pretty well (not saying the reasoning is always that solid)Negative: The running formula this book teaches is mostly marketing of CFE (Crossfit Endurance) methodology. Almost half of the book consists of training programs (tables and such) which are not useful if you just want to pick some new inspiration for your training without going fully into the direction the author teaches. As an experienced runner I agree that it's Positives: the book is pretty well written and key reasoning is explained pretty well (not saying the reasoning is always that solid)Negative: The running formula this book teaches is mostly marketing of CFE (Crossfit Endurance) methodology. Almost half of the book consists of training programs (tables and such) which are not useful if you just want to pick some new inspiration for your training without going fully into the direction the author teaches. As an experienced runner I agree that it's good to combine gym and other muscle exercises with your running, but sadly this book didn't offer much to help to integrate any of those learnings into my weekly routines. There are many better books about streching, yoga and gym exercises well suited for runners.
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  • Antonio
    January 1, 1970
    A seemingly controversial approach to running but under further inspection, the themes of addressing muscle imbalances to prevent injuries, improving cadence and running form with running drills, strengthening hips, quads, hamstrings and the most overlooked muscles in the feet all seem like no brainers when it comes to improving running or to run injury free. I must admit I was a skeptic but after reading it and taking several of the warm up exercises and implementing some of the strength and co A seemingly controversial approach to running but under further inspection, the themes of addressing muscle imbalances to prevent injuries, improving cadence and running form with running drills, strengthening hips, quads, hamstrings and the most overlooked muscles in the feet all seem like no brainers when it comes to improving running or to run injury free. I must admit I was a skeptic but after reading it and taking several of the warm up exercises and implementing some of the strength and conditioning into my routine I really feel it will make a difference in the long run, great read, and most importantly great way to challenge old ways of thinking.
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  • Nick
    January 1, 1970
    Thoughtful approachThis is a great synopsis of the CrossFit Endurance approach to training. It also includes drills and training plans for those wanting to complete 5k to ultra marathons using CrossFit Endurance. Parts of it seemed to be more about battling critics versus laying out the plan. This is a great complement to Power Speed Endurance.
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  • Ryan Page
    January 1, 1970
    I am a runner, and a Crossfitter. This book really helped me refine my training for ultra marathons.Highly recommend!
  • CherylR
    January 1, 1970
    Average read. Not much new information presented. It is pretty much known now that strength training helps runners with injury prevention.
  • Preston
    January 1, 1970
    A good short readThis is more of a manual than a book, however I enjoyed it all the same. I'll likely try one of the training routines in the future to prepare for my next race.
  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    I am a runner, and a Crossfitter. This book really helped me refine my training for ultra marathons.Highly recommend!
  • Douglas Lord
    January 1, 1970
    This may prove a real eye-opener for weekend warriors and hardcore endurance athletes alike as it makes many valid, common-sense points about optimizing our bodies and reducing our proclivity for injuries. Regular Crossfit is a fun, if polarizing, activity due to injuries people get when they are doing it wrong or are simply not ready for its rigors. Crossfit Endurance (CFE) is a halfbreed that straddles “traditional” endurance training and Crossfit. CFE is one of many endurance training methods This may prove a real eye-opener for weekend warriors and hardcore endurance athletes alike as it makes many valid, common-sense points about optimizing our bodies and reducing our proclivity for injuries. Regular Crossfit is a fun, if polarizing, activity due to injuries people get when they are doing it wrong or are simply not ready for its rigors. Crossfit Endurance (CFE) is a halfbreed that straddles “traditional” endurance training and Crossfit. CFE is one of many endurance training methods, one that is gaining traction due to the results that adherents achieve and for its tendency to leave them feeling strong after completing events. Unbreakable Runner gives CFE’s background and rationale, nutrition tips, and running form guidelines (e.g.,forward lean, rapid cadence, etc). The meat of the book is filled with illustrations of CFE exercises (e.g., burpees) and training plans that will freak you out with their brevity and intensity. Whereas a week of normal marathon training involves running anywhere between 26 and 75 miles, CFE starts with three crossfit workouts, two hours of skill and stability drills, two track workouts and a five-kilometer run. Done correctly, CFE gives you a lot of bang for a relatively small investment in time and should create a healthy, sturdy, sustainable level of endurance fitness. What it probably won’t do is lead to massively fast personal-record type times. VERDICT This program should, as advertised, make you durable, supple, strong, flexible, nimble: harder to hurt, stronger in recovery. This isn’t a magic potion that makes you win races. If you want to have fun, stay healthy over the long term, and wake up feeling great the next day (as opposed to “broken” like many using traditional methods do), this is a great choice. Form is key, though. Otherwise you’re just asking for the Big Hurt to be put on your body, especially your joints.Find reviews of books for men at Books for Dudes, Books for Dudes, the online reader's advisory column for men from Library Journal. Copyright Library Journal.
