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The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition: A Cutting-Edge Plan to Fuel Your Body Beyond "the Wall"

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  635 ratings  ·  48 reviews
From basic tenets of training to nutrition guidelines,this is the first resource for runners to fully integrate nutrition with training for a complete and systematic pre-race plan. "A must for marathoners"(Library Journal).

Every year, roughly 2 million people participate in marathons and half marathons in the United States, and, no matter what level they are, every one of
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 12th 2013 by Da Capo Lifelong Books
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  635 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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Emily B
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found this book very helpful when training for a marathon. Easy to read and understand and full of good tips, advice and suggestions with options to adapt them to your style of training.
Highly recommended
Sep 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Probably the most useful & straightforward book I've ever read about nutrition specific to runners. Also, lots of great information that I hadn't seen before. Best of all, everything is based on current scientific evidence, not folk wisdom or outdated facts "everybody knows" from fifteen years ago. I doubt I will ever be even remotely perfect about my nutrition, but now I at least feel like I have a logical framework on which to hang my pitiful attempts. ...more
Aug 27, 2015 rated it liked it
This book was just okay - great training plans, some good ideas, but a lack of quality research.

Cons: There's no citations of any of the research presented in the book, and many of the studies seem limited to small studies with less than 30 participants.
He also uses anecdotal evidence to support claims - for instance, he reccomends runners quit caffeine one week before a race, event though the evidence is inconclusive that a week is enough time to improve caffeine sensitivity. The only real sup
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Not only does it contain half and full marathon training plans, but it has nutritional advice that anyone active would do well to integrate into their life. I especially like the fact that he's not a food Nazi (i.e. "Eat that sugar and you'll go to HELL!")...rather, the approach is the more sensible "eat anything, but in quantities that maintain a sensible distribution between the various groups." I also liked the fact that he cited Tim Noakes' book Waterlogged and is a proponent of " ...more
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, fitness
In general, I think this was written for a more seasoned runner than me. I also wasn't expecting weight loss to be such a large focus.

In order to follow all the advice inside, you have to have a fitness tracker that measures heart rate. Even without a fitness tracker, there still is a lot of good information regarding the science of nutrition and why macronutrients are important, why and when you should fuel during long runs, when hydration matters, and the habits of successful endurance athlete
Jim Allen
Feb 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Excellent review of current research on nutrition for distance running. Love the way the author combines training and nutrition into weekly plans for half and full marathons. Plan to implement for my next race!
Oct 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
The new rules are "eat more fat" and "run more but go slower". I can get behind both those rules. ...more
Dec 31, 2019 rated it liked it
I’m a recreational runner. Not elite, not age group competitive. I had just finished my first half marathon when I read this and I hoped it would give me some insights to improve for next time.

I felt like this book wasn’t meant for me. There is quite a bit of emphasis on getting lean and reaching ideal racing weight. As I said, I’m not elite. I’m not interested in being an “ideal racing weight” because for the average person that is not realistic and maybe not even healthy, particularly for peo
Garth Whitaker
Sep 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
A good book that gives small steps to put good nutrition practices in place. These tips are not only for athletes but for people who want to be healthier versions of themselves. I tried some of the tips in this book and cut off 4 minutes from my HM PB. Running is not only about training. Nutrition plays a massive part in recovery and how you performa on race day. Pick this book up and you will leave with at least one nugget on how to be a better runner , athlete or healthier person.
Nov 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
I was happily reading this until the author said Atkins died in 2005 (should be 2003) at the weight of 260lbs (neglecting to mention the significant weight gain was from water retention after entering hospital). This proves the author is far from objective and presents an obviously biased view. Would not trust his facts after this.
Cheryl Klein
Jun 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Some good, simple advice about eating for a race & how to try and maximize the benefit of what you consume. Some of the equations were a bit much, and many in kilograms, which here in the US requires some extra math. While I won't be subscribing to his plan to the gram, I did get an app for my phone to help me better track nutrients, with less of a focus on total calories.

Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First time when I made so many bookmarks that I might just read it again as well. Great book with a lot of numbers to back up the facts. Love it!
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good information, although a bit more technical than I wanted. More sample daily meal guides would have been helpful.
Sallie Ferguson
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great to read in prep for a marathon. I learned so much about how to eat on the run, for the run and how to do the run. carbs carbs carbs :)
Stuart Sellers
May 03, 2020 rated it liked it
A few interesting training tips, full nutrition plan is a bit much for me though
Quick read. As I train for my third marathon, I wanted to read literature on ways to improve my training, specifically my diet. I had been utilizing a version of keto and after reading, and doing follow-up research, I see how I have been depleting my body of the energy I need. It was an informative book, but drug on in some parts.
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition outlines how to eat and train for your best half or full marathon. Matt Fitzgerald provides lots of scientific evidence for his plans, and the end of the book has full training plans for different fitness levels.

