Book Review: The Non Runner’s Marathon Guide for Women

The Nonrunner’s Marathon Guide for Women: Get Off Your Butt and On with Your Training

Dawn Dais is NOT a runner. She is seriously devoted to her Lazy-Boy recliner and her remote control. In a life changing decision, she decides to run a marathon and raise money for the American Stroke Society. We all know I am now training for a marathon, so I really was curious about this book because it is written especially for women. The main difference between her and me is that I have never been a couch potato! I’m not one of those people who thinks exercise is moving from the couch to the fridge.

The good parts about this book is that it is entertaining reading. Some of her descriptions are absolutely hilarious. She has a particular DISTASTE for too short running shorts. She gives more than one description of how they look from behind and attempts to dissuade anyone from ever appearing in public in too short running shorts. It didn’t matter if they were men or women- she hates them all. “Now I wear spandex” and I know I don’t look great from behind- but I’m not letting it all hang out either! Her actual plan is a run/walk method which is fine for a beginning marathon. Five months is plenty of time to train but she went from a couch potato to running a full marathon SLOWLY and managed to keep her sense of humor. Dais made up little funny rhymes about people who passed her which I thought was a good use of her brain while drowning in pain. “Once….Twice…Three tiiiimes you’ve passed meee…and I wanna triiiiip yooooooouuuu.”

There are a few things that I disagree with regarding the actual training for a marathon. I do NOT feel you should start your five months of training on the philosophy that you can eat anything you want. I also don’t think you should overdo it on carbohydrate loading or white pasta- mounds of it whenever you feel like it. Dais describes training for a marathon for five months and not losing a pound! I didn’t see any weight training in her plans and this concerns me. Although, she runs really slowly- so maybe she’s not getting enough anaerobic training in to trigger more calories burned for losing any weight. As for”carbo loading ” prior to the marathon start, I think this is also just a myth that has circulated among the running and cycling communities for far too long. She also describes jog bra problem and I think she is way off. Yes, women need to wear supportive jog bras- however there is NO need to wear two. (remember, I use to be one of those people) There are plenty of good bras out there to support well endowed women. Maybe her local shop did not offer the Enell or CW-X but a little bit of research on the subject could lead her away from wearing two cheapies at time.

This book should be looked at as a guide for women. She’d like to be your girlfriend throughout your beginning training of a marathon. She describes first hand all the little things you need to think about when embarking on a marathon program. She’s a rookie at running with a serious talent for writing so it makes for a charming read. She’s really not an authority on running so a lot of her advice, I would disregard. If you’re thinking of starting a marathon training program, I’d start with high ranking sources such as Runner’s World. However, her discussions on motivation were really great. I loved how she could break down the training to small steps but put it all in a big picture.

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