Book Review: Running in the Midpack by Martin Yelling and Anji Andrews

Running in the midpack

When I got this book, I thought, “when will someone write a book about the back of the pack?” All of the running books are geared for either elite or age-group runners but never about people who just love to run.

Although Running in the Midpack – How to be a strong, successful and happy runner by Martin Yelling and Anji Andrews tries to be that book about everyone other than the elite or age-group runners, it fails short on addressing that there is a whole group of people who are back of the packers and still love running.

That being said, Running in the Midpack does address relevant information to all runners including:

  • Social media – why do people post all of their runs? How does that make you feel? (The authors say to come off social media to fix that problem.)
  • Mastery – you are capable of facing the challenge, being resilient and being kind to yourself.
  • Busy lifestyle – this will affect your running.

Like triathlons, the authors suggest that you should have an “A,” “B,” and “C” race lined up in your calendar. They suggest that it’s important to plan ahead. Many people I know just sign up without a plan and the author’s are saying that should not be done. It should be more of a plan.

The other interesting takeaway was how much time you need to actually push yourself. There are different types of paces:

  • easy pace (long run) – go less than 50% of your effort.
  • steady – around 60%
  • tempo – around 70%
  • threshold – around 80%
  • fast – 90%

Most people I know just go fast and the book is saying not to do that with every workout — go fast some of the time but most of the time stay in the steady to tempo areas.

Other takeaways

The book has a section on VO2 max and also discusses nutrition for runners. In addition to that, it discusses your race day strategy.

I thought it was a good read and had some valuable information especially for new runners. You can pick up Running in the Midpack on Amazon.