Today I read the first half of "Marathoning for Mortals" by John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield. I purchased in it used (like new condition) from Amazon.com for only 88 cents.
I have had this book since right after my second half marathon (Thanksgiving) - a point in time when I thought I was looking for some additional motivation and knowledge to help me do better in my 2011 half marathons; however, the thought of even reading about training was more than I could stomach. . . having had just spent 7 straight months in my first ever training cycle-I was pretty burned out. Now, I'm already a week behind in my next training cycle and decided I NEEDED TO BREAK OPEN THIS BOOK!! I'm so glad that I did. I'm by no means a veteran racer, or experienced runner, or even good. Heck, I'm just a recreational runner who LOVES racing (even though, for me, there is no race . . . well, my race is against myself, it's about proving to myself just what I'm capable of . . . above all, it's just about doing something healthy that's a lot of fun!).
This book is awesome! Everyone who has ever considered doing a half, has done a handful of halves, or is considering a full marathon should read this book!!! This was just the book that I needed.
Here are some highlights:
Chapters 1-4: Providing insights and posing helpful questions to help you determine if you have enough time and energy to enter a half/full training program. This was a HUGE issue for me during my first half marathon training . . . I had NO IDEA how much time was going to be required to train (it takes us slow people A LOT longer than fast people). There are wonderful questions designed to help guide you into the right training program by taking into account your age, gender, weight, current health, past injuries, resources you can devote to training including time and support system, and future goals.
Chapters 5-6: These were probably my most favorite because it took something soooo boring and dry (defining and explaining the different components to a training program such as tempo runs, recovery, cross training, etc) and used a very easy-to-understand analogy.
Living room = room you spend a lot of leisure time in . . . long runs - slow, easy
Bathroom = multi-tasking area . . . shorter workouts which can include pacing, speed, and form
Game room = fun and games . . . cross training and active rest
Bedroom = sleeping and recovery . . . rest days
Kitchen = food prep . . . nutritional component to training
Appetizer = warm up
Entree = actual training part of the work out
Steamed veggies = rest and active rest days
Ground Pepper = cross training
Hot Sauce = tempo runs
Table manners = form drills
Side dishes = short workouts
Wine = workout intensity
Dessert = cool down
Chapter 7-8: Discussion of heart rate, how to lower it, how to raise it, how to properly select the right training schedule to get achieve your personal goals (burn fat, get faster, go the distance, etc)
I'll read the rest of the book soon and post part 2 of the review.