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The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer
The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer
by David A. Whitsett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.68

55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent training companion, 23 Dec. 2006
This really is an excellent book. I kept this by my bedside as I was training for the Edinburgh Marathon 2006 and dipped in and out of it every night for six months. It is written in a really warm, supportive and positive way and from the off, you will really believe that you can do this thing. The case studies of the people who were following the training in the book, who were at all different levels of ability, although all completely new to marathon running, were very heartening and helpful too.

The book contains a lot of Americanized self-help style language and mental exercises, as other reviewers have stated. The essence of this is all very useful and true, but I have to confess to not following their instructions in full. However, there were times on my long cold training runs when I WOULD have to tell myself 'I feel good, I'm relaxed, I'm going to be fine' in order to convince myself I would make it. The authors are definitely right in that the mental side of running a marathon is every bit equal to the physical if not more so. It's not possible to skip over this aspect entirely, I don't think, even if you're not into the whole self-affirmation thing.

As far as the training programme itself is concerned (and there is a whole ton of stuff in here in addition to the actual programme), I followed it in conjunction with another programme, the Hal Higdon novice programme. ([...] I juggled the two around to suit me. They both consist of four runs per week. The reason I did this is because this programme is a 16 week programme which ends on an 18 mile run, and the Hal Higdon is an 18 wk programme which ends on a 20 mile run. They both have a similar tapering period before the race itself. For me personally, I felt that I pyschologically needed to have a 20 miler under my belt before attempting the full 26. It just gave me that extra bit of confidence. I just felt that 18 miles as my longest run wasn't enough. But obviously it was fine for all the other happy reviewers here.

The last 200 metres of my marathon and crossing the finishing line itself was worth every single ache, pain and blister I suffered during the training. On the day itself, I had no pain at all, and I didn't hit the wall. I did all my training entirely alone, other than this book.

In summary then, I highly recommend this book, especially for those who, like me felt/feel nervous, unsure, unconfident and doubtful of their abilities as they begin the slow and torturous journey towards the ultimate challenge! This book will be your friend. And you will do it. I couldn't run more than three miles when I bought this book. Now, a year later, I have completed my first marathon, run 5ks, 10ks and a couple of halfs and lost 4 stone along the way. Even if you're only at the thinking stage, it is still worth buying as once you read the first few chapters you will soon be putting your entry fees in the post.

Eating Myself
Eating Myself
by Candida Crewe
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £3.95

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brave, 29 April 2006
This review is from: Eating Myself (Hardcover)
I disagree with the other reviewer. This is one woman's story, therefore it is not going to be a general book about eating disorders. Personally, whilst at times I found it to be a frustrating and depressing read, and though I found myself on occasion feeling that I would have more sympathy for her if she was, or had ever been, actually fat, you cannot help but admire her honesty in actually admitting to these madnesses in her mind. I feel as she does, to an extent, every day of my life, yet no-one around me would ever know and I could never bring myself to discuss it with anyone. It's extremely brave of her to write this book, because she will be absolutely slated for it by many people. Yes she mentions her family a lot, but it's an important sub-text, and yes they are rich and upper class, but she can't help what she was born into. Also, her writing is stunning. She has an extraordinary turn of phrase, and her prose is so flowing that it would be perfectly possible to read the entire book, effortlessly, in one sitting.

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