How to Lose a Marathon A Starter’s Guide to Finishing in 26.2 Chapters by Joel Cohen

Loved this book! The author strikes the perfect balance between being funny, inspirational and informative. The humour is smart and self-deprecating, if you were going to train for a marathon Joel is the kind of training partner you’d pick. He also takes the time to run through equipment and training routines with practicality and common sense and explains a lot of pre-race phenomena that could otherwise be very disconcerting when first experienced.

Then we come to the final chapters: The Marathon itself. The author describes both the night before and the day of the race with realism (makes sense, since he did it) and honesty. There’s no attempt to hide how difficult the race is but most refreshingly there’s also no attempt to glorify and exaggerate his achievement, the author is remarkably free of egotism, particularly for a successful tv comedy writer. As a result the reader isn’t overwhelmingly intimidated by the authors experience and this seems like something within reach of all of us, a feeling I’m sure he hopes everyone feels upon finishing this book. I also applaud his rant about the running elite’s disparaging attitudes to people who finish the Marathon in such a slow time that they feel it shouldn’t count. As he rightly points out its far more of an achievement for someone who’s just done what they thought was impossible than to someone who just shaved a few seconds off their previous PB and EVERYONE who crosses that line is a winner (despite the fact that makes the book title look stupid)

* I received a free ebook of this title from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review *

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