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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 25 November 2013
O boy, where to begin.

I write as a big, big fan of matt's previous book Racing Weight which I have reviewed in very glowing terms in the past on Amazon and which I still highly rate.

Unfortunately this book did not cut the mustard for me which was bitterly disappointing. That's not to say that this book isn't helpful- if you are looking for a primer on endurance running nutrition and have read very little on the topic then this is a pretty good start. It's just that the book is sold as 'new rules' and I bought the book as I was intrigued as to what these so called New Rules were...

Most of it is however a re-hash of stuff you can find elsewhere including in his other books.

If you haven't encountered his DQ scoring system before [and this books version is a modified version of the one in Racing Weight if my memory serves me right] then this is a useful thing to become acquainted with. But it's not new.

Matt's approach to training...the Lydiard Method is so medieval it could have been dug up in a Leicestershire car park along with Richard the Third. That doesn't make it wrong, just old, and possibly superceded. What was wrong was the recommendation to try paracetamol to enhance performance. Can we stop recommending drugs/medication to enhance performance when there is nothing wrong medically with a person? It so gives the wrong signals and is a drug with a not insignificant side effect profile. Not something to be popped like smarties. If this is a new rule let's have more of the old.

As others have pointed out I think his opinion of low carbohydrate diets is a little on the biased side but more serious than that is that he advocates for a serious amount carbohydrate during some phases of training (up to 5g/kg which is massive) which you would either struggle to get in without recourse to 'junk' calories or would struggle to avoid converting to fat unless running very, very high mileages. This would therefore be counterproductive for the average person.

I think what I find most annoying however are the almost 100pages worth of nutrition plans used to bulk out the book.

So there are some positives which I have already alluded to above, in addition to which he remembers to mention beetroot juice so all is not lost!

I guess if you had called this book 'The new runners guide [not rules] to marathon and half marathon nutrition' I'd have far fewer qualms but that's not how the book is sold, hence my rating, which I think is a generous helping of stars.
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on 30 May 2016
Last year I became a full member of the “Wall Hitters’ Club”, missing out on my debut marathon target (4h) by 1’12”. So this year I was determined to get a time that started with a 3. I turned to a Matt Fitzgerald training plan from ‘Brain Training for Runners’, which I’d used several years previously to successfully achieve a goal of a sub-45 10K.

It wasn’t until 10 days before the race that I dug out another Fitzgerald book I had on the Kindle (‘Racing Weight’) to remind myself what he had to say about carbo-loading that an ad for ‘Marathon Nutrition’ popped up. Out of curiosity I downloaded the sample, read something about caffeine fasting that I’d never heard of before, and then downloaded the full book.

Obviously, I like Matt Fitzgerald’s writing. His training plans seem to work for me. All the advice in ‘Marathon Nutrition’ worked for me too. I quickly read the key chapters on taper nutrition, pre-race and in-race nutrition. I realised that last time I had massively under-fuelled! Massively under-estimated the amount of carbs I would need to consume the day before and the morning of the race and under-estimated the frequency with which I should be consuming gels during the race by about 30%!

I don’t know which bits of Matt’s advice worked for me – the fat-loading, caffeine-fasting, carb-loading, quick pre-race gel or quantity of gels during the race. But, as a package, work they did. I had a very short drastic dip in pace just after mile 20, but got my head together, confident I’d done the right prep and then continued at target pace all the way through the final six – feeling tired, but never spent. And definitely not the ‘Wall’ feeling of the previous attempt. In fact, my last mile was the fastest and I finished strong in 3h56m23s.

If you’ve ever hit the wall, or want to minimise the likelihood that you will on your first attempt, follow this advice. Great book that has given me the huge satisfaction of achieving the result I wanted. Thanks, Matt!
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on 13 July 2013
I read this book because I am an experienced runner who wants to get better (don't we all?).
I feel I already know a lot about this subject but was interested in the 'new rules' and in particular how to work out my 'optimum weight'. The title and description certainly imply that I will learn these things.
The book was a wealth of knowledge but I did not feel it was 'new' knowledge. I also did not find any specific information about how to work out an optimum weight for height. The book contains a lot of tables (25% of the book)which are difficult to read and use on a Kindle.
Well worth a read. The fact the book is written for the US audience is not too much of a problem for people in the UK.
I have changed my eating habits as a result of reading the book, which is a compliment, obviously! Am I faster/better as a result? Who knows! I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about race and training nutrition. Maybe not to anyone who wants to learn something new. But it is a good book.
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on 21 February 2014
This is a really well written book about pre and post half and full marathon race nutrition.
Having said that, I believe it has to offer more than to runners preparing for their next half and full marathon. whether you are a runner, a cyclist or any other endurance athlete this book will educate you on nutrition and also training.

Strongly recommend it for anyone doing endurance sports!
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on 1 November 2013
Beside the fact that Fitzgerald promotes the stupid legend that Dr. Atkins died being obese, his book completely misrepresents low carb eating for sportspeople. What he completely ignores is that low carb does only work after your body had a time of several weeks where it gets used to it. Otherwise happens what we see every year in the Tour de France or other races, that cyclists are "bonking" because they forgot to eat, which means they forget to take their regular shoot of sugar. Their body is simply not used to switch to fat consumption, which is odd if you know that you have a reserve of 2000 calories of blood sugar but of 40000 calories of fat. When you are used to low carb and no sugar eating, the transition will go easily and there will be no "wall" and no bonking. See the book by Volek and Phinney ("The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance") for more details.
Matt Fitzgerald once wrote an intelligent book ("Run: The Mind-body Method of Running by Feel") where he nicely explains that everything he now tries to sell on his website is rubbish.
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on 3 April 2014
This book is full of common sense practical advice to enable you to eat healthy and fuel your training. A must read if you want to improve your running. For the first time I am losing weight and feel full - excellent
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on 25 July 2013
This was a gift for my hustband and he just loved it. I gave it a few moths before his marathon. He sayed thanks but did not look that into it. But when he started reading it he became very exited and keept thanking me. He said that the weid part is that your in a way know most of the thing in the book but it is not until it is put in contains it really make sense. He started earting and drinking as desriebed in the book and it was a success.
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on 13 April 2015
Just what I needed, very informative.
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on 21 May 2013
Well worth a read includes some thought provoking and well researched new info.
Now to put it all into practice
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on 20 September 2013
I bought this for a mature friend wh still runs half marathons he found it interesting and informative
although he didn't win his last race !!
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