Thoughts on: “Endure” by Alex Hutchinson

We have all seen a world record being broken. The athlete crosses the finish line and a new bar has been set. But you have also seen that the athlete is alive and moving. Which means he/she had more to give!

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What sets the limit of human endurance? Is it mental or physical? What is the absolute limit given we found the perfect athlete and perfect condition? These are some of the questions this book tries to answer.

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Some notes:

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📝 Expectations matter! How many tries you know you have to do something impact how you pace yourself. Even if you’re told to do your max for each rep.

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📝 Gabrselassie (marathon champ) sweats up to 3.6 Liters/hour.

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📝 The extraction of mindfulness from it’s Buddhist context began in the 1970’s with Jon Kanbat-Zinn.

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📝 Central governor, Anticipatory regulation, Pacing instinct – it goes by many names – basically, the theory that the brain stops us from running ourselves to death.

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📝 Pain in training leads to a higher threshold for pain. High intensity training heightens your pain tolerance while medium intensity doesn’t.

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📝 Experiment shows that seeing a smiling face, even subliminally, induces a sense of ease.

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⭐️ Takeaway: Nr.1 advice (except training) is to presue motivational self talk training. Cuz it really works! Training is the cake and believing is the icing.

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🔸Verdict:🔸

My second favorite book with a title that starts with “endure”. 😉 Well, that wasn’t a helpful measuring stick. Haha. To be fair, it’s a good book, but I wouldn’t recommend it to people that don’t have a special interest in human performance and endurance. You need a bit of passion to stay focused with all the data being presented. Spoiler: all the conclusions are: “it’s unclear”, “we have to wait for the final data” or “its complicated.” But I rather have that, than oversimplification.

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What’s my favorite book that starts with “endure”? “Endurance” by Lansing! About captain Shackleton’s amazing polar expedition. High stakes endurance! 👌🏻

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3/5

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Thoughts on: “The Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei” by John Stevens

My major feat this summer was to inflate a pool in preparation of a BBQ party (see pic. 2). Due to lack of proper equipment it had to be done manually. It took quite some time and effort on my part to get it ready; But I persisted and felt a little bit of pride afterwards.

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When the guests arrived their reaction was; “That’s crazy! I can’t believe you didn’t use a pump for that!”.

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Now cut to the Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei:

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Instead of being dressed in traditional black Buddhist clothes, they wear white, the color of death. They carry a knife in their belt. This is to take their life if they fail in any element of their practice. Knife for self-disembowelment – belt for hanging.

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These buddhist monks and super athletes reaching for enlightenment in the here and now thought physical movement.

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Their training schedule is crazy. The “1000-Day Marathon”, a big part of their practice, takes 7 years to complete. For the first 5 years they run a marathon a day for 100 days straight. This is repeated 7 times. For the last 2 years the distance is increased to two Marathon distances a day (84km!). They also throw in a 9-day fast into their practice, with continuous meditation, without water and sleep, to keep things interesting.

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⭐️ TAKEAWAY: When we get familiar with feats like these, either through books or elsewhere, our ability to complain about trifles is diminished.

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Our standards and expectations of ourselves and others are so low nowadays… SO LOW.. (at least in Sweden where I live), that learning about stuff like this can, at least temporarily, raise the expectation bar a bit. So that you don’t get too cocky for blowing some air into a pool. Or praise the one that did it. 😀😎

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And yes! It’s a great book! The writing is so-so but the content is truly fascinating!

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5/5

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Thoughts on: ”Eat & Run” by Scott Jurek

Scott Jurek runs and eats! By running I

mean 100 mile runs (that’s 160km!) and 24 hour races. By eating I mean only plant based foods.

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Endurance has been a theme in my reading for a while and this is the latest latest entry. I was led to this ultra marathon legends autobiography because Jurek was mentioned in “Born to Run”. But unlike “Born to Run” which I would recommend to anyone, this is better suited for running enthusiasts only.

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The most interesting aspects of the book is his search for the link between endurance sports and altered states of consciousness. I also enjoyed the more practical sections with training and dietary advice.

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📝 A common mistake for beginners is to have too long strides. Count the times you right foot skrikes the ground In 20 seconds. Multiple by 3 and you get your stride rate per minute. Speed up til you reach 85-95 strides per minutes.

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📝 Later in his career he started a more holistic view on his training:

– Yoga for body awareness, flexibility & centered focus.

– Body posture & stabilization.

– Conscious breathing.

– Upper body strength.

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📝 “The more I measure the more sure I was on my instincts” Jureks book has a more open attitude towards technology than the “back to basics” attitude of “Born to Run”.

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📝Jurek Book Recommendations:

“Running Wild” – John anorino “Running and Being”

“The Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei”

“The Power of Now”

“Bone Games”

“The Way of the Peaceful Warrior”

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⭐️ TAKEAWAY:

Every runner knows it is a hassle to time meals and workouts. Free up more time for actual training (instead of digesting) by replacing heavy meaty meals with plant based ones!

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4/5

 

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