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Personal Best Running

Personal Best Running

Coach Coogan’s Strategies for the Mile to the Marathon

$27.95 USD


Product Format
    Good racing doesn’t just happen. It’s a skill that must be honed with training and hard work. In Personal Best Running, Coach Mark Coogan shares his successful formula for running fast—while staying healthy and happy—without running taking over your life.

    Coach Coogan has excelled in running as both an athlete and coach, producing numerous Olympic and champion runners. His success is founded in his belief that long-term running success is impossible if you’re not training and racing in the right environment and that running should never come at the expense of your overall physical or mental health. In addition to training strategies that will shave minutes off your time, Coach Coogan will also show you how to sleep and eat properly, surround yourself with supportive people, psychologically navigate setbacks and challenges, lower your injury risk, and have a life outside of running.

    Get the physical and psychological strategies needed to build an aerobic base, balance hard work and recovery, achieve good running form, and turn adversity into an advantage. Learn the importance of strengthening and warm-up exercises, and master running drills that will make you a stronger runner. Plus, access the 30 online video clips that showcase the exercises and drills in action.

    Coogan provides numerous training schedules for the mile, 5K, 10K, half marathon, and marathon as well as schedules for running multiple races in a short period of time. For each distance, choose the length of training (from 6 weeks to 16 weeks) and weekly mileage range. The plans are supplemented with training and racing tips to help you better understand how to apply the concepts to your own running strategy.

    You’ll also get a personal look at what successful runners do as Coach Coogan shares some of his own experiences as a runner and coach. And you’ll draw plenty of motivation and inspiration from the athlete profiles of eight of his accomplished runners, including Drew Piazza, Alexi Pappas, and Elle St. Pierre.

    If you want to run better and race faster, now is your chance to train with Coach Coogan and Personal Best Running.

    Earn continuing education credits/units! A continuing education exam that uses this book is also available. It may be purchased separately or as part of a package that includes both the book and exam.

    Note: A code for accessing online videos is included with all print books.


    Intermediate to advanced distance runners as well as running coaches.
    Part I
    Chapter 1. The Coach Coogan Training Principles
    Chapter 2. Building a Good Training Environment
    Chapter 3. Staying Strong and Healthy
    Chapter 4. Using Your Mind to Run Faster
    Chapter 5. How and Why to Be a Student of the Sport

    Part II
    Chapter 6. Racing Is a Skill You Can Master
    Chapter 7. What’s in the Schedules, and How to Follow Them
    Chapter 8. Training for and Racing the Mile
    Chapter 9. Training for and Racing the 5K
    Chapter 10. Training for and Racing the 10K
    Chapter 11. Training for and Racing the 15K to Half Marathon
    Chapter 12. Training for and Racing the Marathon
    Chapter 13. Training for and Racing Many Events in a Short Period
    Chapter 14. Training for a Quick Transition From One Race Distance to Another
    Mark Coogan (@mark_coogan) is the coach of Team New Balance Boston (@teamnbboston), an elite distance running team that sent three athletes to the 2021 Olympics. He was previously the distance running coach at Dartmouth College and also coached at Tufts University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Phillips Exeter Academy. Among the athletes Coogan has coached are Olympians Elle St. Pierre, who holds the U.S. indoor records for the 1-mile and 2-mile races and is a world championship silver medalist; Heather MacLean, the 2022 U.S. indoor 1,500-meter champion; and Abbey D’Agostino Cooper, whose seven NCAA titles make her the most decorated distance runner in Ivy League history.

    Before becoming an elite coach, Coogan was a professional runner from 1988 to 2004. He was on the 1996 U.S. Olympic marathon team, won the silver medal in the marathon at the 1995 Pan American Games, represented the United States in the 5,000-meter race in the 1995 World Track and Field Championships, and ran in seven World Cross Country Championships. He had unique range, ranking in the top 10 in the United States in the mile, steeplechase, 5K, 10K, and marathon during his career. He was also the first Massachusetts native to run a mile in less than 4 minutes. He lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

    Scott Douglas (@mescottdouglas) is a contributing writer for Runner’s World and the author or coauthor of several well-known running books, including Advanced Marathoning, Running Is My Therapy, and the New York Times best sellers Meb for Mortals and 26 Marathons. His writing on fitness and health has appeared in The Atlantic, Washington Post, Slate, and Outside. He lives in North Yarmouth, Maine.
    “Mark’s love of the sport and depth of knowledge set him apart as one of the premier running coaches in the world. I’ve known Mark throughout my professional career and have loved getting to work with him and his athletes at the top level of the sport. Athletes at any level can benefit from Mark’s knowledge and passion for running!”
    —Molly Seidel, Olympic Medalist in the Marathon

    “Growing up in New England, Mark Coogan was the athlete all young runners aspired to be, and when I became a coach, he was the coach I wanted to be as well. In Personal Best Running, Mark grants you access to the philosophy, problem solving, and insight of one of the top distance coaches in the world. The decades of experience and wisdom contained in the pages of this book are priceless; however, Mark’s practical delivery of the knowledge makes Personal Best Running the unique tool that it is. These pages will leave readers feeling like they just downloaded decades of knowledge to apply to their own running.”
    —Mike Smith, Director of Cross Country and Track and Field at Northern Arizona University and Coach of Multiple NCAA Championship Teams

    “I knew there was something special about Mark after only a few practices at Dartmouth College when he became my coach during my junior year. Mark transformed me from a promising college athlete into an Olympic-bound pro. This book will teach you how to apply Mark’s insightful principles to become fast and fit the right way. If you are an ambitious runner at any level, Personal Best Running is a must-read!”
    —Alexi Pappas, Olympian, Author, and Filmmaker

    “Mark’s coaching record speaks for itself, with a résumé full of Olympians and national champions. He has a depth of knowledge for what it takes both physically and mentally to get the best out of yourself. This, combined with the passion he shows toward the sport he loves, is a guaranteed recipe for success. Mark will not only help you achieve your running goals but, more importantly, he’ll also help you achieve them in the most enjoyable way possible.”
    —Jake Wightman, World Champion in the 1,500 Meter Race

    “Reading these pages transported me back to how I felt as an athlete of Mark’s—his passion for the sport is magnetic, and it calls you to dream higher. His simple, person-centered approach to training has a way of making the most daunting of goals seem attainable . . . until they really are. Mark inspires everyone from weekend warrior to Olympic athlete to believe it is indeed possible to pursue your best without losing yourself along the way—that IS the way.”
    —Abbey Cooper, Olympian and Seven-Time NCAA Champion

    “Mark Coogan knows what it takes to run fast and keep it fun. He’s done it throughout his career as an athlete and has continued that mission as one of the world’s best coaches. His holistic approach to training and racing will help you become a better runner and reach your goals—regardless of your age, ability, or experience level—all while maintaining a healthy relationship with the sport.”
    —Mario Fraioli, Coach and Host of The Morning Shakeout Podcast

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