A side effect to constantly looking up advice on the Internet is an unrelenting sense of fear and anxiety, which is the opposite effect of what I wanted.
You see along with all the friendly happy people telling you how to train, and that missing one long run isn’t such a big deal.
You will read stuff that suggest things like: you haven’t trained enough, you’re really slow, marathons are hard, and you will get injured and your foot will fall off (ok the last one might be a tad of an exaggeration).
So here I have collected some books and advice that helped me get through my marathon (and no, none of it is a quote on top of a backdrop of someone running on a beach) without having a total meltdown.
Reading and running
Books, my friend, are the antidote to internet induced panic. If you can't run, read!
Running like a girl by Alexandra Heminsley
I devoured this book in about two days the week I signed up for my marathon, and it is amazing.
It is one girls journey from couch potato to runner, with all the glorious good and bad moments that come with it. I actually re-read the chapter where she does her first marathon, and I honestly think it should be required reading for most newbies.
The message is, yes some of this is going to suck, but honestly its all wonderfully glorious at the end. She’s funny too, and it’s a damn easy read.
Also heed the advice on sports bras women - get a proper bra!
Born to Run: Thehidden tribe, the ultra-runners, and the greatest race the world has never seenby Christopher McDougall
READ BORN TO RUN.
Seriously this book has it all, a secret Mexican tribe who are some of the fastest people in the world, utterly insane ultra-marathon runners and a 50 miles foot race through crazy inhospitable terrain.
It reads like a mystery thriller about running! And it reminds you of three wholly important lessons – humans are capable of some amazing things, sometimes you should just run for the fun of it and some people are totally fucking mental.
The terrible and wonderful reasons I run long distances by the Oatmeal
This comic strip (ok I cheated, its not a book, yet), is a perfect shout out to all us crazy runners who aren’t temples of health. Who cares if you eat pizza all day and lie in bed watching the whole fifth season of 30 rock?
You’re a runner, you went out and ran! You have beat the Blerch, and defeated the Kraken! You can do what you want. Now pass the ice cream.
This all makes sense if you read the comic. It’s short and sweet, and a little bit magical. Read it, and I swear you’ll be lacing up your shoes in no time.
The book is coming in September!
What other book recommendations do you have?