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  • Nelson Candelario jr.
    January 1, 1970
    Overall the book is a great resource, with the bulk of the value coming in the form of CFE training plans from beginner to intermediate levels. However, there are a few things that I found problematic. For one thing, it is unclear on which audience the book targets. It is written as though it is meant for folks with little familiarity with CFE, but then there does not seem to be enough info to really guide someone who is completely new to crossfit. On the other hand, if you are familiar with CFE Overall the book is a great resource, with the bulk of the value coming in the form of CFE training plans from beginner to intermediate levels. However, there are a few things that I found problematic. For one thing, it is unclear on which audience the book targets. It is written as though it is meant for folks with little familiarity with CFE, but then there does not seem to be enough info to really guide someone who is completely new to crossfit. On the other hand, if you are familiar with CFE at all, nothing in the book (with the exception of maybe Brian's tips on racing) was anything new. That only the narrow audience consisting of crossfitters who are looking to add an endurance component to their programming will get the most out of this book. I think Murphy writes well, and, after a few years of following CFE based programming, attending CFE certs, etc... I am huge believer in McKenzie's program. However, this book could have been much better if it just had more detail and insight. As it is, it is worth reading, but temper expectations.
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  • Evelyn Hornbarger
    January 1, 1970
    Based on my experience of running an Ultra Ragnar, with what I perceived as "no training" changed my philosophy on what training to run long distances means. This book aligns perfectly with my experience, and I am so excited to have methodology and experience behind it. The philosophy is to run smarter, utilizing high intensity aerobic strength workouts to compliment speed work. The body gets equal, or better, conditioning as long runs provide, but without the accompanying injury that comes with Based on my experience of running an Ultra Ragnar, with what I perceived as "no training" changed my philosophy on what training to run long distances means. This book aligns perfectly with my experience, and I am so excited to have methodology and experience behind it. The philosophy is to run smarter, utilizing high intensity aerobic strength workouts to compliment speed work. The body gets equal, or better, conditioning as long runs provide, but without the accompanying injury that comes with the wear and tear of long runs. Running with this methodology focuses on form, mobility, strength, diet, and training-but training unlike the long distance training I have read about before. The book matches my lifestyle and rings true with my experience. I am excited for a lifetime of long distance running, without injury.
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  • G-Soxx
    January 1, 1970
    Good book with training guidelines on being a better runner. My running has improved after following Murphy and Brian Mackenzie's precepts and training plans. Exercises are illustrated with black and white photos and if one goes to their CrossFit Endurance website, there are videos that a very helpful in learning how to properly perform the drills and exercises. To all the Crossfit haters, don't knock it until you try it. I have incorporated CrossFit (or HIIT, if you'd rather) into my training, Good book with training guidelines on being a better runner. My running has improved after following Murphy and Brian Mackenzie's precepts and training plans. Exercises are illustrated with black and white photos and if one goes to their CrossFit Endurance website, there are videos that a very helpful in learning how to properly perform the drills and exercises. To all the Crossfit haters, don't knock it until you try it. I have incorporated CrossFit (or HIIT, if you'd rather) into my training, and truly believe it has made me into a better, faster runner and elevated my fitness level. This is a good supplement to one's fitness regimen. I would recommend it to anyone who's willing to do the work and practice the form drills, use one of the training plans and see it through. Do the work, results will follow.
