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The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer [Paperback]

David A. Whitsett , Forrest A. Dolgener , Tanjala Jo Kole
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.99
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Book Description

1 Jun 1998
Athlete. Runner. Marathoner. Are these words you wouldn't exactly use to describe yourself? Do you consider yourself too old or too out of shape to run a marathon? But somewhere deep inside have you always admired the people who could reach down and come up with the mental and physical strength to complete such a daunting and rewarding accomplishment? It doesn't have to be somebody else crossing the finish line. You can be a marathoner. The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer is based on the highly successful marathon class offered by the University of Northern Iowa, which was featured in a Runner's World article titled "Marathoning 101." The class has been offered five times over 10 years, and all but one student finished the marathon. That is approximately 200 students -- all first time marathoners and many with absolutely no running background. This book follows the same 16-week, four-day-a-week workout plan. What makes the success rate of this program so much higher than any other? The special emphasis on the psychological aspects of endurance activities. You don't have to love to run -- you don't even have to like it -- but you have to realize that you are capable of more than you have ever thought possible. One participant in the program explained it like this: "I'm doing this for me -- not for others or the time clock. I just feel better when I run, plus it helps me to cope with things in general. The skills we've learned in this class don't apply just to marathoning -- they apply to life! Just like you never know what the next step in a marathon will bring, so too, you never know what will happen next in life. But if you don't keep going, you're never going to find out. By staying relaxed, centered, and positive you handle just about anything that comes your way." This is marathon running for real people, people with jobs and families and obligations outside of running. The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer has proven successful for men and women of all ages. Now let it work for you.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Contemporary; 1st Edition edition (1 Jun 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570281823
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570281822
  • Product Dimensions: 24.8 x 17.9 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Got 16 Weeks? 26 Sep 2008
By Phyllis
Originally published in 1998, this book has been around awhile and stood the test of time. Who's it for? NORMAL people who have the desire to run and complete a marathon BUT also have other commitments that take up their time such as a family, job, etc. Don't have tons of time to train? This is your book. Need to get together a plan of attack? Keep reading.

The promise of the book is to that you'll be able to run 26.2 miles training just 4 days a week with no runs over 18 miles. It is based on a marathon class offered over the years at the University of Northern Iowa that touts a high success rate for 1st time marathoners. The book accomplishes this goal in sixteen chapters, one for every week of training.

Each chapter is cleanly divided up into 3 parts. Part one deals with the mental aspects of marathon training (which in my opinion is just as important as physical preparation when it comes to marathons), part two lays out the actual training program for the week, and the third part of each chapter contains advice and suggestions from people who have done the course and the program.

The book has a final 17th chapter which gives advice such as what to do after the marathon to make sure you recover well. Finally, the book ends with three appendices- one is a list of marathons to help you pick from, another on research that has been done on the program, and the last one a list of references and resources (always good to have those at hand).

All-in-all its a very COMPLETE book covering everything you can imagine about training for a marathon such as stretches, weight training exercises, nutritional advice, how to dress, and what shoes to wear.
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74 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From non-runner to marathoner 23 Jun 2004
I bought this book because it described me perfectly, a non-runner. I had only run 6 miles max, very slowly, beforehand, but had recently been beset with a compulsion to run 26.2 miles. I have waited until I finished my first marathon to write this review, and finish I did, in 4 hours. This book doesn't focus on times however, in fact it discourages even contemplating them. Who wants to reach the 26.2 mile mark only to be disappointed with your time?? The goal of this training manual is to finish your first marathon, injury-free. And it works.
As a hard-headed Scot, I found the psychological training element (which makes up half the training) a bit funny and didn't take it seriously. My mistake. During the latter stages of training, I was struggling. I decided to re-read the psychological bits, and it really made the difference. So don't ignore the psycho-babble, it's important, and it works!
With this manual, anyone, young or old, fit or flabby, light or heavy-built can train for a marathon... and anyone can become a marathon runner. Buy it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mission Accomplished 30 Jun 2011
Just before Christmas I hit the 100kg mark (a fraction under 16st) and I decided I had to do something about most 34 year old level headed fatties would do I decided I should run a marathon. Now I should point out that although I played sport in my youth I had not run solely for the purpose of running until I turned 30 and then I was only running for about 5-8km a few weeks every year in order to do an annual 10km race...which I missed out completely last year. I felt ready to go for the 2011 Stockholm Marathon...or at least die trying.

