This is a great follow-up read to Born to Run . Scott Jurek is one of the superathletes featured in the epic race detailed in Born to Run and Scott has now written his own take on what it means to push the limits of mind and body and to be a healthier and happier person because of it. This is what I thought of his book.
Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Summary from Goodreads (edited a little by me): “In Eat and Run, Scott Jurek opens up about his life and career—as an elite athlete and a vegan—and inspires runners at every level. From his Midwestern childhood hunting, fishing, and cooking for his meat-and-potatoes family, to his early beginnings in running (he hated it), to his slow transition to ultrarunning and veganism, to his world-spanning, record-breaking races, Scott’s story shows the power of an iron will and blows apart all the stereotypes of what athletes should eat to fuel optimal performance. Chock-full of incredible, on-the-brink stories of endurance and competition, fascinating science, and accessible practical advice—including his own favorite plant-based recipes—Eat and Run will motivate everyone to “go the distance,” whether that means getting out for that first run, expanding your food horizons, or simply exploring the limits of your own potential.”
I found Scott Jurek’s journey interesting and inspiring at parts. The running tips and recipes thrown in were good, but this isn’t a book about learning how to run. It is a memoir and so it’s really about Scott’s personal journey to finding meaning in life through running. I could relate to a lot of what he said, the feelings he expressed about running and how he related that to anytime we have something hard to do in life, anytime we have to push ourselves beyond the limits we think we have.
It only gets 3 stars though because some of it gets a little repetitive and while he tries to make his journey a universal one (and succeeds in that part of the time) running over 100 miles and having the time and lack of other commitments to be able to train for that is not universal. Also while I gain a great deal through running and love it for the personal, physical, emotional, and spiritual gains it provides, I found Jurek’s devotion to it as the one true source of all meaning and happiness (combined with eating well) to be unbalanced.
He spends a few chapters toward the end of the book describing a time when his life fell apart and after taking some time to wallow and think he is able to get back into running which helps him overcome the sinkhole he found himself in. I’m not quite sure his description of the difficult time or the recovery after ever quite shows that he recognizes it was is unbalanced devotion to eating and running that likely got him in deep doo-doo in the first place, and while I do believe the running and the passion he has for it did help and will continue to help him in other such difficult times, if he doesn’t find a little more balance he’s likely to find himself in a hole just as big or bigger than the last one.
But if you enjoy fitness and eating well you would enjoy this read. It has some interesting information and useful tips. And it is motivating, makes you want to do a little better and taking care of your body, mind, and spirit.
Age Recommendation: This book probably holds the most interest for 18 and older, but teens with experience running or with other sports training might relate to some of it as well.
Appropriateness: I don’t remember particular swear words, but there likely was some profanity in the book. Some description of drinking as well, but definitely not a promotion for drinking. I didn’t find anything offensive.
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