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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 (93 customer reviews)
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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: 17.8 x 1.8 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 61 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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11 of 11 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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76 of 79 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Motivating Training Schedule 30 July 2009
I have bought this product with the intention of running a marathon next year. I haven't done much running previously, but around 3 weeks before buying the book I was running between 1 and 2 miles, maybe a couple of times a week. I decided I was going to run a marathon next year. I am now 3 weeks into the training schedule and am running 17 miles per week, and can't believe it. The training schedule is gradual and keeps you motivated by keeping you increasing your distances, but only slightly. There are good sections at the end of each week which are quotes from other people who have done the training course. These do actualy spur you on and do offer some good tips. The book uses alot of motivational mind tricks, which do feel silly to start with, but again do work once you put them into practice when your 1 mile from home on your first 6 mile run.. ha ha! The idea of the book is only to get you over the finishing line of a marathon, and not to get tied up with aspirations of finishing in under 3 hours etc... or even finishing the race without walking. As they say, its not cheating to walk part of a marathon! You must have one goal only, which is to cross the finishing line. Adding any other agendas may spoil the acheivement of doing that.
Anyway, I am only part way through the training and book and recomend this to anyone who is a novice to intermediate runner who wants to become a marathoner :)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is amazing, I never thought it would work for me
Well what can I say...In May this year I couldn't run a mile, last Sunday (October 5th) I ran a marathon in under five hours. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Tommy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliantly motivating!
Published 22 days ago by Katherine McGuigan
5.0 out of 5 stars great for first time marathoners
Decided I would wait to review this book until after I completed my first marathon. That's now ticked off,so here's my review. Read more
Published 27 days ago by jlrspr
5.0 out of 5 stars idiot guide for real first timers!
Easy to read, idiot guide to running a marathon. Doesn't give much advice on what to do if you are set back with injury etc, but not sure what it could say! Read more
Published 2 months ago by summer
5.0 out of 5 stars u can run it
Really helpful book. Basic 16 weeks plan , lot of motivation , lot of tips, lot of stories (some interesting, some not , but worth reading it anyway) . Read more
Published 3 months ago by Kostas
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent plan. Well written and will ensure success (if you follow it!)
Published 3 months ago by Sonia
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
the best book ever for someone running their first marathon
Published 3 months ago by A. Botes
5.0 out of 5 stars This worked for me
In November last year at age 55 I decided to run a marathon.
I had run a half marathon... when I was 30! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars non runners marathon
Some chance of me running a marathon when I have not even read this little book. so don't look here
Published 4 months ago by Robert Kee
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 6 months ago by Mr David Harris
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