As I was packing up my apartment I came across a lot of books about running that I’ve acquired over the years. And by “came across”, I really mean that I kicked a stack of them and in the ensuing moments of screaming at inanimate objects I had an Idea. I would review a running book and write some sort of report on it. I made a handy diagram of this mental idea on a nearby napkin. It looked like this.
And since today is the second day of the month, I figured it was as good a day as any to start this little experiment. I’m really hoping a high school English teacher will not send it back covered in red.
The first book I’ll discuss is 50/50: Secrets I learned by running 50 Marathons in 50 days by Dean Karnazes. For those of you who aren’t familiar with him, Karnazes is an American ultra-marathoner/ freak of nature/ man-beast/ amazing athlete. In 2006, Dean, sponsored by The North Face, set out to run 50 marathons, in 50 days, in 50 states ending with the 2006 New York City Marathon.
In this book, Dean breaks this amazing feat down by race. He gives his account of the events and also provides some data about each race including weather, his finish time, number of participants and his calories burned. The reason I love and recommend this book is that along with his race recaps, he talks about his preparation and gives tips for everyone from beginning 5k’ers to Boston Marathoners and everyone in between. Dean talks about fitness, nutrition, motivation, and injuries. He also provides some more advanced running techniques such as ordering, and eating pizza during a marathon…in mid stride. How awesome is that!?
I first read this book while preparing for my first marathon in 2010. I got a lot of great information out of it that helped with my preparation, as well as nuggets of motivation that got me through the 2010 Big D Texas Marathon. I read it again last year after I had earned the title “Marathoner” and I got something totally different about it. Instead of the bits and pieces about finishing a marathon, I focused on the parts about finishing faster. 50/50 is a great book that provides humor, pain, advice, and inispiration that every runner can enjoy.