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Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide
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Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  1,585 ratings  ·  202 reviews
With over 50% new material, this category killer is sure to go the distance

When the previous edition of Hal Higdon's superb training guide appeared, Grete Waitz, 9-time winner of the New York City Marathon, cheered: "Higdon's years of marathoning experience come through in this practical book. Aspiring or veteran marathoners will benefit enormously from its proven guidance
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Paperback, 356 pages
Published September 3rd 2005 by Rodale Books (first published October 15th 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,463)
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Bill
Oct 16, 2011 Bill added it
So I used Hal Higdon's training guide on the interwebs to train for my first marathon on October 9th this year, the Chicago Marathon. At the expo the day before the race, my younger sister (who ran the race with me - well, as much as anyone who finished an hour ahead of me "ran with" me) excitedly spotted Hal and got him to sign her a brand new copy of his book. I sat by with a camera ready, but she was too timid to ask him for a picture, and I was too timid to demand that she pose with him. We ...more
Daniel Solera
This book will either inspire you to run a marathon or scare you to death. Though it breaks down the act of running 26.2 miles into manageable chapters, the feat may seem more daunting as you turn the last page. Fortunately, Higdon has populated his informative book with many testimonials from runners, from the confident elite to the skeptical newcomers.

As a veteran marathon runner with 111 marathons under his belt, he knows what he's talking about. His experience, his mistakes, his discoveries
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Ross
It still holds up as one of the top marathon books/training guides after all these years. I was completely out of shape, and I hadn't ran a step in five or six years. I read this book, followed the training guide, and ran a 4 hour marathon less than three months later. I also lost 25 pounds during the training process.
Hal's book is still the best marathon running book around, a must read for anyone wanting to run a marathon, but not wanting to urinate blood & spinal fluid afterward.
Dani
I have read 8 books on running. Everything from running for weight loss to the ultimate beginners guide and from inspirational fiction on running to marathon training. I have to say that Hal Higdon's Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide, Advice, Plans and Programs for Your 1st Marathon or 50th was a favorite.

You have to wonder how many books on running can you read? Don't they all start to sound the same? Yes and no. The basic information like how to stay hydrated, warnings on things not to do
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Marissa
Ok so this book wasn't BAD I just was annoyed by a few things....this book felt very repetative. The author revistied the importance of carb-loading and the spagehtti dinner like 10 times, once or twice would be fine but after awhile I wanted to scream, "We get the point!" Also, maybe I'm not a serious enough runner but I found the chapter on women training during menstruation just un-necessary. I also got a little tired of the ten million examples the author used of olympic athletes training se ...more
Luisa
Everything that I need to know and more. The only downside was they were ABSOLUTELY adamant that first time marathoners should NEVER have a goal beyond finishing the race. But my opinion is that I want to beat the race, I don't want the race to beat me. I don't want to feel like I barely finished by the skin of my teeth. I want to achieve the status of marathoner without nearly killing myself to cross the finish line.
Alison
I read this book as I was training for my first (and so far only) marathon. It was heartfelt, funny, and sincere. One quote that I will forever remember is that you should never sign up for your next marathon until you have forgotten the pain of the last one.
Sarah Simmons
This book was a great asset in training for my first marathon. I finished with a respectable time-for me. It answered a lot of questions I didn't even know I had, being a newbie and a solitary runner. I'm using it again to train for my second marathon.
Wysteria
Anytime I get a new hobby, I like to learn as much about it as I can. I'm a knowledge collector of sorts. A really bad jack-of-all-trades. I like to learn and if something catches my attention and interests me, I want to learn as much as I can about it until I'm over it. Running is my newest obsession.

So I got this book from the library actually just read this straight through, not picking and choosing parts that sounded interesting.

I found it helpful and insightful and slightly overwhelming an
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Eric Lawson
I have been training to run a marathon since 2007. Read a couple of books but never finished the training. Finally in 2012 I bought this book because of the reviews on Amazon. Was a great resource to push me through the training to endure this challenge. Did everything Hal asked and finally completed the Flying Pig marathon in Cincinnati in May, 2013. This book will help you accomplish your first marathon as well as pushing you to run others and advice and training plans to reduce your time. I l ...more
Nora Miller
I'm keeping this book close at hand! Will read and re-read. Currently following the intermediate training plan for my 5th half marathon, will then roll into the novice training plan for my 1st full marathon.
Sue
May 13, 2008 Sue rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: new runners/marathoners
Shelves: non-fiction
A really good overview of marathon training. Especially helpful if you're running your first and don't quite know what to expect from running 26 miles 385 yards.
Jo Javernick ronk
I loved this book. Signed up for my first marathon and this book got me so excited to start training. He makes it sound so doable. Can't wait!!!
Adrianne Schinkai
So the cat's out of the bag. My next big goal following graduation is to start running with the ultimate goal of one day running the NYC Marathon. It's a slow start, but this book has really put a number of things into perspective for me. My BMI has me at obese. I need to drop a bit of weight in order to really hone in on my skill. I need to allow myself rest, however, to be at my best. My diet needs to be balanced, yet I need to allow myself more carbs and more protein depending on my training. ...more
Kendra
This is a very solid primer for someone attempting their first marathon without the benefit of a training group or other coach. Hal Higdon provides years of wisdom and anecdotes to make the challenge of training more manageable, and gives the guidance of dos and do nots without boring the reader with a list. While this was a bit behind my experience level, I agreed for the most part with Higdon's advice to would-be marathoners, and would recommend the book and plans to someone who doesn't have a ...more
Lesley
Jan 27, 2009 Lesley rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: other runners
Recommended to Lesley by: Marion
Shelves: running, non-fiction, 2009
Although this book is a bit dated (e.g. marathon contact info included snail mail addresses only), I got a good bit out of it. Higdon reinforces many of his points with personal stories, or those of other runners or medical professionals. The book is a pretty quick read, and includes several charts as well as some training plans that look doable.

