It seems like everyone and his aunt has an opinion on the right way to exercise. Many of these notions are, of course, contradictory, but they generally agree that work, nutrition and rest are the three key elements of any workout regime. Aside from little tricks like eating seaweed or using a nostril dilator, the whole idea is to strike the correct balance between them.
Most runners assume that, since work is the hard part, it’s the one they should be focusing on. More time on the road = better results seems logical enough and would be fair, but oversimplifications like this one rarely tell the whole story.
This book was written by three collaborating authors, each an experienced marathoner and/or sport science academic. Its focus is on training for races, marathons in particular, but the same principles are applicable to anyone trying to improve their general fitness.
Put simply, the idea is to spend less time pounding asphalt in favor of higher-intensity training. The authors show many ways to achieve this, but you may want to check out our selection of best treadmills. They recommend them for several reasons.
There’s a lot more to it, of course. You’ll have to read the book to understand the entire theory and the justification for it. Even at a glance, however, the benefits of achieving better results with less roadwork are obvious. There are almost certainly a couple of things you’d rather spend your time on, even if this means exercising in a different way (as this book encourages). The probability of injury is also greatly reduced by running only three times a week; this places less strain on your knees and allows your muscles time to recover between runs.
The real question, of course, is “Does it work?”.
While there may not be a universal answer to this – some people just seem to have genes that are either perfect or terrible for long-distance running – the majority opinion among people who’ve read the book appears to be “yes”.
There is one caveat to mention, though: like any training program, you can’t cherry-pick the parts you like and ignore the rest. Running less may seem appealing, but don’t confuse it with putting in any less effort.