I’ve been sent a couple of marathon books to look over. One is aimed at the beginner runner with a marathon on the horizon and the other is aimed at a very specific niche – those that have completed the London marathon between the years 2001-2010.
The first is a large format magazine from magbooks.com called the Ultimate Guide to Marathon Training. I’ve reviewed this previously but it’s now been updated for the new year. As ever it provides an excellent introduction for the novice runner or for those that need to step up their exposure to running terminology because they’ve signed themselves up for the BIG challenge.
You could re-brand this as the bluffers guide to running as it packs a huge amount of running knowledge from training techniques, nutrition, shoe choices, injury treatment and running style.
I’m particularly taken with the stretching section which provides extremely clear guidance on running specific stretches. I usually skip the stretch routine which probably explains why I’m suffering with a painful calf/hamstring injury and dabble with plantar fasciitis from time to time. I’m tempted to cut this section out and stick it next to the bed in the hope that it would provide the necessary spur to action.
The training plan section is small and I’d recommend looking elsewhere before you decide on the plan you intend to stick to. The 4hour plus plan mentioned here is 12 weeks long (or short) and the max run is only 15 miles. That would not be enough to get me round more than a flat 1/2 marathon course. I’ve already blogged about my marathon plan of choice but there are loads out there.
I haven’t yet completed the London marathon so I found the second book a little hard to read. In fact I think anyone short of rainman would find this book hard to read.
It’s The Official Register of London Marathon Runners 2001-2010 from Aubreys and only just beats the yellow pages for interest. Actually they’ve done a good job of it. Given that it is designed to be a list of every London marathon finisher for the last 10 years, complete with times, it amazing that I’ve been able to give it a second glance.
Each year gets a short summary before the listings begin and then runner biographies appear randomly throughout the pages. I was quite pleased to read in the 2010 section that a 69 year old bloke was almost honoured with the award for the fastest ever marathon by an OAP before the chip times revealed that he either finished the last half in less than an hour or as it turned out, he’d taken a short cut.
I’m disappointed to note that they don’t reveal this short cut. Sounds like a winner to me.
I think I’d be pretty proud to own the 2011-2020 edition if I get to complete the event next year. It would sit happily on my bookshelf next to my thesis. If you’ve completed the marathon in the last decade you might be happy to know you can currently get the register for half price at £30.