Is Advanced Marathoning by P&D a good book for a first timer?

I am training for my first marathon. I was a total newbie back in May but I am up to 30-38 miles per week over the last 7 weeks. I was wondering if Advanced Marathoning by P&D would be a good book for me to read. The title makes it sound like it is more for experienced people.


  • Depends on how much you want to learn about running/training really. I read it before my third and wished I had read it for my second as it made me understand what I was trying to achieve in training with the different types of workout.
    For your first I wouldn't say it is essential, you can quite happily follow a training plan and run a successful marathon - you are up to a reasonable mileage already. I'm guessing you are already following a training plan? In which case stick to it, run your marathon and if you enjoy it and have an appetite for more then read on!
    It is not just for experienced people BTW and the training plans are good but maybe not best to switch mid training.

  • Hi Jeremy, thanks.

    Yes I am following a plan which I am really enjoying. However, P&D wouldn't be 'switching' as such because I started my plan WAY early image I still have about 20 weeks to my marathon. 

    I think my current plan is much safer since it is 1 tempo run per week, 1 shorter run, 1 mid week longish run and 1 long run on the weekend. I think I would go faster with P&D but would also risk injury perhaps sine relatively speaking I am still a new runner i guess.

  • Hi, Based on your current mileage it should be fine. The smallest schedule is 33-55 miles at its start to peak mileage. However the most benefit will come from the the chapters before the schedules.

    Well done and good luck !! 

    Ps do no harm to harm a down/reduced week or two to allow your body to recover/rest before you start the schedues in time for spring marathon !!

  • hi AGF - I downloaded the book on to my kindle and am reading the first chapter. It is compelling reading and i am really enjoying it. I guess I will have to have a think about whether i follow the schedule. 

    My heart is telling me the interval work will speed me up and I definitely want to be faster. As I have increased my running ability over the last few months the marathon has become about how quickly i can do it rather than whether I can do the distance. I don't fear the distance any more as I know with continued training, the right nutrition strategy and sensible pacing a finish is well within my grasp.

    My brain on the other hand is telling me to stop getting carried away and avoid injury at all costs image 

  • I agree Khanivore....getting to the starting line free of injury/niggles is the first aim image

  • Knanivore...go for it , you will plenty of slower running at first building the miles and only then is the faster stuff introduce and usually only 1 session a week, they are only leaping out out you because you are probably like me and dont really enjoy speed work. but honestly one you start the schedule those sessions are few and far between, and you will have logged enough miles in the legs to make you strong enough to cope good luck, come and  join the P&D training thread for ideas and support the more the merrier image 

  • stutyrstutyr ✭✭✭

    Khanivore, I like your style - ask if its worth it at 10:30pm, and buy it anyway at 8am image

    Even if you don't follow the schedule, its very good at explaining the reasons behind the various training sessions included in their plans (and many other schedules), so you'll still get a lot of benefit from it.

    I'm going to be starting the P&D schedule (upto 55 miles) in a couple of weeks to get me in the right condition for VLM, and theres an active thread for this (search for P&D training for VLM 2013) with other runners who are using the book.  Even if its not VLM that you are training for, your marathon is around the same time so there will be many others in a similar part of the training.

    As NN mentioned, as its your first marathon don't worry too much about the speed work - for your first marathon you have to respect the distance and completing it is the primary aim.

  • I admit, patience is not a virtue I am in possession of image I am also still in thy honeymoon period where I am really keen to clue up as much as possible - it doesn't seem to be showing any sign of ending.

    My first marathon is the VLM! I will search for the thread you mentioned.
  • stutyr wrote (see)


    Even if you don't follow the schedule, its very good at explaining the reasons behind the various training sessions included in their plans (and many other schedules), so you'll still get a lot of benefit from it.


    Totally agree with this.  I'd already embarked on a Hal Higdon schedule for my first marathon when I decided to do some background reading on the subject, and really glad I bought P&D for the first section alone, as it really helped me appreciate the training sessions I was doing, even if they were from someone else's plan.

    Also agree about the speedwork - I wouldn't worry about doing anything quicker than tempo runs, and certainly try to get some race-pace type longer efforts in.  Whichever plan you follow, use it as a template and tweak where necessary.

  • Hi khanivore - would agree with phil. Its a good book, and really helps to understand the science behind why we should do certain runs. Its has some sound information in respect of nutrition also.

    Best of luck!
  • I used P & D for my first two marathons 2 of 2, I might add.

    I pushed my mileage up to the 55 p/wk mark and ran more races than suggested in the book, includig XC. Did the trick for me.....debut VLM 2012, official time 3:32:13

    Quite intimidated by the 16 wk program at first, but just decided to trust the "method" and focus on one run at a time. A cliche I know, but it helps to not look too far ahead and sneek extra rest breaks in by running a morning session and the next one the following evening. If my maths is correct this gives 36 hrs between runs rather than 24 hrs - priceless for me as a V60+!


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