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Advanced Marathoning

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  1,456 ratings  ·  102 reviews

Want to run a faster marathon? Commitment and hard work are essential but you also need to train smarter to run faster. Advanced Marathoning contains all the information you'll need to run faster, peak for multiple marathons without injury, and meet your marathon goal--whether it's running a personal best, qualifying for the Boston Marathon or winning your age division.

Paperback, 248 pages
Published February 7th 2001 by Human Kinetics Publishers (first published 2001)
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Average rating 4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,456 ratings  ·  102 reviews

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Jun 22, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: running
This is a great marathon training book, and I know several runners who have used the Pfitzinger plans to run their best marathons. I like his focus on pacing variations - lactate threshold, VO2 Max runs, general aerobic. Anyone who is serious about training needs to understand the physiological aspects of running, and Pfitzinger introduces those concepts very clearly.

As for me and my marathon training, I get bored with just running, so I'm picking and choosing some of the specific ideas from thi
Matt Rigsby
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With a heavy heart, I admit that I am back on my bullshi
Sep 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shooting for a Boston qualifier? Ready to take aim at a sub 3 hour marathon? Geared up to knock some time off your PR? If you answered yes to any of those questions you need to get this book. Pete Pfitzinger, long-time columnist for Running Times magazine and former Olympic marathoner, puts all of his training advice together in this comprehensive guide for running your best 26.2 miler. What I like best about the schedules is the mileage maxes out at three different levels, so if you are interes ...more
Stephanie Kuehn
Jul 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Love this book, love the methodology...especially the emphasis on the midweek semi-long run and the practical approach to speedwork for distance runners. It's accessible enough for first time marathoners (with a solid base) and challenging enough for the high mileage front-of-the-pack runners. I recommend this book for any runner who is looking to do more than "finish" a marathon...if you want to race one, this is a great book and the training plans are excellent. Happy running!
Mar 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Excellent book for transitioning from moderate to heavy marathon training. Good discussions of what matters for marathon success, why it matters using physiological explanations, and how to approach the appropriate workouts to achieve better results. My only regret is starting this book 15 weeks into my training for Boston -- duh.
Lurel White
Dec 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
I loved having all of the background and science behind why they were suggesting things. I used this training plan to run my first marathon and felt that it had adequately prepared me. I did, however, find the organization of the content a little chaotic. Overall, great content, but could be organized better.
Pete Danko
May 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: running
Pfitz earns your respect by backing up his recommendations with solid science and experience. I'd never recommend blindly following any program, but Pfitzinger is a must read if you wish to get serious about running the marathon.
Jan 27, 2011 rated it liked it
good book for a marathoner looking to run between 3hrs and 2:30.
Got some useful strategies in it.
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, 2018
Getting a little ahead of myself with this one.
Malin Friess
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you like learning about mesocycles, improving lactate threshold, VO2 max, improving glycogen storage, fast twitch muscle fibers, and better fat utilization you will enjoy this read. Probably no better book for figuring out the nuts and bolts of putting forth a good marathon.

In October of 2018 I missed out on going sub 3 hours at the super fast Chicago Marathon by just over a minute (a few seconds per mile). It was a hot day and I didn't sleep well in the Hostel the night before. I stayed wit
Jacob Thomas
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is what it says

Great introduction to the art and science of distance running and a blueprint for a competitive marathon. Will look forward to seeing how well it pays off over the next weeks and months.
Jeff Kissel
Dec 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: sports-training
It's a training book so is only so interesting to read. However, I did enjoy the inserts written about specific elite marathoners. For a training book, I found it to be comprehensive covering schedules, workout structure, cross-training, race strategy, recovery, and nutrition among other topics. The author also does a good job defending their training philosophy and providing rationale for the advice given.

I followed the 18 week, 55 mile peak training plan for a marathon and decided to wait to r
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: running
Some things I liked about this training book are:

1. The author used heart rate zones to determine the pace for workouts. He has a heart rate zone chart with specific zones for long runs, tempo runs, etc.

2. Several vegan/plant-based nutrition books were mentioned in this book. I have looked them up and may read those as well.

