Overthinking the Marathon

Overthinking the Marathon is an intimate look at one man’s preparation for his 21st marathon.

Reading Overthinking the Marathon is like having Ray as your partner for a season of training, 17 weeks that culminate in the 2012 Cape Cod Marathon. Some days Ray talks about the nitty-gritty details, other days, it’s about the things that make running interesting and fun, even – no, especially – when it hurts.

Training for his marathon is important to Ray, but he leavens his obsessiveness with a dry humor that acknowledges that one mid-packer’s race isn’t going to change the world.

Overthinking the Marathon

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“Ray Charbonneau insists he hasn’t written a marathon guide, and he’s right. Instead, he’s loaning himself out as a thoughtful, veteran, and funny training partner. You couldn’t find a better one as you get ready for your next 26.2-miler.”

Amby Burfoot, 1968 Boston Marathon champion and Runner’s World editor-at-large

“I didn’t feel like I was being hit over the head with information and that “this way is the only way” style of writing that can be common in many “how to” books about running or training… By the time I got to the end of the book, it felt like Ray was an old friend, who I had known for years and I was cheering him on.”

Harold Shaw (read more of Harold’s review at A Veteran Runnah)

“Ray is the opposite of me: he’s speedy, understands math, and cares about the weather. I have instructed his cat to keep him awake until he agrees to pace me.”

Vanessa Runs, author of The Summit Seeker: Memoirs of a Trail Running Nomad

“A pretty entertaining and interesting read, especially when it comes to Charbonneau’s funny and sometimes self-deprecating thoughts on the exponentially rising challenges of staying athletic as one gets older and older. It’s not for everyone, but Overthinking the Marathon will actually appeal to more people than you might expect at first.”

Jason Pettus, Chicago Center for Literature and Photography

“It makes me smile every time I read it, and when it doesn’t make me smile it makes me laugh!”

Jon Hobbs