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4 of 4 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 Sept. 26 2008 by Phyllis

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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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4 of 4 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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11 of 12 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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3 of 3 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE book for first marathoners, Jan. 23 2003
By 
Shaula Massena (Seattle, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer (Paperback)
Prior to getting this book I had done triathlons, 5 & 10Ks and one half-marathon. But still I hated and dreaded running. I wanted to do a marathon both to make 10Ks no longer scary and to make myself stick to a running program. I am slow, and a coach once said I'm not going to get faster until I'm running 20-30 miles a week regularly. I had never gotten over 15 miles in a week with all the cross-training for Triathlons. Another reviewer recommended this book as great for runners who dislike running, and that sold me. Thank you! This book should be listed first in the search results, because without question it's the best. It's 1/3rd mental training, 1/3rd physical training and 1/3rd comparative experiences of other folks who have followed this plan. It worked great! I stuck with the program with only one running partner (who is faster than I am) through two injuries that made me miss runs, through a vacation to Hawaii and through the holidays to come out a 5:03:48 finisher of my first marathon - the San Diego Marathon in Carlsbad, CA on 1/19/2003. Thank you David, Forrest and Tanjala!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get this book., Jan. 8 2010
By 
Jennifer J. McGrath (Montreal, QC) - See all my reviews
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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 Perfect balance of physical and mental preparation, May 6 2003
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This review is from: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer (Paperback)
This must be among the best how-to books ever written. I am 39 years old, not an athlete, and decided 6 months ago I wanted to run a marathon. The authors gave me all the information I needed to prepare. I felt as if I had personal coaches. They discuss the problems a first-time amateur has each week of training, building both mental and physical stamina. Each chapter/week builds on the previous lessons. Personal stories punctuate that week's lessons with experiences from other successful amateurs. So many other programs fall short on the important mental preparation that this book is careful to address. The training program built me up without injury, and taught me how to address the expected aches and pains.
I just completed my marathon 2 days ago, and I feel great. I felt confident at the starting line, and this book is why. No "wall", no crawling across the finish line, the marathon was the exhilarating lifetime experience I craved, and this book got me there. If you are looking to set time records, look elsewhere. But if your goal is to complete your first marathon and enjoy the experience, this book delivers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The program works! What more can you ask?, Nov. 4 2002
By 
Tvindy (Muncie, IN) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer (Paperback)
I just finished my first marathon (the Midsouth Marathon in Arkansas) 2 days ago using the program outlined in this book. For about the past 15 years or so, it has been a goal of mine to train for and run a marathon, but I never got close enough in my training to ever even make an attempt. I always thought that I would need at least a year to build up to it and that I would have to reach and maintain mileages in excess of 60+ miles per week before I would be ready. According to this book, all you need are 16 weeks (assuming you can already do an uninterrupted 30-minute jog) and 4 days a week of training. The emphasis is on one long run per week, with the other shorter runs serving mostly just to maintain your fitness level between the weekly long runs. The training peaks at a weekly mileage of 36 miles, held for 2 weeks before tapering off to much lower levels in the two weeks prior to the marathon.
I definitely had my doubts throughout the program. My longest runs prior to that had been 10-milers, and it had taken me about 5 months to even get up to that. I couldn't see myself ever being able to get beyond that in just a few weeks. When I finally did reach 18 miles, I was quite impressed with myself, but it was such an ordeal, I couldn't imagine myself ever going as far as 20, even walking the last two miles. My last 18-miler was so bad, I had to do a lot of walking at the end and even had to sit for several minutes. It seemed I was getting worse rather than better, and then I had to begin doing the taper. During that period, I could actually feel myself getting out of shape and putting on weight. I believed that the marathon would be impossible, and that even 18 miles would no longer be possible. Amazingly, I did it. The taper did a lot to heal my aching joints and blisters, and apparently the little running I did was enough to maintain my fitness level. I don't want to downplay the difficulty of the race. It was long and grueling, and up until about mile #22 I was convinced there was no way I would make it to the end. But I did. My time was not impressive, but I never hit the wall, and some of my training runs had actually been worse and had taken longer to recover from.
