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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Running a marathon is the best idea you've ever had
If you read this review then you've probably thought that hey, you too could run a marathon. Let me congratulate you, this is the best idea you've ever had!
I ran my first marathon in May 2002 and it has literally made me a different person. I know now that whenever I set my mind to something, I can do it, and marathon training has provided me with the...
Published on Dec 24 2003 by Targo Tennisberg

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Promises more than it should?
The premise of this book is that virtually anyone can finish a marathon by following this four month schedule. The book is based on the authors' experiences teaching a 4-month long "Marathon class" at a university on several occasions. The authors assert that only ONE person out of 200 who have taken the class failed to complete a marathon (allowed himself to...
Published on June 7 2003


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Running a marathon is the best idea you've ever had, Dec 24 2003
By 
Targo Tennisberg (Redmond, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer (Paperback)
If you read this review then you've probably thought that hey, you too could run a marathon. Let me congratulate you, this is the best idea you've ever had!
I ran my first marathon in May 2002 and it has literally made me a different person. I know now that whenever I set my mind to something, I can do it, and marathon training has provided me with the self-discipline and self-confidence that I didn't have before. Want to lose 20 pounds or grow big biceps? No problem, just do it! This is the lesson I've learned from marathoning, nothing else really comes close to this experience.
Now when I've hopefully reinforced your idea, you need a training manual. I had several books at my disposal when I was training, all with slightly different marathon training programs, here's the list (in the order of increasing difficulty of the program)
"The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer" by David Whitsett
"4 Months to a 4 Hour Marathon" by Dave Kuehls
"Galloway's Book on Running" by Jeff Galloway
"Competitive Runner's Handbook" by Shelly-Lynn Florence Glover
I believe the first two in this list to be good for first-time marathoners. "The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer" has the easiest program mileage-wise, if you have never run before then this is probably most suitable for you. However, I ended up using the "4 Months" book as the primary source myself for the following reasons.
1) Information was easier to find in "4 Months". It was very convenient to carry around with me and I could QUICKLY find all relevant information while the other books had too much "fluff" in them.
2) "The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer" emphasizes on every step how their primary goal is not competitiveness but safety and the author discourages you from setting a time goal. If you don't feel competitive at all and just want to finish a marathon, it's perfectly fine and "Non-Runner's" is a great book for you. However, I have always been a competitive person in my life, so "4 Months" suited me better.
3) The weekly long runs in "Non-Runner's" go up to 18 miles. Now this lets you finish the marathon but I feel that a longer run would be better for two reasons.
First, the harder you train, the easier the marathon itself is. My personal training program was relatively hard and it required great effort to complete it. However, running the marathon itself was really surprisingly easy and I could handily beat the four hour mark. There's nothing wrong with an easier training program but I promise you that the more you've trained, the more you will enjoy the race.
Second, many scientists believe that human body is capable of doing whatever it has done before plus about 10%. "4 Months" follows this idea and the longest run there is 24 miles. At the same time "Non-Runner's" has 18 miles as the longest run and then focuses on "beating the wall" i.e. a point of exhaustion that you're supposed to hit at around 20 miles (notice how this is approximately 10% more than 18). My longest run was 24 miles and there was no wall when I raced! Your own experience may vary but longer runs do help you greatly.
These are the reasons why I'm giving "Non-Runner's" just 4 stars. Now don't get me wrong, it's a great book and it does help you run a marathon (which is the greatest thing you'll ever do!) but I feel that for some people other books would be more suitable.
Anyway, whichever book you get, good luck with your first marathon!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent in every way., Oct. 31 2003
This review is from: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer (Paperback)
I have run for over 20 years and never contemplated a marathon. My wife trained with 3 friends and ran one in 2001; I was the support person and ran the last 7 miles. I did a couple of half marathons and did not do well and wanted to train, formally, for a half marathon. I decided to start from scratch and I bought this book thinking that if I did some or most of their training protocol, I would be in good shape for a half marathon. The book sucked me right in from the start. It has spoken to me as few other books have (Body Building 101 did, too). I did the training and enjoyed it where before distance running could be a chore. My wife and I completed the Cape Cod Marathon on 10/26/03 and I know in my heart that I would never have even started this journey without the inspiration, information and motivation of the folks that wrote this book. I am positive that the physical and mental tools it taught me will continue to make a huge difference in every aspect of my personal and professional life. A truly wonderful book and experience. Its not about the 26.2 miles, its about learning how to overcome self-imposed limitations in every aspect of life be they physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Written for someone like me..., July 20 2014
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This review is from: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer (Paperback)
Provides just the right amount of information. The writing style is engaging, and the content of the book is motivating. I had bought it out of curiosity, thinking I might be able to take some tools away to improve my current running (which is at a beginner's level). I walked away inspired to try the training program and am looking forward to testing myself and succeeding. This book dared me to try and I suspect I'll be grateful for it one day.

