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50/50: Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days -- and How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance! Paperback – August 12, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • 50/50: Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days -- and How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance!
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  • Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner
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  • Run! 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"His new book appeals to a potentially broader audience [than his last]. It is packed with practical advice, from how to avoid getting sick during a race, to what to look for in shoes. Included are marathon-training plans for beginners and veterans." -Orange County Register

"Perhaps the most interesting aspect of 50/50, though, is that rare peek into the mindset and motivation of an extreme athlete... and wondering, along with him, what's next." -Bookpage

About the Author

Dean Karnazes has been called the "Quintessential Ultramarathoner" by Outside magazine. Winner of the 2004 Badwater Marathon in Death Valley, and recipient of the ESPN ESPY Award as the "Best Outdoor Athlete" of 2006, he is the author of the New York Times bestseller Ultramarathon Man. Dean lives with his wife and two children in San Francisco. His website is www.ultramarathonman.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (August 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446581844
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446581844
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #696,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

An internationally recognized endurance athlete and New York Times bestselling author, Dean Karnazes (www.UltramarathonMan.com) has pushed his body and mind to inconceivable limits. TIME magazine named him as one of the "Top 100 Most Influential People in the World," Men's Fitness hailed him as the fittest man on the planet and he was the winner of the 2008 ESPY Award for "Best Outdoor Athlete."

Among his many accomplishments, he has run 350 continuous miles, foregoing sleep for three nights. He's run across Death Valley in 120-degree temperatures, and run a marathon to the South Pole in negative 40 degrees. On ten different occasions, he's run a 200-mile relay race solo, racing alongside teams of twelve. His long list of competitive achievements include winning the world's toughest footrace, the Badwater Ultramarathon, running 135 miles nonstop across Death Valley during the middle of summer. His most recent endeavor was running 50 marathons, in all 50 US states, in 50 consecutive days, finishing with the NYC Marathon, which he ran in three hours flat.

As an author, his first book was Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner. His 50-marathon feat was the basis for 50/50: Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days -- and How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance! And on March 1, Rodale Books will publish Run! 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss, Karnazes's new inspirational memoir, told in 26.2 chapters that take readers inside the heart and mind of someone who pushes himself to the limits of physical achievement.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed Ultramarathon man, so when I heard he was writing another book about his Endurance 50 Challenge I couldn't wait. Karnazes account of his experience running 50 marathons in 50 states has some very good information in it. He, of course, went over the running he'd done to that point, as well the type of running that he had wanted to do, which led to the Endurance 50 challenge. This was right up my alley because I have become a huge fan of running as many marathons as possible. My body tends to recover easily so the urge to run more often has only grown with time.

So it amazes me to follow Karnazes trek from state to state with a marathon every day. He offers some gems of knowledge on various aspects, such as eating, hydration, recovery, pacing, conditions and on and on. With 50 marathons in a row there is plenty of fuel for the fire.

For the most part the chapters correspond to some aspect of running and how it related to that day's marathon, or sometimes two to three marathons a chapter. As would be expected, this couldn't go on for every chapter. Some chapters would reference that days marathon and the chapter would not mention more than a sentence or two, sometimes none, of the actual marathon, instead going off on a tangent about something entirely different.

What was amazing was to find in the appendix a doctor's evaluation of Karnazes' health from running all 50 marathons, and came to the basic conclusion that running that many all in a row had no adverse effects and that he indeed seemed to be getting stronger as each marathon went on. In fact his last of the 50 marathons in New York was his fastest, coming in at a little bit after 3 hours!

I whole heartedly recommend all runner's to get a hold of a copy and read this extraordinary account. Fascinating read.

5 stars.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dean's first book was excellent and I recommend it to all sorts of folks, both runners and non-runners alike, as an interesting story of a guy who does truly amazing things. I must admit to being a big Dean fan and I even ran four marathons with him during his Endurance 50 tour. That said, this book is pretty weak compared with UltraMarathon Man. Anybody who has run a couple marathons should be able to give you the advice from this book. If you're a runner you should still read this book as it does have some interesting anecdotes and Dean's such a nice guy, but his first book was much better.
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Format: Hardcover
I didn't enjoy this book as much as Ultramarathon Man, but it's still a good read. This book is about the Endurance 50, when Dean Karnazes took on 50 marathons in 50 states over 50 days. Unlike Dean's first book, this is probably 50% sports auto-biography and 50% running guide with tips on topics like nutrition, training regimes, shoe election and stretching. The inclusion of so much advice seems a bit odd, but presumably these are the sorts of things that Dean gets asked about on a regular basis.

Dean starts the book by telling us that he is just an ordinary man with no superpowers or amazing genetic make-up. I don't know how he figures that unless the fact that he hangs out with so many other ultramarathon runners has severely skewed his perspective. He ran the 50 consecutive marathons on an average of 4.5 hours sleep a night, with a headcold and severe blisters - and he had no ill effects whatsoever. Although he claims that he wrote the book to explain how he did this, I have to admit that I finished it none the wiser. The man is amazing.

Having said that I was very interested in the sections of the book where he talks about the techniques he uses to motivate himself when he doesn't feel like running or the ways that he finds the strength to keep running when he feels like he can't manage another step because it all hurts too much.

And get this: when Dean finishes his 50th run in New York, he realizes that no one has booked a flight home for him to California. So he loads his gear into a baby stroller and starts running. He sleeps in parks and eats on the go, ending up in Missouri several weeks and some 1500 miles later. Then in true Forrest Gump style, he stops abruptly and decides that he misses his family and its time to go home.
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Format: Hardcover
I will never be a ultramarathon racer because I am a bit tall, a bit overweight but Dean's book makes me want to be a better me in all that I do in my life. I was lucky enough to get a signed copy of this book at a book signing in Costa Mesa last weekend and met Dean. He is a great guy. He is humble, funny and stresses that he is no superhero. He was so positive and I was inspired! I loved his first book and this one is even more interesting.I am more of a long distance walker but after reading this book I want to walk a bit further and maybe aim for a 5k (which for me might as well be a ultramarathon) and I think Dean would be just fine with that!!!!
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Format: Hardcover
I'm a fan of Dean Karnazes. I've read - and enjoyed - Run! and Ultramarathon Man and found them both fascinating books, giving an insight into the world of the extreme endurance runners.

I found this book rather frustrating though. To me, it just couldn't decide what it wanted to do. On the one hand it wanted to be a chronicle of the 50 Marathons. On the other it wanted to offer you insights and tips into how you can join this super elite brand of runners. It failed on both counts.

As the chronicle of the marathons, it just didn't strike a good balance. Some marathons barely got a mention (every one was listed so Dean could note his time, calories burned, number of participants etc). Others got a varying number of pages, but never really anything in sufficient detail. I should say I'm not surprised. It must be difficult trying to find something noteworthy to say about every race and I could forgive that - but at least on the notable ones give us a bit more?

The insights and tips part was equally disappointing. Sprinkled throughout the book randomly were Deans "insights". In reality, if you've been running for more than a few months, you'll likely already know 90% of what's offered. Personally I've ran for 10 years up to half-marathon distance and I picked up perhaps a few small tips for marathon distance. Not that I was figuring the book was going to provide a massive insight - I figure it's part genetics for this small band of ultra marathoners.

So although I wanted to like the book (I do like/admire Dean), it was disappointing. It was shallow. Thin on content and tips. Like it was rushed out to capitalize on the event. Perhaps he tried to hard to be all things to all people. I don't know, I just found I couldn't finish it fast enough to move on to a better book.
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