So, the book, well the most valuable part is the actual 16 week training plan itself. I decided it would fit perfectly with the end of May date of the Marathon and still allow me to gorge myself at Christmas and well into January and then start with the pre-plan "looseners" in mid-February. The pre-plan runs are just to get things going before committing to what will/has to become your life for almost four months and, if I'm honest, they came as a bit of a wake-up call...I wasn't 21 anymore and almost a year without exercise had left me in worse condition than I thought.

When it came to day 1/week 1 of the plan I felt better but sceptical. I'd converted the whole plan to km as I live in Sweden nowdays and thought this would make it easier (which it did, also felt a little more rewarding ticking off 21km rather than 13 miles) and hit the pavements/trails. It would have been very easy to say that running 4 days a week while having a busy job that requires 2 hours of commuting every day and 2 children under 3 years old is not possible but if you're willing to go out early on a Saturday morning, squeeze a run into a lunch break or run later in the evening when the kids are in bed then you can do this...
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Non-runner's Marathon Trainer 12 Jan 2004
Terrific. Easy to read. Sensible. Comprehensive. Answers all your questions, reassures you that you can do it, and is full of friendly, practical advice. Also contains a programme to get you into the state where you can start the real programme. If you're like me, 68, not run for 40 years, but now really want to do it, this is the book for you.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Does The Job 28 April 2009
At the age of 45 I decided I wanted to run the London Marathon for charity. It had been 25 years since any serious exercise and my attempts to run were a disaster. It took me four and a half years working with physiotherapists, podiatrists, personal trainers and other professionals to overcome fundamental injury problems (shin splints) such that I could run a 10K in the summer of 2008. Basking in the glory of that 10K I immediately applied, and was accepted for, a charity place in the April 2009 London Marathon. Within a week or so of receiving that confirmation I promptly damaged both of my Achilles tendons and had to stop running.

Still not running, and still having twice weekly physio I came across this guide and received it first week in January. The physio allowed me to start training one week late into the 16 week program - so essentially I started at week 2. I followed it religiously through week 11 when I picked up a knee injury and the rest of the 16 weeks was a pretty hit and miss affair.

On April 26th, the day after my 50th birthday, I completed the London Marathon in 4hrs and 38mins on a blistering hot day.

My point is this. As you will see I am most definitely NOT a natural runner. And yet even missing parts of the program (which I wouldn't recommend) this book gave me enough to get me through. Some of my thoughts:

1. It takes commitment. An April (London) marathon means training through the horrid winter months. Getting going at 5.30 a.m. in rain/frost/fog requires determination.

2. Each chapter has a physical section and a 'mental' section. I read the latter, but didn't really practice too much of the vision stuff the book talks about. I am a pretty determined person anyway and didn't need this.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Helped me for London Marathon 2014
I have just completed the London Marathon and used the training guide and advice in this book throughout. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Mr David Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars Marathon Success!
I purchased this at the end of October last year, when I ran my first ever mile non-stop. Build up to 5 miles by December and then starting the training plan in this book. Read more
Published 17 days ago by N. Quick
4.0 out of 5 stars The trainer!
A well written book with good advice from physical to psychological. I really like the structure and find the tables that you fill in to monitor progress really motivating. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Iulius Vladimir Toth
4.0 out of 5 stars good book - lets see if it works
Good book well written - I'm looking forward to starting my training later this year. I am a runner...I am a runner....let's hope so!
Published 3 months ago by Nicky
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read for the novice runner
It is american which could put people off. However, I found it the most encouraging book yet for persuading me I can complete the London Marathon. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Susan Benjamin
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, will carry you over the finish line.
This book took me from consistent marathon flirt to semi-obsessive runner. The training regime, the psychological tips and the personal stories littered throughout will give you... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Gj Pearce
5.0 out of 5 stars Did the job for me
Last Sunday I completed my first marathon (New Forest Marathon - UK) and I would heartily recommend this book. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Steve S
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good for your first marathon
I bought this book last year to train for my second halv marathon. I wanted more insight on how to train, nutrition and simply more general information about running. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Simone Bredfeldt
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Guide for non-runners
As someone who had never run further than 10km beofre deciding to run the London Marathon, this book was recommended to me by a fellow non-runner who had read it befoe doing her... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Rob D
5.0 out of 5 stars It got me through a marathon!
Quite an inspirational book. I received it as a gift when I decided to run a marathon....after being a couch potato for many many years. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Andy G
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