If you're sincerely not interested in running a marathon, this book is still a good read. Lots of personal success stories which are inspirational, and some good tools to apply to your exercise of choice (or to decide to choose an exercise to begin with).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome training tool!, June 29 2004
By 
Corey Caugherty (Hershey, PA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer (Paperback)
This book enabled me to complete a marathon without ever hitting "the wall" and provided an in-depth and safe training plan. Anyone who plans on trying a marathon needs to have this valuable resource. If you listen to everything the authors say and believe in yourself, it is guaranteed to work for you!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend, May 21 2013
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It was an easy read and a lot of information I was eager to read about. It may be an older book but it has a lot of really good easy to understand information.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Got 16 Weeks?, Sept. 26 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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best marathon book a non-runner could ever buy, Oct. 20 2005
By 
Tim (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer (Paperback)
When I first purchased this book, I had NEVER, EVER gone jogging/running in my life. Nor did I think that I would ever be the "running type". However, after reading just the first few pages, I honestly believed that I could and would do this program and finish a marathon. That is remarkable in itself. To convince a total non-runner that they can do what seems impossible is half the battle. To convince someone in 5 pages? Incredible.
I will admit that, due to other considerations, I ended up not following the 4-day a week running schedule exactly as the author's had outlined. However, I did use almost all of the tips regarding equipment, running style (pace, breathing, etc...), nutrition, and most importantly mental training. I then modified the running schedule a bit (while still following the same short run, medium run, short run, long run pattern) so that I would end the program slightly sooner with a half-marathon.
The first day I ran, I couldn't go more than 2/9ths of a mile without walking for a bit. Three months later I ran a 13.1 mile half-marathon in very respectable 2 hours 7 minutes ... and I certainly had plenty more in me if I had needed it. It felt incredible.
I plan on going back to The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer this winter and running a full marathon in the very near future. If you are a non/novice runner and you are looking to buy one book, stop looking. You've found it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Promises more than it should?, June 7 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer (Paperback)
The premise of this book is that virtually anyone can finish a marathon by following this four month schedule. The book is based on the authors' experiences teaching a 4-month long "Marathon class" at a university on several occasions. The authors assert that only ONE person out of 200 who have taken the class failed to complete a marathon (allowed himself to get dehydrated.) I'm wondering if there is a hidden stat here not revealed--how many people dropped out of the class because of injury or exhaustion?
As an "adult onset athlete" who began getting serious about exercise a little less than two years ago, I'd have to say this book, for all of its inspiring promises, doesn't jibe with my experience. The authors suggest that even completely out of shape people who have never run (like myself) can get up to a base level of fitness in just a month. Sounds like a good way to court injury and failure to me. For sedentary people, a good month of rigorous exercise short of running would be a smart start, followed by a very gradual walk/run program, until you can run 3 miles a few months down the road. Anything faster is courting injury.
I finished my first 20k a few weeks ago, about a year and a half after beginning my running program. Along the way I dealt with the usual--shin splints, runner's knee, and the warning signs of IT band syndrome. All of these things were the result of pushing myself too far, too fast, but I was able to overcome each by taking a step back in training, finding alternative exercises and moving forward. However, if I had started the program this book suggests one month after I started running, I KNOW I would not have been able to complete it. Bodies need time to strengthen themselves. Cardio fitness comes quickly, but the muscles and bones just can't keep up with that pace.
I'm now beginning my first marathon training, and have found much of the advice in this book--especially what it has to say about the mental game--very useful. It offers a moderate program--just 4 days a week of running--which also makes sense for a novice runner.
But if you are a sedentary person, and are picking up this book as a way to jump start a fitness program, I'd suggest you start more slowly, and get a good year's base of consistent fitness efforts before setting out on a program like this. Yes, I'm sure there ARE people out there who jumped right into marathon training and managed to succeed, but why risk jeopardizing your new-found commitment to exercise, by launching into a program that may defeat your goal by bringing on injury? If your goal is commiting to a new fit lifestyle, there are plenty of other goals you can set to get you started--a first 5k and a first 10k are achievements a new runner can be just as proud of.
Here are a few titles I have found useful, and a bit more realistic: "Real Exercise for Real People" by Peter and Lorna Francis," and "Marathoning for Mortals" by John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Get this book., Jan. 8 2010
By 
Jennifer J. McGrath (Montreal, QC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer (Paperback)
This book is outstanding! I have successfully completed the New York City Marathon - and it was due to the eloquent training program contained in this book. The entire book is based on a tested method successfully taught as a university course. Each chapter contains a physical training component and a mental training component, both of which are essential to help train for a marathon. I went from no running to running a marathon in 16 weeks! And so did my sister. And my cousin. This book is that good. Do not be fooled by the title. This book will offer you a challenging training program but it is do-able. Four days a week with one run being a long run on the weekend. If you are a competitive runner looking to finish a marathon sub-4 hours, this book is not for you. For everyone else, get this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You can do it!, June 8 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer (Paperback)
Four friends and I all used this book to train for our first marathon. When I first bought the book, I hadn't run a step in more than 5 years. Some of the other women had never been runners. The training plan is sound and easy to follow. The psychological impact of this book is incredible. It absolutely makes you believe in yourself. We all successfully completed the marathon and felt great about the whole process. This isn't the book for you if you have speed goals in mind, but for anyone whose goal is to simply finish a marathon, this book is the best!
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