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  • Kay
    January 1, 1970
    I will be running the SeaWheeze half marathon this August in Vancouver, B.C. This will be my third half marathon and I decided I wanted to take a Crossfit training approach this time. My training for the last two races was sub-standard at best, so following the training plan in this book will be an interesting experiment. The general approach has the athlete doing more interval and strength work, with long runs only once a week. The goal for my run is to be comfortable for the entire 13.1 miles I will be running the SeaWheeze half marathon this August in Vancouver, B.C. This will be my third half marathon and I decided I wanted to take a Crossfit training approach this time. My training for the last two races was sub-standard at best, so following the training plan in this book will be an interesting experiment. The general approach has the athlete doing more interval and strength work, with long runs only once a week. The goal for my run is to be comfortable for the entire 13.1 miles and to not cramp or hurt afterwards. Oh, and I'd like to PR too!
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  • Mark Law
    January 1, 1970
    In my quest to improve my running and fitness I picked up this book. The book is written in convincing manner and will add food for thought as I begin the off season of strength training and recovery before launching into the next training cycle. While I believe much of what is written, I am still not ready to completely chuck current convention for this new upstart. I II believe in many of the principles and test myself to see what happens. I encourage you to the same.
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  • Gabe McGowan
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a valuable resource WRT building a kinetic-chain strength base for running. The good stuff is the training plans, strength workouts, etc. The background is basically the same minimal/paleo stuff you've heard before, and probably a little too absolute. The material presented is valuable if you looking to effectively train for endurance events (I'm a competitive distance runner) while keeping weekly mileage in the moderate range.
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  • Jason
    January 1, 1970
    Good info, but like so many exercise books, too much of it is "why this info is correct" and far too much of it is redundant. This didn't really need to be a book - it would have been just fine as a magazine article and an app. However, the publishing world being what it is, I understand why it had to be turned into a book.
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  • Eddie Black
    January 1, 1970
    A bit redundant, but good information. As some reviewers scoff at it, being "experienced" runners and all, I learned from it. I've got 9 marathons in 5 years and a couple thousand miles. I'm new to CrossFit, about 7 months, and would've liked to have had this book back then. I've learned this stuff the hard way.
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  • Joshua Mooney
    January 1, 1970
    A solid resource with great suggestions for strength training and speedwork. I am still not cold on the idea of abandoning all runs above ten miles, but I do agree with the central principle of quality of quantity when it comes to mileage. The number of stars may rise or fall depending on how much success I have with techniques advocated in the book.
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  • Mikey Sklar
    January 1, 1970
    Short and to the point. Cross fit endurance has lots of great attributes for distance runners. More importantly there is a history of interval and weight work creating champions. This books does an excellent job providing background and workouts for trying cross fit endurance.
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  • Tj
    January 1, 1970
    An "outsiders" look at the CrossFit endurance mindset and how to run great races on less mileage. After becoming a CrossFit endurance trainer and reading his first book, this one is geared a lot more to why the system is the way it is and how it works
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  • Joe Gates
    January 1, 1970
    Good book. I like CFE and the thought that went into it. Less miles, more strength training will lead to less pounding and wear and tear in the body. Clear distinction that you may not be elite by following his program but his whole idea is you will be competitive and run healthy for a long time.
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  • Steve
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed the new approach and while I am sure it works for some people, I did not follow the leap of faith. Still, there are some solid work outs and approaches that could help someone who already has a base to run ultras.
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