How to Lose a Marathon

A Starter's Guide to Finishing in 26.2 Chapters
Narrated by: Nicholas Techosky
Length: 3 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (943 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In How to Lose a Marathon, Joel Cohen takes listeners on a step-by-step journey from being a couch potato to being a couch potato who can finish a marathon. Through a hilarious combination of running tips and narrative, Cohen breaks down the misery that is forcing yourself to run.

From chafing to the best times to run, explaining the phenomenon known as the "Oprah Line", and exposing the torture that is a premarathon expo, Cohen acts as your satirical guide to every aspect of the runner's experience. Offering both real advice and genuine commiseration with runners of all skill levels, How to Lose a Marathon lets you know that even if you believe that the "runner's high" is a complete myth, you can still survive all 26.2 miles of a marathon.

©2017 Joel Cohen (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

" Simpsons writer Joel H. Cohen shares what he learned as he went from self-described 'chubby middle-aged guy' to marathoner. Narrator Nicholas Techosky delivers the 26.2 chapters (a marathon is 26.2 miles), which in book terms equal 26 chapters and the world's shortest epilogue. Helpful information on running gear such as treadmills, shoes, and apps is covered. Uncommon terms are explained. Colorful descriptions of marathons around the world are inspiring. Techosky's encouraging tone will keep new marathoners motivated, particularly as Cohen promises, 'If I can do it, you can, too.' Quotes - from runners, books, and African proverbs - pepper listeners with other helpful viewpoints. Most satisfying is hearing Cohen take on purists who look down on slow runners. He believes EVERYONE who finishes a marathon is a winner." ( AudioFile Magazine)

Featured Article: 20 Best Audiobooks for Running Inspiration


Running can be an arduous task, especially for those who are new to the sport. It can also be a life-giving force for those who are already more involved in the running community. Either way, it’s one of the best athletic ventures to couple with a great audiobook. Listening to the inspirational stories of other runners can be just what you need to push through a difficult jog or set a new personal record. These audiobooks are the perfect partners for your next workout.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Something for everyone

This is a great book for runners. It's also a great book for people who hate running. And it's perfect for anyone like me, who falls somewhere in the painful middle. Multiple laugh-out-loud moments, and actual advice for a first time marathoner.

27 people found this helpful

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His story is mine

Not a team runner. Starting late in life. Funny review of his journey. I ran 14 miles while listening to this book getting ready for the Seattle marathon 😎

36 people found this helpful

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Hilarious from the start to ... well 26.2 chapters 👏

I think I laughed from the beginning to the end.. a lot of truth said with a lot of humours.. I loved every second of it..
Highly recommended to beginners and well trained runners!!

7 people found this helpful

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Genius!

This is the most accuarate book for non elite runners. I enjoyed every single word.

6 people found this helpful

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Entertaining! Delightful! 👍👍👍

Funniest book ever!
Facts that are seldom talked about in running perfectly described in this book. Gives inspiration actually to runners like me. (An on and off runner since I live in Canada, with our weather, our running schedule is pretty much decided by our weather sometimes until you dare, dare to face that blowing ice cold wind in your face!)

5 people found this helpful

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Enjoyed Emensly! Witty, Fun, Relatable.

If you could sum up How to Lose a Marathon in three words, what would they be?

Relatable, Funny, Helpful

What did you like best about this story?

I like how he is constantly injecting humor around the information.

What does Nicholas Techosky bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The tone and delivery, more like a comedy monologue than an audio book.

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed all of it. The humor is witty and relatable, I like how he doesn't talk down to the audience or judge how bad of a runner you may be.

4 people found this helpful

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On point

Although I wished I finished my USMC marathon (1st marathon) as fast a time as Joel did, thank you for writing down your experiences for average people to follow. This account brought back many feelings on my marathon adventure (minus the painful limp afterwards). Great read and highly recommended to read / listen if even considering doing your first or for me my second marathon.

4 people found this helpful

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Perfect advice for beginner runners

I also am an amateur runner, and his advice is spot on. Ignore the haters and find what you like and reasons to appreciate running. Author has very self-deprecating humor. I chuckled throughout the book. Narrator did a good job! Usually I prefer books that the authors themselves read because the authors usually get their intended inflections correct, where as the typical narrator is pretty dull and lifeless and misses all the timing on jokes. But this narrator did a good job.

I enjoyed this book and felt it held many truths and much sound advice for those who are not the stereotypical runners. I recommend it for anyone just getting into the lifestyle, who runs casually, or who has been running just long enough to laugh and commiserate with all the beginning runner lessons learned!

3 people found this helpful

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Hilarious and motivating

It had me bursting out laughing at multiple points in the book and managed to inspire the average guy to run a little more.

2 people found this helpful

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Made me laugh out loud

This had been such a funny yet also inspiring book that I recommend it to anyone who loves or wants to love running.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Francis
  • 09-19-17

Every beginner runner should listen to this

Outstanding. Hilarious, inspiring, and some great tips. Am now fully motivated for my first marathon. Think will be listening to this again a lot during training.…

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-16-18

Laugh out loud

I love the self deprecation in this book. Some people Can pull that off some people can’t.
This didn’t disappoint. Very cheekily written.
Narrator seemed to be spot-on

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  • Claudine Chionh
  • 03-08-18

Take out the lame jokes and there wouldn't be much book left

This was full of unfunny and irrelevant jokes, but not much content for an experienced runner.