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The Marathon Method: The 16-Week Training Program that Prepares You to Finish a Full or Half Marathon in Your Best Time Paperback – April 1, 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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About the Author

Exercise Physiologist Tom Holland holds a Master's Degree in Exercise Science and has been certified by such organizations as the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He is a sub-3 hour marathoner and Boston Marathon qualifier and has coached hundreds of people to run marathons from absolute beginners to elite athletes. Tom's athletic resume includes the 36-mile "Run to the Sun" ultramarathon from sea level to the 10,000 foot summit of Haleakala on Maui, the JFK 50-miler and 19 Ironman triathlons with races in Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, Germany and South Korea. He is a member of PowerBar's Team Elite and stars in several exercise videos including Supreme 90 Day and the best selling "Abs Diet" workout. He is the author of the Beat the Gym, The Marathon Method and 12-Week Triathlete and has written for numerous magazines including Running Times and Inside Triathlon. He has appeared as a fitness expert on Good Morning America and CNN Headline News and is a frequent contributor to the fitness magazines SELF, Women's Health, Fitness and Men's Health. Tom lives in Connecticut.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Fair Winds Press (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592332595
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592332595
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Of the 10 reviews of this book, which readers give an average of 5 stars, I'm noticing that only *two* people have actually used this method to run a marathon! (My review makes three.) It's fine to skim through the book, look at the schedule and think, Wow! That looks do-able! Five stars! But to actually run 26.2 miles using this method? Here are my thoughts:

First, the positive. I did it! I ran my fifth marathon last week using this method, but it was my first in 14 years and my first since kids. There was no way I could do the traditional 6 day a week training, so I was willing to give this a try. I had never done any kind of core or strength training at all, and I'm now completely sold that it is a key piece of marathon training. In the old days my back would often be the sorest part of my body after a long run, but no more, and the arm strength exercises gave me a big boost on hills. Running only 4 days a week also kept running a lot of fun, and I was always excited to get out there and go - definitely not the case when following a 6 day a week schedule.

The negatives of this book: first, the training charts in the back for all but the advanced plan show 1 core weekout a week, on
Friday, but the text description of the training says there are 3 (Tues, Thurs and Fri). I had been following the chart only and didn't notice this until a few weeks before my race, so I probably didn't do enough core exercises, which gave me something to worry about during the taper.

Second, the periodization is very different in a 4 day a week program. Normally you increase the long run milage one week and decrease the next (like 12, 9, 14, 10, 16, 11), so the build up is gradual. In this program, you increase the long run 3-4 weeks in a row (like 12, 16, 18, 20, 10).
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Format: Paperback
I'm a 42 year old father of 2. Mid-July I decided to run the Long Beach Marathon with my best friend, who had run 2 marathons previously. It would be my first; I had done a little bit of running, but didn't even own running shoes. I bought Tom Holland's book "The Marathon Method", then I bought shoes.

To make a long story short, using only this book as a training guide, 12 weeks after buying shoes and taking up running, I ran the Long Beach Marathon last Sunday in 3:59:12, beating my friend by 6 minutes. My time would have been even better if I'd not ignored one of Tom's marathon "commandments" about staying hydrated (I didn't like energy drink provided at the race). Bottom line is, Tom Holland's training marathon training methods, in my opinion, have you running just enough miles to properly prepare you for the race while still keeping running pleasurable!! I enjoyed and looked forward to all my training runs and definitely got benefits from the strength training in between runs. Additionally, the other race preparation advice (mental strategies, diet, supplements, equipment, etc.) were extremely helpful. I highly reccomend this book.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book with HUGE apprehension last year. I had just finished the 111th Boston Marathon in 3:04 and was looking for a new running plan. My previous running plan had me running in 10 day cycles with little to no weight/core training and VERY few off days. I had no problem putting the time in because I believed the more days you spent running the faster you will get. So when I bought this book and saw that I would be only running 4 days week I felt very nervous that I would not better my time. How could running less days make you a faster runner for a marathon? I was going to run another marathon that October (2007). I followed the plan as directed only missing a couple of days. In October 2007 I ran my fastest marathon to date: 2:54. 10 minutes faster than earlier in the year! Since then I have been sold on this plan.

My endurance has been increasing and this fall went looking for another marathon plan in order to break 2:45. I felt like I would need to run around 70-80 miles during my peak in order to reach my goal. After much research I decided to stick with this book adding mileage to the days without increasing the number of days running. I will be sticking to the 4 day running plan with core workouts in between.

I have been doing more research on the 4 day a week running. I noticed that even the running plans on runners world have started to move to running less days during the week. Also, there are many articles coming out on this subject.

About the book itself. I found it to be a good read. He gives advice for the newbie marathon runner and information that the veteran runner could brush up on. He gives three different training plans for the novice, intermediate, and advance runner. Also including the training for a half marathon.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Don't make the same mistake I did and purchase the Kindle version. This book does not translate well to the Kindle. This is primarily because the strength training plans are provided in microscopic print, making it close to impossible to read the exercises, and you can forget about reading their corresponding directions. The 16 week plans in the back of the book are also in tiny print, albeit not quite as small. Bottom line, shell out the extra dollar or two for the print version, and save yourself the headache.
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