The book definitely deserves 5 stars. It worked. No other running book has ever helped me as much. I was a little disappointed at how short it was. I would have preferred a much longer book, brimming over with several hundred pages of supplemental material. After all, if you're referring to it for 4 months, it would be nice to always have lots of fresh material to read, rather than constantly going back and rereading everything, since you can easily get through all the material in your first week. Also, I found it interesting that the book never once mentions pulse monitors. I monitored my heartrate religiously while training and during the marathon. I found this to be extremely helpful in pacing myself, and I'm not sure I could have made it through the program without doing this. Nevertheless, the book does what it sets out to do (at least for me). It got me through my first marathon!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A successful first marathon!, Oct. 31 2002
By 
Karl V. Hauser (Ft Drum, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer (Paperback)
This is my first book review ever. I found this book while browsing for a book about hockey. I always had in the back of my mind that someday, someday I'll run a marathon. I've run fairly regularly the past few years, but never more that 2-3 miles. This book does exactly what it says - prepares you to finish the race, nothing more. Once you realize a marathon is 85% mental training, then the training runs just become reinforcement for your motivation. In September 2002 I ran my first marathon, the Air Force Marathon in Dayton, OH, and I finished in five hours flat.
There is little in life that can compare with crossing the finish line of your first marathon. I had been told that before the run, but had to learn for myself that it is very true. If you apply the techniques in this book, and stay focused on your goal, you WILL complete the run.
This book was exactly the right kind of help at the right time. I recommend it to anyone starting their own personal quest for the 26.2!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Overweight and out of shape to marathoner in 16 weeks!, Sept. 10 2002
By 
Michelle Panulla "meeshiefeet" (Portland, OR USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer (Paperback)
When I first purchased this book, I was not a runner. I had dabbled in running a year earlier, and had finished two 5K (3.1 mile) races and one 10K race. I let myself quit running regularly because of circumstance, and proceeded to eek out a mile or two every other month or so.
I saw this title on Amazon and was intrigued. I wanted to change my lifestyle; to go from an unhealthy, binge-eating, channel-surfing existence to healthy, active, and energetic life. Thanks to this book, I have - and you can, too!
The book is based on the "Marathon 101" class taught at The University of Northern Iowa. It gives accounts of the training and the big day from journals kept by the students, who cover a broad range of age and ability. Feeling that I "shared" the experience of training with these students helped me along considerably. Many of them wrote of the same pitfalls and triumphs I was encountering.
Both mental and physical preparation are stressed in the book, with each chapter broken down in a Mental/Physical/Student Testimonial fashion. I had never considered myself athletic, so I believed the training program would be pretty tough. It's not. Just as they say in the book, if you do everything they tell you to do, you will FINISH!
The day of my marathon, the temperature broke 90 degrees and the air was thick with humidity. Though I struggled with the mental aspect of finishing, I ran across the finish line in 6:31:04 (yes, 6 hours!). I know the only reason I could run and walk for over six hours was because this book provides such wonderful mental preparation. The goal is to finish. Nothing more. Now I am looking forward to reaching my new goal of running another marathon.
Content presentation and editing are the only negatives of this book. I was sometimes frustrated when trying to review information because the physical portions of EVERY chapter are called "Physical Preparation" in the Table of Contents. More descriptive sub-titles would be helpful. Some of the journal entries seemed to be in the wrong chapter as well, since the students would talk about mileage I hadn't run yet, or distances that were not in the program as it is currently presented.
Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever had a flicker of a dream to run a marathon. You do not have to be born an athlete in order to achieve athletic success. Experienced runners may or may not want to read the sections on physical preparation, but may enjoy the mental preparation techniques.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas to Boston - Three Short Months & 26 Long Miles, Jan. 20 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer (Paperback)
My wife and I were not really runners. We ran for general fitness and no more than five miles at a time, a couple of times a week. In late December 2000 we learned that some of our, more dedicated, running buddies were planning to run the Boston Marathon. Two had run it and the Dublin Marathons the year previously.
On a cold and miserable January Sunday morning, after an absence from running for at least six months, we were on our way to meet the group and fulfill mumbled New Years promises. "Why not" we echoed almost in unison, and the decision to run the Marathon was made. The rashness of youth!
Decision made we joined in the training programme the others were following. I, however, needed more information on nutrition, stretching, approach etc and went looking for a book. It is a difficult thing to select a book on Marathon Training from the veritable library available; I bought up the first one I saw!
"The Non Runners Marathon Trainer" was a bit heavy on jargon, visualisation, "Marathoners" etc to start with. However, I soon realised that gems of information such as 'not setting a completion time for your first marathon' and 'not being afraid to walk stages if necessary' were the secret to success.
We were fit enough to get into the training without too much trouble. The book made clear that the real battle was the mental one. The approach taken helped me overcome my inherent laziness and Fiona her uncertainties; she ran a 4.03 and I a 3.56. She put her time down to having gotten her 'head straight'. My training was hampered by an injury and a lazy head and I wouldn't have finished if I didn't understand the mental aspect of the day.
We intend to run the London Marathon this year and my brother is at this minute buying the book as part of his preparation for the trot.
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The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer
The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer by Tanjala Kole (Paperback - Feb. 1 1998)
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