Book of the week: Run Your First Marathon by Grete Waitz, Gloria Averbuch

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The Independent Online

If you're running the London Marathon on 26 April, this manual has come too late for you; Grete Waitz recommends an absolute minimum of 16 weeks' training, preferably far longer.

And as Norway's running machine won the London event twice and New York's version nine times, setting world records along the way, she probably knows what she's talking about. The good news is that she guarantees anyone who follows her advice will be equipped to complete the full 26 miles and 385 yards. Her week-by-week routines are clearly explained and refreshingly straightforward, and she offers expert advice on nutrition, footwear and clothing, avoidance of injury and marathon courses worldwide. But possibly her most valuable counsel concerns the mental approach required. "Your goal is to make the finish line. The clock is not your motivation," she says, warning against setting off at too fast a pace, and her confidence-boosting techniques stem from her own trial and error. Finish this book, and you'll be convinced you can finish the course.

Published in large-format paperback by A&C Black, £12.99