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: ”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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Thoughts on: “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall

4 years ago I was in the worst shape of my life. I felt that something needed to be done and that it was time to get my priorities straight.

About this time I found this book and it really sold me on long distance running. It was a perfect fit for me. I’m not fast, but persistent. I’m not into team sports, but love to compete against myself. And I rather spend time in nature than in a sports hall.

The books tells the story of the authors search for the mysterious Tarahumara Indians, the running people, that live most hard to reach areas of the Copper canyons.

Caballo Blanco, a running lone wolf, who lives among them becomes the key to finding out the secret to their amazing endurance.

The problem is that this Caballo guy is not easy to find either. And he has a plan of his own; To arrange one of the worlds toughest races, where the worlds top ultra runners will compete head to head with the Tarahumara under the scorching Mexican sun.

This is the second time I read “Born to Run” and the arguments about how modern footwear is the source of all running injuries and that chia seeds is the silver bullet when it comes to a healthy diet, feel extremely week and exaggerated this time around.

My own theory to why we have seen an increase in running related injuries, while shoes get more and more high tech and bouncy, is that people live more sanitary lives today. And they have done that for a long time. To expect yourself to be able to run a Marathon with just a couple of months of training, after spending 25 years in an office cubicle, is naive at best.

This will lead to all kinds of injuries because nature don’t allow for the same type of instant gratification that Netflix and overnight shipping does.

What really makes this book shine is not the science it presents, but the story and the characters. I hate to use the word “inspiring”, but I think I have to in this case, because this book brings a smile to my face and makes me want to run all day.

📝 You don’t stop running because you get old, you get old because stop running.

📝 Runners peak around 27 but you will reach an age of 64 before you get back to a teenagers ability.


5/5

 

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Frozen balls, New Book and the Run of my Life


It was freezing, raining and windy but it was my last opportunity for a long run before Kullamannen 25k. So I took it!

The biggest hurdle was not the weather, though, it was finding clothes to protect me from it. I’m moving houses this weekend and finding anything among all the boxes is almost impossible.

I found what I assessed to be the bare minimum clothing-wise for 2.5 hour run and then I was on my way!

I also treated myself with a new audio book“Apollo 8: The thrilling story of the first Mission to the Moon” by Jeffrey Kluger – to accompany me in the trail.


After 7k I notice I was freezing my balls off, literarily. My packages was colder than a piece of space debris in shade.

I’d know I had to abort the mission if this problem was not adressed. I was less than a third into the run and continuing would mean this cold might turn into real damage.

 

I proceeded to orbit the lake I was running around, like a satellite, when I got the splendid idea to sacrificing my hat to isolate my boxers. Temperature started to stabilize and the mission was saved. And I got really confused looks from passing people that tried to figure out if I was really well hung or if I had a really bad tumor growth.

 


All in all, Good run though!

New Audiobook for my morning run!

Preparing for my race in November with a 21k morning run. It went fairly well except that it rained the whole time. I did see two row deer as a bonus, though!

Accompanying me on this adventure was a new book I got from audible – “Apollo 8” by Jeffery Kluger – and it’s going to be super interesting to learn some more space race history. 


What are you reading this weekend?