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Run Your First Marathon: Everything You Need to Know to Reach the Finish Line Paperback – November 17, 2007
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Who better than Grete Waitz, nine-time winner of the New York City marathon, to take a runner through that first 26.2 mile race? Ms. Waitz's conversational style makes this book less like a dry manual and more like having a friend tell you what to expect. -- Dallas Morning News
About the Author
Gloria Averbuch is a competitive runner and the author of The New York Road Runners Club Complete Book of Running & Fitness.
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Easy to read, and if you're running your first marathon, lots of good training tips and things to ponder for the big day.
This book has good information on hydration, stretching, mental motivators, and even includes a walk-to-run beginning program. However, I found the actual training program lacking. The author provides one 16-Week Beginning Marathon Program that really doesn't have much of a taper phase. On week 16, the week of the marathon, she has you running 20 miles plus the marathon. I've never seen a training program, especially for beginners, with so much mileage during the last week. I could be reading it wrong, and the reader is supposed to lower the mileage in week 17 and run the marathon, but this isn't made clear.
Overall, the book has good information, but the most essential information, the training schedule, is lacking. If you purchase this book, I highly recommend you also get The Marathon Method: The 16-Week Training Program That Prepares You to Finish a Full or Half Marathon in Your Best Time. This book is also for first timers, but includes three different schedules depending on your running experience and weekly mileage.
I've ran in 6 marathon or longer races thus far and am still learning some of what she writes in this book. Reader beware, though, this book is for exactly what the title states, for runners looking to run their first marathon. A lot of the information given is very basic to runners who have ran this distance already, but to someone who never has ran 26.2 she touches on every aspect and allows the runner to become well informed in what they are getting into.
She briefly touches on two training schedules within the book. The first is for those readers who have ran very little at all. It sets them up and begins conditioning them to running, which in turn prepares them for the actual marathon training. So if you do run some then the training schedule number two is where you would begin. But it is very basic, kind of a run these miles on these days on this week. And she makes it clear that this book is not meant as a day by day guide to your training.
Instead she focuses on the stuff that is overlooked when researching and preparing for a marathon. She goes over running basics, such as form and speed and so on, as well as signs to prevent injury, motivation, and running gear among other information. But the most important chapter is Chapter 12: Marathon Nutrition and Hydration. Even if you have ran a marathon before this is a good chapter to read and refresh and/or educate yourself again. There is a good amount of base information that will probably go the farthest for any marathon hopeful in aiding them to the finish line. Additionally, the final chapter, The Race, is also very useful for the beginning runner because it goes over some of what you will feel, see and expect when you toe the line.
I wish I would have found Mrs. Waitz's book before I ran my fateful, yet ill prepared first marathon at San Francisco.
If you are a first time marathoner I would give this book a good read and set your goals on that marathon.