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50/50: Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days -- and How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance!

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  2,698 Ratings  ·  270 Reviews
Images and descriptions will be available Spring 2012. Contact your Sales Representative for more information.
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 18th 2008 by Grand Central Life & Style (first published 2008)
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Loy Machedo
Dec 05, 2011 Loy Machedo rated it liked it
Dean Karnazes' athletic memoir ’50 50 – Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 days – and How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance!” is less of a training encyclopedia and more of a inspirational bio of one individual who dared to take it to the next level. The amazing descriptions, clear cut language and the sincerity by which every paragraph has been ubiquitously crafted, takes the reader right to where the incidents took place.
26.2 Miles each with 42 Staged Marathons and 8 Live Marathons
...more
Cassandra
Jul 28, 2011 Cassandra rated it it was ok
I admire what Mr. Karnazes has done. I think he's incredibly inspiring. However... this book just wasn't very good. I was expecting it to be mostly stories from the 50 marathons he ran, interspersed with running advice. In actuality, it was mostly running advice with a few short marathon stories. Very disappointing.

While the advice was good, it was running advice you could obtain from various sources, including the Runner's World forums. This book is supposed to be about "super endurance" and a
...more
Chad Sayban
Sep 10, 2009 Chad Sayban rated it really liked it
Ok, this is most certainly the longest book title of any book I have ever read. To start with, I have read Dean's first book - Ultramarathon Man - a couple of times now. I have enjoyed the rereads of that book and I'm pretty sure the same will be true of this book. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Dean and his running quest, in 2006 Dean attempted to cover a marathon in each of the 50 states on 50 consecutive days culminating at the New York City Marathon. This book brings to life the hi ...more
Camron
Jul 28, 2011 Camron rated it liked it
This was a quick read and I enjoyed the stories from the different marathons, but I wished there was more about the individual events. It seemed to me that he was insincere when describing his fears of completing the task or expressing the difficulties he faced in completing the marathons. Due in part because he kept telling stories of other ultra-events and grander achievements rather than the marathons themselves to make his points. Also, he made it clear that after his sponsor took control of ...more
Michael
Aug 30, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it
I have to admit that I started this book with the intention of laughing at the unbridled excess that is manifest in the title. But! It turns out that this is an interesting book. In addition to being, at least partially intentionally, a window into what seems to be a relatively benign, even productive, form of obsessive behavior, it's also not a bad general guide to running. Karnazes (and his ghost, Matt Fitzgerald) embodies my favorite thing about running culture, the mutual support of the very ...more
Madison
Oct 01, 2014 Madison rated it liked it
Wow! What an amazing achievement Dean Karnazes, you truly deserve the title 'Ultramarathon Man.' I hope (one day) l have the privilege of joining you on one of your many marathons. Thanks for the inspiration!
Robert
Feb 21, 2009 Robert rated it it was ok
I enjoyed this a lot less than "Ultramarathon". No doubt an incredibly accomplishment but you get it after just a few chapters so the rest gets a bit mundane. This would have worked great as an article or pamphlet but the book doesn't seem so necessary
David
Jan 15, 2013 David rated it it was amazing
Amazing. I especially like the concept of "runabout." Get a backpack, put a hydration pack in it, cell phone, money, and just run or walk to wherever.
Courtney
Feb 09, 2017 Courtney rated it it was ok
Shelves: running
What I hoped for was grit and a bit of toeing the edge of sanity, to find an idea, a memory, a lesson when all that is physical, mental and emotional is exhausted. The idea that when you push yourself to the edge, there's something to be found there. I wanted that "there." What it seems to be instead is a beginners guide to fueling, training, injury, marathons and passion.
Jenny
Mar 03, 2017 Jenny rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
This might look a little cheesy or even like too much of a running self-help. You might wonder how an amateur runner might find interest in reading about 50 marathons run in a row by an ultra runner could leave you feeling encouraged rather than dismayed. But this was actually a very engaging read and possibly my favorite running book so far! The author is clearly super human... and it's funny because this isn't based on the 50 in 50 but based on the last few pages depicting what he did after th ...more
Josh
Jun 02, 2014 Josh rated it really liked it
Shelves: health
This book isn’t nearly as entertaining as his most recent book, but it still manages to give us a few insights into what it takes to enjoy running and why someone would ever want to run like Dean does.