3. I thought it was interesting how the author discussed that runners have a higher amount of red blood cells and this can make runners appear anemic to some non-sports doc
Mar 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Detailed, concise and thorough. Advanced Marathoning is certainly a decent bible for one's marathon training. I think it covers a lot of ground which you can encounter on the web in a more practical manner now, but it is nonetheless a good read for any runner. The book is not particularly long, but one of the crucial questions evidently is how much it ought to include in a guide that covers everything from interval runs to hydration. There were times where I wish it could've gone more in-depth a ...more
Adolfo Salgueiro
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is extremely technical. It get into subjects such as VO2Max, type of twitching fibers in your muscles, percentage of heart rate reserve and multiple other issues that even someone with years of experience still has a difficult time to understand. But on the other hand, it also expands on nutrition, hydration, physiology, rest and recovery, tapering, cross training and multiple other elements that even the most average of weekend warriors can find useful as he incorporates them to his w ...more
Kyle Klute
Nov 22, 2009 rated it it was ok
Not too impressed with this book. I would have liked to had much more discussion on nutrition before and during the marathon and the research behind it. I also was looking for some specific stretching or strength training exercises rather than the "see this book" that was given several times. I'm glad I checked the book out from the library and didn't spend my own money on it. The same material can be easily attained from a couple articles from Runner's World and/or Running Times.
Oct 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-reads
Should be renamed the bible for marathons. The book includes 3 plans ranging from max weekly milage of 55, 70, and 85 miles. There are also recovery plans and multiple marathon plans. The book explains each type of run and why it is beneficial for the marathon. The book doesn't go into as much scientific detail as Daniel's Running Formula, so would be a lot more approachable for most readers. A must-read for anyone serious about their running!
Stephen Redwood
Nov 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: sports
Comprehensive, useful and quite readable. If you believe the research reported in the book 'Waterlogged', then you should treat the advice about hydration with some circumspection, but otherwise the combination of detailed explanations about what to do and why to do it in terms of marathon training, together with specific training plans for different standards of runner makes for a valuable reference book.
Sep 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, running
For the elite, but I can pretend.

Read this in preparation for running The Outer Banks Marathon (Nov. 8, 2015). My first marathon in a while (last one was in 2008). I used some of the advice in this book, but like I started with, it was mostly advice for much faster runners than me. But it got me pumped!

(PS the Outer Banks Marathon is an incredibly well-managed race and I highly recommend it. Beautiful place and really nice people.
Lüc Carl
Dec 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
If you've run at least one full marathon and you're interested in running becoming a bigger part of your life this book is bad ass. Half of it is training programs which I still follow (for the most part) today. By far the most useful of all running books I've read.
All How-To. You'll have to find your own inspiration.
Conner Castagno
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very possibly the most relevant and applicable book I’ve ever read. Would recommend to everyone who wants to run a marathon.

It read like a text book but it was so interesting bad motivational and has made me excited to run more marathons.

*my biggest critique is that it didn’t give any tips or advice on going number 1 and 2 and how to combat that on race day
May 08, 2009 rated it liked it
granted... i didn't read all of this, but the specific parts i did read were well-written, had great ideas, and sound advice. i'll be training with their up to 55mpw plan this summer as I train for the Akron marathon and for the MCM. Looking forward to it.
Feb 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: running
Written with lots of deference to Jack Daniels, and in much the same style, or in other words, with much the same approach. It has an emphasis on lactate threshold runs (tempo runs) and on VO2 max runs.
Autumn Pearson
Apr 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Loads of great information here. Lots of relevant detail but in an easy to read format. Covers everything from diet and core exercises to the training plans and race day itself. Going to be referring to this ALOT over the next few months!
Nov 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Excellent resource for marathoners.
Jul 21, 2017 added it
Recommends it for: avid runners, running coaches, folks looking to up their marathon game
NB: this review is based on my reading; i have not yet trained using this method.

Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning plans are best used by the more experienced runner. for all but those unicorn athletes who are good at, like, everything from the first go, beginning runners would be quickly overwhelmed, i think, by this plan (pace charts aren't even provided for anything under a 4:00:00 finish). pfitzinger's plans are best suited to runners with some experience and at least a marathon or two under
Enrique Mañas
This book comprises a compilation of information to achieve high-performance in a marathon, not just to finish it. If you are getting into long-distance running, it might not be your thing yet.

The book spans almost every aspect of the marathon: from the diet, to training, to recovery. I found a bit annoying the lack of consistency in units (kilometers and miles being randomly mixed). Marathon is also one of those sports were genetics and personal conditions make hard to establish an absolute jud
An Te
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I wish I'd discovered this earlier! It would have prevented, at least I think it may, some of the mistakes made during training. However, these mistakes and many other helpful tips and tricks are found in this 'Bible' for those wishing to tackle the marathon distance. Highly recommended despite it being out-dated somewhat in terms of athletes mentioned. All the information, as I can see is pretty accurate and helpful. Easy to read and written in a well-structured format.

Helpful training regimes
Kevin O'neill
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Context: I ran D-III XC and track, and have since run a small handful of marathons a little under 3 hours. Some of the book is rather obvious to me, but those parts seem very helpful to people without my background. Some parts are not at all obvious to me, in particular some of the differences between training for 5K-10K and training for a marathon. (Instead of doing 2 8-milers, I now do an 11 and a 5.)

I wish the book went a little further into detail about how the training plans were designed a
Justin Hembrecht
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here’s another book covering the same information but from a different angle.

Much like Jack Daniels’ and Hal Higdon’s books, this is very educational about what it takes to train for and complete a marathon.

The intensity levels of the training programs are much higher in these programs. The average weekly mileage STARTS around 55 MPW going all the way up to 120+.

Only pick this up if you’ve completed long distance races (marathons/ultras) before and are looking to get more serious about training
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