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Review

“Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness” by Scott Jurek Book Review

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Most people take up running to stay fit, lose weight, or just for fun. Others take running as a sport and career. Running for whatever reason is not easy since it requires strength, persistence and mental toughness, traits that one has to work hard to achieve.

Long distance races like the marathon and ultra-marathon are very challenging and require you to not only train your body but also have the mental strength to run and complete a 26.2 miles plus race.

Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek is a book about the life and career of Scott Jurek, an elite vegan athlete who was a dominant force in the grueling sport of ultra-marathon running for close to two decades.

The book uncovers secrets that any athlete can learn and inspires runners of every level. It also has many great quotes and talks about becoming vegan and winning races on a purely vegetarian diet.

Scott Jurek talks about his early life in northern Minnesota in a family that was into hunting and fishing. He narrates his venture into running off-season to stay fit, finishing his first marathon race in less than 3 hours and then finished 2nd in a 50-mile ultra-marathon race.

From then on Jurek believed he could win, then went west and won the Western States 100 miles race as an unknown runner. He heard disparaging remarks from seasoned runners in that race and used those comments to push himself to victory.

Features of Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness Fitness Book

The book is like a memoir of Jurek’s childhood and family life, his evolution to ultra running, vegan lifestyle and the close-knit ultra community.

It provides recipes of some of Scott Jurek’s favorite meals and snacks, deals with issues that affect long distance runners, talks about his relationship issues and interpersonal stress.

Other issues discussed in the book include:

  • The need to train your body as well as your mind and believe that you are capable of completing a long distance race
  • How to use the power of the mind to push your body during a long distance run in order to finish the race
  • Insights into what was going on in Jurek’s mind during the races, the psychological benefits and drawbacks of that time alone
  • The loneliness thrill and addiction experienced by long distance runners
  • Encouragement from the author to pursue a vegan lifestyle and recipes of Jurek’s favorite meals after every chapter
  • The peaking of an athlete’s career, burnout and the need to recognize and accept the end of an athlete’s career

Is the Book worth Buying?

Eat and Run is an amazing story that has so much you can draw on including many great quotes that motivate and inspire. Whether you are a runner or not, this tome should be on everyone’s must read list.

Pros

  • The book shows the power of the mind or sheer will power and the importance of the correct diet to our body’s strength and well-being
  • The book is full of incredible stories of endurance, competition, captivating science and practical advice on how to explore your own potential
  • The author provides a training tip after every chapter of the book and recipes of his favorite plant based meals
  • The book provides insights into matters related to the mind body and soul in achieving certain objectives.

Cons

  • The author only briefly mentions his wife and family life after he got married and more details about his relationship with his wife and other friends could have added more balance to the book.
  • The author could have provided more details about planning an ultra and getting the team together.

Conclusion

Eat and Run is an extraordinary book of Scott Jurek’s life journey, from an ordinary kid, his relationship issues with his father, his mother’s sickness and how she inspired him. It narrates his struggles in life while looking for meaning and his will to overcome and the outcome of that struggle. The desire to overcome and push as far as one can go as told by Jurek, makes this book highly motivating and inspiring for people of all walks of life.

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