Wednesday, September 27, 2006

RfP Wednesday -- The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer

I finished One True Thing. It was excellent, right through the end. I was surprised at how the ending, although factually similar to the ending of the movie, had so much more impact. It almost makes me wonder if the people that made the movie didn't read the book that closely. Or maybe they just thought that they couldn't do the real ending justice, so they watered it down a little. The movie was still clearly good enough to make me want to read the book. And I did.

But that's not what I want to talk about on this Reading for Pleasure Wednesday. I have also been slowly working my way through The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer, by David A. Whitsett, Forrest A. Dolgener, and Tanjalo Mabon Kole. I resisted picking up this book, because I was afraid it would be one of those books that tells you how to run a marathon without running too much. And indeed, it targets itself at people that don't like running. It is nonetheless worth while, because it talks a lot about the mental side of running. One of the authors, Whitsett, is a psychologist, and it shows. The book is really as much about building yourself up mentally to tackle this task as it is about building yourself up physically.

In fact, it's got an interesting structure. Whitsett is a pyschologist, Dolgener is an exercise physiologist, and Kole is one of the former students of their "Marathon Class" at the University of Northern Iowa. There is one chapter for each week of a sixteen week training program, and each chapter has three parts -- one about your mental preparation, one about your physical preparation, and one recounting the experiences of Kole and many other former students whom she interviewed. It's really kind of cool. The ideal thing, of course, would be to read a chapter a week for sixteen weeks, and then run a marathon, but I got it from the library, so I can't keep it that long.