• 1:59

  • The Sub-Two-Hour Marathon Is Within Reach - Here’s How It Will Go Down, and What It Can Teach All Runners About Training and Racing
  • By: Philip Maffetone, Bill Katovsky
  • Narrated by: LJ Ganser
  • Length: 7 hrs and 18 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (260 ratings)

Try our newest plan – access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks, and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Plus plan is $7.95 a month after 30 day trial. Upgrade or cancel anytime.
Buy for $19.95

Buy for $19.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

What will it take to run a marathon in less than two hours? The world's fastest times for the marathon have been dropping since the distance of 26.2 miles was made official nearly 100 years ago. But after a noticeable decline that occurred for a half century, the times, while still edging lower, have stalled several minutes north of two hours for the past decade.

For the first time, 1:59 examines what it will take for an elite distance runner to go subtwo hours. It will require more than raw talent, optimal body size, and great athletic genes. In order to become marathon's Roger Bannister and smash this elusive record, this runner must follow a healthy diet and an individualized training regimen that takes advantage of specific environmental factors ("live high, train low"). Because precious seconds count over each mile run, other critical considerations include improved running form and economy, sharpened mental focus, and wearing the right type of racing flats (or even going barefoot).

The athlete who finally breaks distance running's most tantalizing barrier will become a worldwide celebrity overnight. Will the runner be a Kenyan, an Ethiopian, an American, or a marathoner from another country? And how soon will it happen?

By providing a unique window into the highly competitive world of elite marathon running, this book also allows running enthusiasts to have a thorough understanding of the true potential of endurance athletes. And in turn, they can apply the same training and racing principles discussed in 1:59 to their own running, whether it's a 10K, half marathon, marathon, or ultramarathon.

©2014 Philip Maffetone (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about 1:59

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    148
  • 4 Stars
    73
  • 3 Stars
    31
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    122
  • 4 Stars
    74
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    122
  • 4 Stars
    64
  • 3 Stars
    26
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

All things Maffetone in a tidy package.

In providing his insight into the possibility of a one hour and 59 minute marathon, Dr. Maffetone gives you some great training advice. This is not only a great book for those wanting to learn about elite marathoners, it is also a great book for those of us who just want to run faster.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This is the book you read after Born to Run.

If you haven't listened or read Born to Run by Christopher McD, listen or read that book for listening to this. he does a great job of illustrating how and when a sub two hour marathon will happen, and it is actually really fun to listen and learn from him. I recommend this book to all runners.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thought-provoking, instructive, entertaining

Phill is among the prophets and sages of endurance sports. You can't get within 30 feet of him without learning some insight.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Watch out for the “Bro Science”

This book is interesting and has a lot of good ideas but seems to ease into “bro science” where Maffetone supports some pretty out there ideas based on “logic” and what “makes sense” to him vs actual peer reviewed science even though he presents his views as scientific fact. In particular the section about diet and nutrition was pretty cringey.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great info, but a little dry & geeky...

Worthwhile info. Lots of running science. Endurance geeks will love it. Lots of good tips, too.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

informative well thought out and great dialog

as usual dr. mafetone delivers a scientific approach to explaining how the human anatomy physiology and psychology fit together in an easily digestible way. his approach to running and fitness is as usual objective and factual. great book

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very informative and interesting

Extremely knowledgeable author. I am a 40 + male who wants to take up leisure running. I want to learn about the correct ruining form, nutrition, and training. This book was beneficial.
I look forward to reading more books by the author.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

fun book -- interesting --

this is a fun listen...the diet information seems quite out of date - the idea of several small meals throughout the day -- haven't heard that one for a decade. The make believe pretend a 1:59 race part was kind of funny..
you could feel how fun that part was for the author...still...here we are 2021 and the record stands at 2:01:39

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book and information source

Good book, worth the read.
I enjoyed the information shared by the author, I'm glad I read it early in my running passion.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Typical Marathon Training Advice / Science

The book was okay. I probably would have enjoyed more if it was one of the first marathon science or training books I’d read. It was about 75% of the prototypical training advice you’d get in every marathon book capped with “the sub 2 marathoner will surely follow [insert marathon best practice here]”. Was hoping for more focus on 1:59, human physiology caps, breakthroughs, etc versus generic nutrition and running shoe discussion. Again, the science and content were good, just not in line with expectation of title

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Van Dieu
  • Van Dieu
  • 12-31-15

Turns conventional wisdom on its head

What did you like most about 1:59?

Maffetone is one of the leaders in the field of endurance sports, and much of what he says goes against conventions - train slower, limit volume, eat fat, run barefoot etc. There is method to his "madness". I have been following his principles for years and have enjoyed great health AND performance as a result. This book is really about everything that he preaches, and how it can help already-elite marathoners to take that jump and move below the sub-2hr barrier.

What other book might you compare 1:59 to, and why?

Any other of Maffetone's books, but most famously "The Big Book Of Endurance Training And Racing". Unfortunately this is not available at the time of writing as an audiobook. Otherwise look for podcasts featuring Dr Phil. His advice and teaching are out there if you look for it.

Any additional comments?

It's not really about running a sub-2hr marathon. It's a book about how optimal health and training will make anyone, you or I, into the best endurance athletes we can be, no matter what your sport or your genes.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for AlisonA
  • AlisonA
  • 10-20-21

1.59

an interesting listen. maybe a little out of date now but a good listen nonetheless

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ross
  • Ross
  • 10-08-21

Questionable running advice

Basically it's a book that preaches low heart rate training with other advice about nutrition, barefoot running and some others.
Maffetone doesn't include running programs in any of his books so don't expect any here either. You can save yourself some time and get the important parts from his website unless you want all the extra details.

Probably worth a listen but just take what's useful.

Personally I found lot of the info questionable and outdated.

Good not great.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazoning
  • Amazoning
  • 05-11-21

A must read for every runner

Dr Phill and his hollistic approach to running taught me so much about my sport ... thanks!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 09-03-21

Great advice & info for all runners

This is a very informative audio book that has insights for runners of all levels. It provides a holistic view of runners and you will definitely learn methods in this book to make you a better runner, regardless of your current level.
At first I was sceptical that the author kept referring to males, but further in he has a whole chapter dedicated to women. Worth the $$! I have also purchased a hard copy of his other book “the big book of endurance running” which covers a lot of the same material.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for MJ Conway
  • MJ Conway
  • 11-26-19

He was right!

Dr Phil was right. He names Eluid Kipchoge as one of the guys who has the potential to do it. And he was right!

Great insight into all things it takes to achieve ground breaking record perfomance which I used myself for Berlin marathon 2019. (a PB - a record for me).
No Vegan 'game changing' diet mentioned here. Just a heap of topics discussed that works and has worked for years, the world over including many east african insights. A damn good read, thoroughly researched and evidenced by one of the worlds top researchers, clinicians and authors. You cannot fail to be impressed by the amount of evidence in here...exceptional stuff..