Rating: 5/5

I really enjoyed this book. It's extremely interesting, and it's clear Fitzgerald knows what he's talking about. His "rules" are also very easy to follow. The nutrition guidelines are basically: 1) get enough carbohydrates
Don Libes
Aug 21, 2013 rated it did not like it
While some of what Fitzgerald says makes sense, he is too cavalier with how he picks some advice from papers and other advice from anecdotes. At times, it becomes impossible to tell which is which. (Even the advice from papers is suspect as he is obviously choosing between papers.)

He is similarly confusing when he fails (at times) to distinguish between advice for marathoners vs half marathoners and beginners vs experienced runners. Lastly, the writing style is much too uneven. For example, he f
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great, straightforward book with some great case studies and research to support the points. While some of it was information I already knew from experience and other reading, some of it was new to me; like the section on caffeine (eg how to dose it, when to take it, info on pills vs coffee) and the section where he notes that the American College of Sports Medicine's fluid intake recommendations for marathoners (and don't quote me on this...) may represent influence from Platinum level sponsor ...more
Apr 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I guess it may be a bit premature to rate this before actually running my first half and full marathon, but reading this HAS helped with my training and confidence. I'm fairly new to the world of running, so I don't have the greatest bank of knowledge to pull from, but I feel like even if you do know what's up there are some useful tidbits in here for you as well. The week-by-week training plans at the end include time/distance per day (depending on type of run) as well as nutrition goals for be ...more
Sep 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I haven't read Racing Weight yet (the library doesn't have it), so I don't know how much overlap there is, but this is a complete and useful book in itself. There's just enough of the nutritional science for credibility (and it meshes very well with what I've learned elsewhere) before moving to very practical application. No time wasted on things that might work, or cataloging of everything that doesn't, so (for instance), there's no extensive debunking of paleo, just quick mention of what's def ...more
Jun 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: run
This book was thoroughly useful, from what to eat, to how much and when during the training cycle. Some of the information is too advanced for me (for now!), but was still interesting to read.
It also comes with a "quick start" plan to help lose weight to get to your optimal racing weight. It also has training plans for both the half and full marathon - 3 levels each.
I'm actually thinking of using his level 2 marathon training plan to prepare for Disney.
This was a library book, but I may need to
Hebah Hefzy
May 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I started this book 5 days before running my second marathon and followed the tips given for "the week before", the "day before" and "race nutrition" and seriously didn't hit the wall like I did with my first marathon around mile 19. My family even commented at how much healthier I looked at the end of this one compared with the first. I was never a believer that a marathon is really a test of nutrition/metabolism even more than it is of endurance until I read and tried these tips. I highly high ...more
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very informative and fascinating. Includes training plans and gives advice on eating well, drinking fluids correctly, and gives great advice on pre-race fueling and fueling while racing. I liked the fairly low-key advice. The author basically gives you a food pyramid and lets you use your best judgement on calorie counting/portions. I read this book a month or two ago and I still think about it a lot.
Sarah K
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: running, nonfiction
I did not read every word of this book when I checked it out from the library in the summer of 2013 when training for marathon #4. I thought it gave good advice about nutrition but I am not the type of person who is going to follow an exact diet plan in a book for any reason (except doctor's orders I suppose). SO if you need info on nutrition in general, it's good, but for the sake of a race I am not going to be this extreme. ...more
Feb 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was insightful, well-organized, fact-based, and humorous. For all aspiring marathon runners and current marathoners, this is a must read to get the most of your training and run your best marathon. Loved it! I was particularly enthralled by the concept of "fat-loading" during the taper period. I am looking forward to the last several weeks before my first marathon, partially because of this book! ...more
Jen Potter
Apr 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: running
Mr. Fitzgerald provides useful nutrition and training advice for the novice, intermediate, and advanced runner. He includes just enough science to give himself credibility, but not enough to make the eyes of non-nerds (not me) cross. An easy and fast read.

I will change my diet accordingly in an attempt to finish the NYC Marathon in November without hitting the wall and melting down into a puddle of broken dreams and torn muscle.
Aug 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A sensible and realistic approach to fueling while training for and racing long distances. I like the approach of linking nutrition to the training plans, including overall carbs and protein in one's diet based on training load as well as how much of each nutrient to consume directly after training sessions depending on the intensity of the training. ...more
Mar 05, 2016 rated it liked it
It's not a bad book, there just wasn't much new here for me that was interesting. I am training for my first marathon, so I did find the pre-race eating section good. Also, it did finally convince me to get off eating paleo and switch over to eating with a more balanced approach. Would be a good start for your first book on running nutrition. ...more
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Runners
Matt Fitzgerald is able to make nutrition for runners interesting and informative. He goes in-depth and answers questions before the reader has time to ask them. The knowledge is transferable and is made to be easily understood. Great read, I am glad to have found this author.
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Matt Fitzgerald is the author of numerous books on sports history and endurance sports. He has enjoyed unprecedented access to professional endurance athletes over the course of his career. His best-sellers include Racing Weight and Brain Training for Runners. He has also written extensively for Triathlete, Men's Fitness, Men's Health, Outside, Runner's World, Bicycling, Competitor, and countless ...more

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