Dean is one of the most incredible runners on the planet. This book is not his best, but still nice for all of us who keep track of and study our times and look at our exercise histories. This is Dean's journal during his 50/50 quest. There are no great running insights, but I don't regret having
...more
Robyn
Aug 28, 2013 Robyn rated it liked it
I read Dean Karnazes 50/50 and I rate it 3.5 out of 5. In case you don’t know, Karnazes is an amazing athlete who discovered during a midlife crisis that he is indeed a runner. Not just a 5km runner, he is the kind of fellow who packs his credit card and goes, often without a plan and 31 miles later, calls for pizza take out to be delivered to some street corner so he can eat on the run. This guy is an amazing human specimen. As with many runners, he had a dream. He wanted to run a marathon in e ...more
Alex
Oct 10, 2012 Alex rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, running
Wow, this really was a highly motivating and interesting book. Being a runner of course is part of the reason why I enjoyed this book so much.

Halfway through this book, I thought Dean was the best guy ever, a guy that can handle any difficulty, a guy who is willing to give his time to anyone and a guy who is generally interested in giving back to the community. He makes small chitchat with everyone, he encourages all other runners no matter what condition they are and he gives and supports many
...more
Kimball
This clip sums up the book:

https://youtu.be/O6SEXp3-lo8

When I got this from the liebury (where I bury all my lies) and looked at the cover and thought "That looks like my father-in-law!" Ashley agreed.

I liked this book. It was a good mix of Fitness Confidential and Born to Run. And speaking of the later, how did Dean not get invited or mentioned in that book? Perhaps he did and I didn't recognize the name.

The little facts and tips he'd share were helpful. I imagine if I were to write a book abo
...more
Natalie
Sep 29, 2010 Natalie rated it really liked it
My husband and I decided to pick books that we wanted the other person to read. He chose this one for me since I'm a runner. I thought it was an interesting story and that this guy was/is crazy (since he ran halfway home from NY to SF after completing 50 marathons in 50 days).

While he gave some good tips on running throughout the book, I don't know that I came away with enough information on "How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance!" as the sub title suggests. I actually listened to this book bu
...more
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
I didn't enjoy this book as much as Ultramarathon Man, but it's still a good read. This book is about the Endurance 50, when Dean Karnazes took on 50 marathons in 50 states over 50 days. Unlike Dean's first book, this is probably 50% sports auto-biography and 50% running guide with tips on topics like nutrition, training regimes, shoe election and stretching. The inclusion of so much advice seems a bit odd, but presumably these are the sorts of things that Dean gets asked about on a regular basi ...more
Rebecca M
Jul 14, 2016 Rebecca M rated it liked it
I don’t know why I waited so long to listen to this book. Honestly I saw “50” twice on the cover and thought it was about 50 50ks, and I assumed it was probably an egotistical ultra runner who I would not be able to relate to, reliving his glory. This couldn’t have been further from the case. Yes, Dean is an ultra runner, but this book is about the endurance 50, 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days.

Suggestion: read or listen to this book when you are currently registered and/or training for a ma
...more
Rahni
Nov 03, 2015 Rahni rated it liked it
3.5 stars. This has been my "bathtub book" for the last long while, which worked out nicely. I read it several years ago and have enjoyed revisiting it from time to time. There are some helpful tips and entertaining experiences to beef up the spine that I enjoyed. I especially liked reading the sections about the few courses I've run.

I kind of felt like that at times Karnazes was stuck between a rock and a hard place in relating his experiences. The title felt to me like a suggestion by a bizarr
...more
Justin
Jan 02, 2009 Justin rated it it was ok
I think I would have really enjoyed this book if it was what it promised to be on the back. A third of it WAS a book about running 50 marathons in 50 days and the many interesting people he met and places he saw along the way. Sadly, the rest of it was advice about running that didn't feel very well fleshed out or researched, but rather was random advice and tips that seem to work OK, most of the time, for Mr. Karnazes. What this guy has done is amazing and phenomenal and is deserving of much ad ...more
Keith
Dec 27, 2009 Keith rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Runners
Shelves: running
A delightful read. Suggestions for marathon runners are interspersed throughout the narrative as sidebars. Appendix C has a beginner's marathon training program that assumes zero previous running to a full marathon in 26 weeks. Most people recommend taking a year before considering a marathon. But after not running in 15 years Dean ran 30 miles on his 30th birthday. He is not an ordinary person. Appendix D is more typical with an 18 week program for an experienced runner to better his marathon t ...more
Sarah Sammis
At the time that Dean Karnazes was running his fifty marathons in fifty days, Ian and I were preoccupied with new born Harriet. Although he is a local sports celebrity, I have only just heard of him this year promoting his account of those fifty marathons: 50/50.