Things I took away from this book:
1) Having a base mileage of 30-40 miles is key--if you want to be able to finish a marathon. More mileage is better--5
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Jenny
Sep 07, 2009 Jenny rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: runners, first-time marathoners
Shelves: running
I am glad I read this book among others as I am training for my first marathon (less than one month until the marathon!) but it wasn't my favorite marathon read out there. It had some really good tips which I appreciated, made note of and have been utilizing throughout my training. I also liked that it seemed very well researched, not just Hidgon's personal experience (though he does include plenty of that) but also quotes research, academics and professional athletes. The book did get a bit dra ...more
Manda
I received this book as a gift after I finished my half-marathon. My goal in reading it was to gain some guidance on how I might up my mileage, improve my running, and finish a full marathon in the next year or so.

This book contains useful information for runners of all levels, ages, and genders. I've been running since middle school, and consider myself somewhat knowledgeable about what constitutes a "good" training plan, even if it is just a basic one. Higdon, however, delves deeper in each p
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Meghan
This might make you feel a bit better. Guess what? Hal Higdon updated his Marathon book with an all new 3rd edition! YAY!

Have you ran a marathon before? Have you ever tried to follow one of Hal Higdon's marathon training programs?

You may not care, but let me tell you a little bit about myself before you start your judgements, on me and on Hal. I am a 25 year old female who started running 3 years ago. Since becoming obsessed with the sport of running I have run close to 20 races including 2 ful
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Jacquelyn
Although I have yet to put the book's advice into practice, it seems like a really good introduction to marathon-running for noobs like myself. I'd say it's about 50% motivation/first-hand accounts, 40% marathon training theory, and 10% solid information I could use immediately.

The motivation/anecdote parts were interesting. It was helpful to hear what other people have experienced themselves, how their first marathon compared to subsequent ones, what they did wrong, what they did right, etc. B
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Celeste
I like to read books about running, and I'm planning on running another marathon in about 7 months.

Ask around in a running group, and you'll learn that nearly all of them know who Hal Higdon is and more than a few are using his training plans or recommend them. I've used his plans for some of my half marathons before having read this book.

I was pleasantly surprised that reading this book was not like reading a typical piece of non-fiction about running. It read as though I was having a long coff
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James Cardona
If you are serious about running a marathon or want to set a PR then this book is a must. I've read several books on marathon training and run two marathons and about 50 half marathons (pretty obvious which distance I prefer).

I found the book motivating and reassuring. It gave me some strategies that I wasn't familiar with and I certainly did set a few PRs using some of the techniques within.

Highly recommended for the committed runner.
Alex S
Contains some sound advice in terms of setting and adjusting goals/expectations. Some of the training tips are admittedly painfully obvious to anyone who might partake in relatively regular physical activity but there is enough of a mix of both insightful training tips and anecdotes to appeal to novice, intermediate, and pro runners alike. The tips and statistics about the physiological importance of tapering and hydration strategies will be particularly helpful.

I read the 1993 edition, which gi
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Jordan K
Really quickly read this book. Got through it in a couple of days. A lot of good information for newcomers to distance running. I remember my father had used this book for his first marathons, and I have decided to run a half this summer, and a full this winter -- and I will certainly be using training plans from this book, and going back to various chapters for advice/encouragement throughout the duration of my training.
Kristen
All in all it is exactly what it says it is - a Marathon Training book. Slightly repetitive at times; it almost seemed like the chapters were written as separate "essays" at times because they contained duplicate information from other chapters. But once it really got into the "meat" of doing a marathon it got better. Of course I can't tell you how effective any of it is just yet since I haven't run a marathon yet (shooting for June 2014). But I am definitely more motivated to do one after readi ...more
Alec
This was the first book I read before I started running marathons. I highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in running their first, but doesn't know where to start.

There are nuggets of gold in here for experienced runners as well.
I've run 7 since, and this is the book that kicked it all off for me!
Karren Bennett
This guide in informative and comprehensive. Hal Higdon has run over 100 marathons and has impeccable credentials. He shares his general knowledge of marathoning and provides advice in a no-nonsense kind of way.

This is a must read for anyone training for their first marathon.
Jill
Okay, I read this on the 7th, but I had to hold out on the rating till I could actually apply the advice, which was the 9th. I am happy to say that it was all great advice. Also it gave me some serious motivation (which I was sorely lacking) right in time for my marathon. It's a great book for its purpose. What I really appreciated was Higdon's willingness to admit that he has done plenty of things wrong, done things the hard way, and that plenty of experts have different opinions from his - dif ...more
Rebecca Duncan
this may have been a weird pick to read at 8 months pregnant, but even if not it felt too elite for me. The advice is not bad, but all the anecdotes seem to be from boston qualifiers and marathon "racers," which most of us aren't. also, editing errors.
Brian
A good read on training for the marathon. It was a little too thick on the anecdotes for me, but I am sure some readers will enjoy that aspect. The pacing and training is different than the method I have used for my two marathons to date (combination of Henderson/Galloway). Walks have made a big difference in training and doing the actual race.

I also wonder about the chapter on nutrition. I have been using My Fitness Pal and losing about a pound a week during the training. The first thing I not
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Hal Higdon is an American writer and runner. He has contributed to Runner's World magazine longer than any other writer. He is the author of 34 books, including the best-selling Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide. He has worked as a freelance writer since 1959, and has written a variety of subjects including a children's book that was made into an animated feature. He ran eight times in the Uni ...more
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