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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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So ready to train

Loved it!!! I am ready to train for my 1:59!!! I will listen to it a few more time. So much great information in one book...

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Some training tidbits, but focus is 1:59

I purchased this hoping to get quite a bit of training information from the legendary Phil Maffetone. This book is definitely focused on who and how someone might achieve the 1:59 marathon. While it had some nuggets for the a average age group runner, there were overall pretty scarce, and they weren't consolidated into a few sections that would make it easier to obtain them. It would be tough to go back into the book and find where he talked about a particular topic, like weight training.

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interesting and dense

Enjoyed this book and all the different information contained within it. It is worth a read of the actual book for some of the training information unless you can listen multiple times?

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Maffetone repackaged

If you have read Maffetone's other work, there might be little new here for you. Much of the book is his training approach restated, with periodic returns to this book's theme of a sub-2 hour marathon. Some of his genetic observations are incompatible with the material in The Sports Gene, which appears more advanced in the field of genetics. However, there is much interesting training advice here for a newcomer to Mafferone's ideas.
The audio version is well done.

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Best endurance athlete book I have listened too.

Everything in this book is dead on! If you are an endurance athlete or just a recreational runner this is a must listen, read, and follow book!

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  • Odd
  • Norway
  • 05-03-15

A lot of great information to improve for ever!

Wrench in the machine!

Insight that really makes one evaluate old thinking. Also given in such a way that it is easy to understand.

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  • 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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful