Marathon Rookie.com is an eBook written by a non-runner who just completed his first marathon recently and is trying to help others complete their first one. The eBook was written by Brad Boughman, and the motto for him and his eBook is, “How to Train for a Marathon or Half Marathon – and have FUN doing it!” This is a review of the Marathon Rookie eBook.


  • Mostly well organized concepts, with a large number of short descriptive chapters each on one concept.
  • Well written, easy to follow style.
  • Great advice for choosing a first marathon.
  • Pictures are included for the different stretches.
  • The website and eBook complement each other fairly well. (see cons)
  • The training program is fairly safe and if followed will prepare somebody for their first marathon.


  • Of limited use for experienced athletes.
  • Some of the content is duplicated between the website and eBook, which is not necessarily bad. (see pros)
  • Nutritional advice is very basic and not that great.
  • Some related chapters are not located near one another.
  • The training program neglects to include any recovery weeks before the taper at the end.

The eBook begins with a description of Brad’s first marathon, starting first thing in the morning and continuing through to his finish. It is a nice introduction to the eBook that involves the reader and lays out the style and general training methods for the next 76 pages. The book is divided into two main sections. The first section is entitled “Everything You Need to Know to Successfully Train for and Finish a Marathon” and lays out Brad’s training philosophy and what he knows about the different aspects of preparing for a marathon. Section 2 is entitled “Week-by-Week Training” and details each week of his 16 week training program.

The first few chapters all deal with inspiration and mental preparation, and is the foundation upon which Brad builds everything else. Chapters 6 through 20 deal with different aspects of preparing for the marathon before returning to the mental aspect for the last few chapters of section 1.

I agree with his thoughts on how to mentally prepare, in theory. Some of his methods I have used at times, and others I probably will never use, but I came out of a different running background than the person that this eBook is meant for. His advice about not just gutting out is great for helping to avoid injuries and for enjoying your training rather than lamenting it, which is certainly preferable. Visualization is important for any endurance event from running a local 5k up to running an ultramarathon.

Brad’s advice on choosing your first marathon is spot on. The only advice that I can add to that is to find somebody who has run the marathon you choose and pick their brain about the course, or else find somebody who has run different marathons and see what they recommend. His advice on pre-training, or getting yourself in good enough shape to begin his training program, is very good for somebody who has not worked out for a long time. Weekend warriors and people who are already running local short races (such as a 5k or 5 mile race) will be able to cut the pretraining short or skip it outright. I want to stress his advice about seeing a doctor for a physical before beginning a new exercise program.

Pay special attention to his chapter on ice. Some advice I would like to add is that ice massages work wonders and are my preferred method of icing (I do trade off however). Take a small dixie cup, half fill it with water, and freeze. When you finish running, tear off the paper cup and massage your muscles with the ice. You will not want to do this for more than 5 or 10 minutes max, and there is a risk of frostbite, especially for your fingers. Wrap the ice in a paper towel where you are holding it to make it more comfortable. Remember to ice early and ice often.

People that are new to running will want to look through his chapter on running form, but I would not pay too much attention to it. Some of the general concepts are worth bearing in mind when you are trying to improve, but the act of increasing your mileage as you complete the training program will help your body to find the most economical form for your body. Everybody is different, and just because you can theoretically make it easier on yourself by concentrating on your form does not mean that you will not have a net loss from the effort you have to go through to do it. He has good advice on loosening up that you will want to pay attention to.

Pay attention to his chapter on hydration. Even experienced athletes should remind themselves on a regular basis how important it is. He does not mention hyponatremia at all. I do not think that it is something you should lose sleep over, but it is definitely worth knowing about and knowing the simple steps that can be taken to avoid it. My advice is to just follow what he says about hydration and make sure you also eat enough.

He barely touches upon nutrition, and you are better served looking elsewhere for nutritional advice. Carbohydrates are very important, but they are not the be-all and end-all. He recommends daily vitamins, but they will not adequately provide the minerals your body needs because they are not as easily absorbed from vitamin form as they are from fruits and vegetables. My recommendation is to take one daily vitamin a day that at least contains Vitamins B and E (and calcium if you are a woman), and to base your daily needs on what you consume from the food.

The eBook contains good advice on overuse injuries, cross training, and weight lifting. I think that cross training and weight lifting is more important than he does, and I recommend it for days that you are not running. However, especially for somebody new to an exercise program, the running is certainly the most important thing and should not suffer because of cross training workouts. They should be used to help recover from your workouts without further fatiguing your muscles.

The training plan in section 2 is the most valuable part of the eBook. It is a fairly safe 16 week program that will get you ready to run your first marathon. You will not break any records, but you will steadily prepare yourself for completing a marathon. The only problem that I have with it is that there are no rest weeks built in, and there should be at least 1 if not 2 (in my opinion). In weeks 9 to 10, the program has you running the same distance on your long run but increasing your mileage during the week. After week 9, I would add a week in where you increase the mileage on the three normal running days (as he has you doing in week 10), but cut back on the long run to only 13 or 14 miles, and then run the week 10 normally (which is now week 11).

A follow up summary of recommendations and a disclaimer will be available one minute after this article appears. In the meantime, you should go check out the website at www.marathonrookie.com.