Recently, I had the opportunity to read The Endurance Handbook – How to Achieve Athletic Potential, Stay Healthy, and Get the Most out of Your Body by Dr. Philip Maffetone.
The book is written for any type of endurance athlete, from triathletes to marathon runners. It provides useful information on nutrition, body economy, finding your perfect gait, muscle loss and aging, children and endurance and more.
The book is well written and a fast read. Maffetone draws the reader in and focuses and reinforces many points including:
- Avoid sugar and flour – this will make you more efficient
- Walk barefoot every day and try to run outside barefoot – this will improve your running economy
- Find your running gait by feeling the force
- Try to run tall
- Use a metronome when running – Maffetone says that everyone runs around 180 steps per minute
- Build up your core to get faster
- Older athletes can still improve endurance
For me, the main takeaway was the nutrition part – to eat healthy foods as opposed to processed foods. He lists what is healthy and what is not including anything that is in a package or can. Maffetone feels strongly that by doing this for two weeks, you will see and feel a difference.
He also emphasizes barefoot therapy and provides 10 tips which I’ll share here:
- Take off your shoes when you’re home
- Go outside barefoot and walk on different types of surfaces
- Walk on uneven natural ground – dirt, sand, grass, etc.
- Wear thinner lighter shoes
- Get a foot massage
- Balance on one foot for 30 seconds or more every day
- Take a cold water foot bath
- Use moist heat also
- Run barefoot
- Get rid of bad shoes and stay with good feet habits
Dr. Philip Maffetone is an internally recognized researcher and triathlete coach. He has written 18 books on health and fitness, including The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing.
This is his approach when coaching athletes and he claims it works. He also talks about:
- Why training slower will enable your aerobic system to improve endurance
- Why expensive running shoes can actually cause foot and leg injuries
- Why carbohydrates actually reduce endurance energy and disrupts hormone balance
- And why overtraining can and should be avoided
The book sells for $17.99 and is available on Amazon or any local bookstore in the health and fitness section.