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The Nonrunner's Marathon Guide for Women: Get Off Your Butt and On with Your Training
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The Nonrunner's Marathon Guide for Women: Get Off Your Butt and On with Your Training

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,442 ratings  ·  262 reviews
Anyone can run a marathon. Dawn Dais makes it a little more bearable--and a lot more fun

Dawn Dais hated running. And it didn't like her much, either. Her fitness routine consisted of avoiding the stairs in her own house, because who really has the energy to climb stairs? It was with this exercise philosophy firmly in place that she set off to complete a marathon.

The Nonru
Paperback, 249 pages
Published 2006 by Seal Press
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3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,442 ratings  ·  262 reviews

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Jun 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I picked up The (Non)Runner's Marathon Guide for Women last month after finishing Claire Kowalchik's book about running for women (you can read the review here). I wanted a running book with which I could better relate. I'm a super slow runner and didn't even make it onto any of the charts in Kowalchik's book, which was a little defeating for me. So when I read about Dais' book, which tracks her struggle through training for a marathon, while also giving great tips for people who have never real ...more
Feb 25, 2011 rated it did not like it
This was a huge disappointment. The author spends most of the book complaining about her training while offering little actual advice. She constantly refers readers to professional trainers since she has no experience in this area. Her reliance on sarcasm and self-deprecation grew wearisome and could not compensate for a lack of actual substance.

Better reads include:

The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer by David Whitsett, Forrest Dolgener, and Tanjala Kole

Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Ru
Sep 19, 2011 rated it did not like it
I want to burn this book. I want to light a match under it and watch each page of this book go up in flames. That is how much I hate this book. I don’t like marking in books because it strikes me as somehow sacrilegious, but I want to watch this book burn. Unfortunately, it’s a library book, and there’s no way I’m paying to replace this waste of dead trees.

On the one hand, Ms. Dais deserves congratulations for finding someone stupid enough to publish her inane ramblings. We should all be so luck
Feb 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book again to help me stay motivated in my training. 03/23/09

UPDATE: finished this book over the weekend and it was quite possibly the funniest book I've EVER read! I lost count as to how many times I laughed out loud, and not just giggle... but throw your head back and laugh until your stomach hurts laughing. Wonderful insight although, with all the pain and anguish she described in training for her first marathon and actually completing it (barely!) I'm not sure I'm very motivated
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Laugh out loud funny. I can relate to many things the author encounters when starting to train for a marathon.
Jun 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
I hated this book.

I notice the reviews for it swing wildly between 1 and 5 stars, so I know I am not the only one who hated it, but there are apparently people who like it too. So, if you like books by people who totally love how cute and funny they are, but kind of know they are not supposed to be like that so they use a lot of self-deprecating humor to try and disguise, making it take a long time to say anything and certainly not anything useful, this is the book for you!

It is interesting to m
Jul 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Abby by: Rebecca
I enjoyed this book. You do not have to be training for a marathon to read it. If you have ever been a runner, trained for a race, want to do it someday, ran a marathon ten years ago, whatever... it's fun to read. It's part funny memoir of the author training for a marathon (as a total non runner), part training tips/advice (like what sort of running gear to get - NO SHORT SHORTS, for example). She's a funny woman. She'll make you laugh, but it's also all good advice.

I've always wanted to run a
May 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who are learning to run and aren't picking it up easily, so they feel less freakish.
Shelves: health
This book tells it like it is, and is HILARIOUS. I started this book after I'd already been running for almost a year and pretty much hating it the whole time. It was SO refreshing, motivating and encouraging to read that someone else was feeling the same challenges in running that I'm experiencing, but was still successfully training and eventually starting to enjoy it & be really good at it!

In some ways, this book is a cautionary tale (knee problems!) but as a motivator, it was tops. And
Oct 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Although I've called myself a "runner" for nearly 2 years now, I could totally relate to Dawn's descriptions of some of her bad runs. She was very funny yet still pretty motivating....until the end. I have played with the idea of running a marathon and I really, really want to do it but am really not sure if my body will be able to finish. And after reading this book, I have to ask myself if I'm ready to NOT finish or possibly finish but with massive amounts of pain?

A decent book and will searc
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I have been trying to keep myself motivated to run and while I have no intentions of actually running a marathon, I do want to start running in some 5Ks. This book not only motivated me but I laughed out loud a lot!

