Run Smart by John Brewer

We review the latest book on marathon running

This book covers every, and we mean every, aspect of running a marathon you could ever need to know.

John Brewer, Professor of Applied Sports at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, is one of the world’s leading sports scientists and marathon specialists. He can often be found at the London Marathon Expo, helping any runner with questions they may have – yes, he is a running God.

With our sport, expertise and scientific knowledge are never enough to get you to your finish line. Experience is just as vital. To really educate others on how to prepare for a marathon, you’ve got to *get* running. With 19 London Marathons under his belt, John gives us scientific insight, as well as the gift of his many years of running experience at this historic distance.

There are easy to read sections that cover training, nutrition, kit, race day and recovery, each containing essential information to help us all understand why running can feel awful one day, amazing the next.

If you’re new to marathons and have no idea where to start we recommend picking up this book; you can dip in and out of the sections without having to absorb the whole book, which makes it perfect for us time-poor runners, who always have another training session to get to. You won’t feel overwhelmed with the science; the ups and downs of training, and the curious changes our bodies go through, will make far more sense.

The bite-sized chunks of information are its strength. Why struggle with carbo-loading, pacing or heart-rate zones? Let Professor Brewer ease away your worries, debunk those running myths and set you on the road to marathon success.

There’s a section of Run Smart resources at the back of this book, as well as a basic and advanced training programme, but perhaps the greatest advice John has is, despite all of the science there is surrounding marathon, the real lesson of 26.2 miles  is the journey it takes us on; the need to listen and understand our bodies, to occasionally ditch the GPS watch (which should be viewed an optional extra) and to remember, however tired we may feel, to: “Summon your last reserves of energy to run tall and strong and look good as you approach and cross the finish line.”

Your finishing photo will then remind you of just what an amazing experience your marathon was.


Written by Tina Chantrey | 37 articles | View profile

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