Customer Review

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mission Accomplished, 30 Jun 2011
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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Location: Uppsala, Sweden

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