Merged review:

I laughed out loud while reading this book. The great thing was it entertained and educated. While I'm not planning on running a marathon it motivated me to get my butt off the couch and start running again. I loved this book and read it one Sunday afternoon.
Jan 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
So easy to follow if you want to run your first marathon! But you need to follow it as is, I started to early for my training, and when it came to the marathon, unfortunately I wasn't ready to run, and was also out with the national guard. But I do plan on running a marathon in the future!
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved i. It really shows what running a marathon for a normal average girl, feels like. I can relate to some of the statements and made me rethink some others. But most important, it shows that one can do things when one's mind and heart work together.
Jul 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is laugh out loud funny and very motivating!
Jul 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was pretty funny. It cracked me up along the way.
Jun 16, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dream-running
This was a funny book. As for training/encouraging me to push through with my personal running goals... ehhh. But I laughed a lot at Dawn's expense.
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
I think this book was ok. I read it in a couple of days, which I always enjoy. The author is obviously clever and funny and it is perfect for someone who is in training and needs something fun and non-academic to motivate them to continue. That was the reason I picked it up. However, it is non-academic, and while her stories are entertaining, most people who have been around the block, won't learn any tangible skills to improve their running, or work through injury etc.

The other reason I didn't
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I started reading this book before running a 10 mile race, and finished it before beginning training for my first half-marathon (13 miles).

For anyone just starting running, or getting back into it, or undertaking their first long run, this is the book to read. Not only does it give you the information and tips you need, but also the sarcastic camaraderie you need on the rough days. I was laughing through each section even as I was wracking up the miles and facing each hurdle. This book will mak
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
At first, I thought the author's comments, about how much she didn't like training and how insane the idea was to run a marathon, were going to be exactly the opposite of inspiring and helpful. But as I read thru the book, I realized it really just made the story more real, more human, more relatable. I found myself laughing out loud in some places, and nearly crying with her at the end. Lots of good advice for non-elitist runners who are very new to the sport of marathon me!
Catherine Cole
Jul 08, 2017 rated it liked it
I almost gave this book fewer stars, but since I read most of it in a day, I must have enjoyed it a little. I purchased this book at a used book store because it was cheap and looked funny. It was funny, or I could see how it would be funny for someone who hates running. Really, as someone who loves running, this was not the book for me. I find it difficult to comprehend how someone who doesn't at least kind of like running would register for a marathon.
May 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: running
quick and easy read but not something I'd read again and again
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health, non-fiction
Dawn has such a quick wit and makes for a fun, motivational read. Still curious if she actually lost her kneecaps though?
Sophie Shaw
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great introduction to marathon running!
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun book, especially if you are also a non-runner attempting a half or full marathon.
Elisabeth Gross
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A hilarious and inspiring account of Dawn's experience training and running her first marathon.
Gretchen Schroeder
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very funny and relatable!
Whitney Tavenner
I must have the old version of this book because a lot of it is kinda dated. She definitely leans too heavily on the couch-potato Advil-addict trope, but parts of it made me laugh out loud. Some of the advice is something I'd never follow (heel striking??) and the shopping lists, while, funny, aren't terribly informative. It's definitely much more of a humor book than an actual advice book, which I'm not sure is made terribly clear in the description.

But... I have to give it four stars because t
Your Need To Read
Jul 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lindsey
Full review here

Now, I know the MANY readers I have saw the title of this book and said, "Oh $%#, it's a running book..".

If you know me at all, you know I force myself to run the minimum amount I have to. I hate marathoners. The egos. Like it's a, myself and I.

Nonetheless, years ago I found this book in hopes it would motivate me to move my butt off may call it by the title, I refer to it as THE BIBLE...

I am convinced Dawn Dais and
Bre Heath
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a super easy and informative read. I really enjoyed getting to know the author through her journal entries and shared experience.
Jun 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let me preface my review with the following:
*This is not a serious training guide.
*I did not read this as a serious training guide. (I read it more as a memoir.)
*I very much enjoy sarcasm, dry wit, self-depreciating humor.

Now, all that said, I absolutely loved this book. I thought it was hilarious, and found myself laughing out loud (or stiffling my laughter to avoid weird looks from my fellow public transit riders) in almost every section.

As a runner and a someone who is currently training for
Jan 25, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: running
I haven't run a marathon but am training for my 1st in October. If you have any interest in running a marathon (or any race for that matter) I would not recommend basing your decision on this book, as I was disappointed with it overall, even though it had a few good points and funny parts. I'm currently reading a few other marathon training books and though this one may give a few realities/honest points that the others may not delve into as brutally, I have found the other books to be much more ...more
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Dawn Dais is a freelance writer, designer, and filmmaker from Sacramento, CA. Her two previous books, The Nonrunner's Marathon Guide for Women and The Noncyclist's Guide to the Century and Other Road Races, were published by Seal Press, have topped best-seller lists, and have been featured by countless TV and print media sources. Her uniquely sarcastic yet inspiring tone has entertained ...more
“Even though I can’t tell others whether they should chase their marathon dreams, I highly recommend they do something completely out of character, something they never in a million years thought they’d do, something they may fail miserably at. Because sometimes the places where you end up finding your true self are the places you never thought to look. That, and I don’t want to be the only one who sucks at something.” 9 likes
“There's a reason why you never see large-chested women finishing marathons first. They've been beaten to death by their breasts around Mile 5. It ain't pretty.” 3 likes
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