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Review of Dean Karnazes Book - 50/50

I am a sucker for a good book and quite honestly addicted to reading.  My reading habit is so bad that I have to ban books from my house many days because I will read instead of sleeping.   Once I start on a book, I have no discipline to stop.

So imagine how excited I was to receive an advance copy of Dean Karnazes new book, Dean_5050 "50/50, Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days"!  A running book - yes!  I have read all the running books in my house a few times this summer, so it is nice to have some new material on my favorite topic.  I couldn't help myself; I digested it in just a few hours over a few days.

Dean's book covers the lessons he has learned through his endurance events, but with specific attention to keys he used through his 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days.  I had the chance to see Dean's movie, UltraMarathon Man just a few weeks before, so it was really nice to read the book after the movie to get a little more detail of each of the 50 marathons.

In addition to the marathon stories, I enjoyed this book for the simple fact that Dean never made the marathon seem easy.  He had every right to down play the distance or the difficulty, but instead throughout the book he continued to remind his readers that long distances are challenging.   But rewarding too!

I wish I would have had this book before my first marathon or even half marathon.   I really appreciated the time Dean spent talking about the mental side of running.  I believe that everyone is physically capable of finishing a marathon but it is the mental side that keeps many people from trying it all.   A few of my favorite spots in the book:

  • In the beginning of the book when he talks about the difference between a jogger and a runner.   His answer - a jogger is still in control of his running.   That, by far, is the best answer I have heard to date.   It is so true.  When you call yourself a runner, there is a passion that takes control over you.
  • On the middle of the book when he talks about what it takes to run and finish a marathon and the feeling of finishing a marathon.  Again, one of the better written pieces I have read - I could completely identify with this thoughts.
  • And towards the end of the book when he reminds us to set goals and run for reasons we are passionate.   Running for reasons other than those that fuel our passions result in burnout and lack of motivation.

I think this book is a good read for someone thinking about taking on any running distance, but especially half, marathons or ultramarathons.   For experienced runners, I don't believe you will walk away with significantly new or ground shaking information, but instead will be reminded of core principles of running well.   And as runners, a reminder of the basics is never time wasted. 

Enjoy the days of summer by relaxing with a cold drink in a warm shady spot and taking in this book.  I think you will find at least one thought that will keeping you running long and well the rest of the year.

Other Links in the Lounge:

Looking for a good running book?  Don't forget the great list of books (and other media) in the Running Resources section in the Lounge.   As a Lounger you can add to and update the list as you find and read great running books, like Dean's.  And each resource has a section to leave your comments, reviews or links to help other runners learn more about the book.

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