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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Got 16 Weeks?
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...
Published on 26 Sep 2008 by Phyllis

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I used to run 10 KM last year; so decided to buy this book to train myself for a half marathon. I really don't know how many pages I skipped... In fact, some chapters are full of very useful and good information such as physical preparation, nutrition tips, visualization, associative and dissociative mental techniques etc. However, all chapters are full of the...
Published on 8 Oct 2011 by Melike


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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Got 16 Weeks?, 26 Sep 2008
This review is from: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer (Paperback)
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.

Some practical bits: the 16 week training program does start you out running three miles, so in reality, you can tack on about another month or so of training to the 16 weeks in order to build up to the 3-mile starting point of the program. Along the same lines, pick a marathon that will be held no less than five months from the time you expect to start getting ready. And finally, runners suffering from plantar fasciitis might also want to check out The 5-Minute Plantar Fasciitis Solution. Good luck :)
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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
By 
Janice Dawson "msvagabond" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer (Paperback)
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
By 
Cupid Stunt (Uppsala, Sweden) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer (Paperback)
Just before Christmas I hit the 100kg mark (a fraction under 16st) and I decided I had to do something about it...as 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...even a wedding trip to Cyprus with a stag-do thrown in didn't stop me doing a late in the day hungover 10 mile run in the hotel gym.

The general text is very American, positive thinking, you can do it back slapping but it is still written by real people who have dealt with all the pain and mental barriers you will face training for your first marathon. If you can put the British conservatism aside (for most of it) while you read it it will help and you'll see some very important points. The only downside of the book that prevented five stars was the lack of a good section on what to do if you have to miss any runs through illness or injury. Apart from a hip injury I picked up about 3 weeks before the marathon (which I decided I had to run through with the help of ibuprofen rather than rest) I missed about 6 runs (including one whole week) through illness and, although I feel I adjusted ok with the advice of my best friend who happens to compete in Ironman, I felt the book missed a box most marathon trainees would want to be able to tick off.

When race day came I decided to keep with my steady training pace (when not boxed in to a crawl in the first 10-15km) and not get lost in the moment and try and keep up with everyone...the end result was finishing my first ever marathon in 4 hours and 6 minutes which I have to say I am pretty bloody pleased with. The 12kg (just under 2 stones) I lost on the way to this was also a pretty nice bonus!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Does The Job, 28 April 2009
By 
David Thorpe "Torchy" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer (Paperback)
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. But I think if you don't have commitment and determination you really do need to focus on these parts of the book. As I found, there's a huge amount of mental energy required to pull this off, both in the training and in the run itself.

3. As they keep saying in the book, if you follow the program you will complete the marathon. End of story.

So, it definitely does the job. As the authors say themselves, this is not a book for getting a specific finish time, not a book for second or third time marathoners, but if you want to run a marathon, are prepared to put in three (generally) one hour sessions during the week and one longer session at the weekend, this book will get you through. Ignore the complex plans you'll find all over the web. This is simple, straightforward, practical and works.

Highly recommended.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best literature for first timers, 20 Feb 2007
By 
D Francis - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer (Paperback)
I have relied on this book heavily for my upcoming London Marathon in 8 weeks. I can't add a great deal to what has been said already.

Yes, it parts the book can be a little preachy, but its the most comprehensive resource I have found that covers not only the physical and mental side, but also the diet and comments from other runners.

I have done additional research on training and the book has covered 99% of it already.

[...]
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Non-runner's Marathon Trainer, 12 Jan 2004
By 
wacrompton - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer (Paperback)
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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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent training companion, 23 Dec 2006
This review is from: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer (Paperback)
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.
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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
By 
Brett Sinclair (Dundee, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer (Paperback)
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent excellent book, 8 Feb 2009
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This review is from: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer (Paperback)
I am so glad I got this book. 8 weeks ago I struggled to run one mile. Today I completed my first ever 10 mile run. More importantly, the tools recommended in the book to prepare you mentally for the marathon have changed pretty much every facet of my life. I am a more optimistic, challenged, happy person with a can-do attitude.

The language of the book is very easy to follow and very engaging. If you are not a runner and are contemplating a marathon, you should not be without this book
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Program!!, 27 May 2012
By 
Miriam L Barnwell (Orange, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer (Paperback)
This book really does do what the title says! Just read the introduction and take it from there. I started on the pre-training pprogram and saw results after the first few sessions. Follow this exactly and you will be a marathoner too!
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