If you are like me you haven't had time to catch the NOVA documentary Marathon Challenge on TV because you have been out there running all the time. The good news is that it's now available on DVD. It tells the story of a dozen ordinary people of TEAM NOVA, who are not in a good shape by any means, attempting to train for a marathon - the Boston Marathon in this case.
Before their ultimate goal of finishing the marathon the team has to make it through the various tests supervised by professional medical staff in a lab. They are even assigned a real coach to kick their fat asses during their weekly training sessions.
What's more there's the additional inspiration provided by Uta Pippig, the three-time Boston Marathon winner. Her excellent marathon wisdom can be consolidated into the following three points:
- running 26.2 miles is not limited by physical capabilities but rather the mind
- the process can be made easier by dividing it into many small goals
- the reward is that you will learn more about yourself and your mental capabilities.
As far as TV documentaries go this is pretty good and interesting. It's well-edited and covers all the major problems one has to solve to achieve the marathon goal. It also briefly features interesting experts like the anthropologist Daniel Lieberman, famous for his study How running made us human.
I would recommend this DVD for all novice runners and would-be marathoners. I guess there's not much new for the experienced marathoners but it's still well worth seeing.