50/50: Secrets I learned while running 50 marathons in 50 days, Dean Karnazes’ second book about running that I have read. The first one was Ultramarathon Man which was basically race reports strung together to give a history of his running life. 50/50, while different from the first in many ways, still has the same passion of someone telling a story, yet teaching lessons as he goes along.
The first couple of chapters are narratives about how the idea of running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days came about and how the first few races went. Scattered in the narrative are tips and tricks he learned in his running career that a new runner could benefit from. A few chapters into the book the amount of narrative and teaching switch roles. He begins to spend much more time talking about running and preparing yourself for your first marathon than telling details of each marathon run during the event.
The style of the work is exactly what I like in a book. The chapters are short. He focuses on one main theme for each chapter. He relates the events in an enjoyable, east-to-read, style. And since I love biographies and non-fiction of just about any kind, the interweaving of race reports with training guide is exactly what appeals to me.
Whatever you think about Dean and his shameless self promotion, you have to admit that there are many more people enjoying the sport of running because of Dean Karnazes. I was a runner before I ever heard of Karno, but the idea of pushing towards running my first marathon, and hopefully many ultras in the future, can be traced back to Ultramarathon Man.
I highly recommend this book for newer runners and marathoners. While more experienced runners may enjoy the story behind the 50/50 event, I don’t know if they will get as much out of the book as a newer runner will.
I will add the same disclaimer to this as I did on Ultramarathon Man: there is some profanity in the book which is unnecessary and dissappointing Therefore I caution readers about buying it for younger runners.
I want to thank Steve at Run Bulldog Run for having the drawing in which I won the book. Also I thank the publisher for overnighting a copy of the book to me the day they learned my first copy was lost in the mail.