For the 50/50 challenge, Dean Karnazes ran fifty consecutive marathons, each in a different state. All of the marathons were on official marathon routes, but not all of them were run during the normally scheduled marathons. Those that c
...more
Travis Brodeen
Mar 04, 2011 Travis Brodeen rated it liked it
It was fun to follow along on Dean's journey through 50 marathons in 50 days. I was hoping for some deeper insights to accomplish this myself rather than it simply relaying the experience of each marathon. I did find it inspiring and interesting in some regard. I would recommend it as a read for those interested in following along on a journey like this, but not for those looking to do it themselves.

I think I was hoping to get some perspective in how to actually accomplish this myself, and left
...more
Tanya
Mar 22, 2011 Tanya rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: runners & triathletes
The ending caught me off-guard, but it was also entertaining. I liked how this book was sprinkled with advice about distance running within the descriptions of each marathon. It does make you want to get out and run just for the sheer joy of movement. I liked the commitment he made each morning when he awoke, "Today I will do the best that I can. Today I will try my hardest." Through the reading of his book, one can definitely sense that he cherishes "the journey, not crossing the finish line." ...more
Liralen
Where to start?

I run. If you stacked up all of the runs I've ever done, they'd be a blip compared to the amount of running Karnazes does in a year. I couldn't even try to keep up with him in a race. Let's just get that all out in the open first, okay? I admire what Karnazes can do, honestly. It takes dedication and training to run a marathon, even more to run ultramarathons, and it must take some serious endurance to run more than 1,310 miles (50 marathons) in 50 days. I've also never met him, s
...more
Christina
May 17, 2011 Christina rated it really liked it
This crazy man ran 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days and lived to tell us about it in this book. My one complaint was that he didn't tell much about the races themselves and the unique geography of them; each race instead was a jumping off place to talk about different aspects of running, endurance, injury-prevention, shoes, gear, race prep and post-race tips and the like.

A few interesting points:

* Before running this brutal schedule, he worked to be able to run a four hour marathon with an
...more
Abby Love
May 26, 2015 Abby Love rated it it was amazing
Do you ever wonder how to be a better runner? Or to somehow make running not as miserable? Well to discover those so thought to be impossible answers, Dean Karnazes shares secret tips and facts to make you a fit and better runner. He does this by sharing this in the book 50/50: Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days -- and How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance!
Dean goes through his day-to-day routine in accomplishing his 50 marathons in 50 days. Aside from just going through his r
...more
Heather
Jul 04, 2012 Heather rated it did not like it
Shelves: running-books
In the introduction to this book Karnazes says something like Wired magazine called me the fittest man on the planet, Time magazine said I was god's gift to the universe but really, I'm just an average guy. And I said: Oh excuse me Dean, I just threw up in my mouth. The whole book goes on in that fake humble tone that was super annoying to me because the whole point is that he accomplished something very un-average (running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days!) and he promised that he would rev ...more
Jerianne
Apr 14, 2012 Jerianne rated it really liked it
While I thoroughly enjoyed Dean's first two books, I found this one to be lacking his usual voice and confidence. It's pretty apparent there is a second writer on the book, and that his job was to spruce up Karnazes's style by adding suspense, SEO terms, and appropriate sponsorship plugs. For these reasons, Dean's usual enthusiasm for running and advice on pushing through at all costs is greatly downplayed in favor of safety advice and tame training. The only time Dean's traditional voice seems ...more
Tami
Nov 07, 2008 Tami rated it it was amazing
Likely you saw Dean Karnazes on the news promoting his 50 marathons in 50 days. I remember watching him thinking “is this guy crazy?” For the majority of us, completing even one marathon would be a lifelong goal achieved. Here this guy is looking to do not one or two runs in a season but 50 without even a day of rest. Like many people, I wondered why this person would even trey such a feat. In fact, was it even possible?

So when I got a chance to review 50/50, I jumped at the chance. By some sta
...more
Turi
Sep 05, 2008 Turi rated it liked it
Shelves: running
Kind of surprised myself; I ran right through this book in one marathon session. (Sorry - couldn't help myself.) Anyway... I enjoyed this more than I expected to. Never been a big Karnazes fan, for no particular reason, but picked this, his latest, up for a quick read. The description of his 50 marathons in 50 days is fascinating, both from a logistical and endurance standpoint. He intersperses the travelogue (runalogue?) with lots of tips for runners, from beginners to endurance runners. (These ...more
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Dean Karnazes (b. Constantine Karnazes) is an American ultramarathon runner and author.
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“Unless you're not pushing yourself, you're not living to the fullest. You can't be afraid to fail, but unless you fail, you haven't pushed hard enough."
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“Awakenings are always terrifying as they force you to realize your past has been lived in confinement, the most disturbing part is when you recognize that the shackle holding you down are largely once you have placed upon yourself, the prison is self constructed ” 4 likes
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