“Endure” by Alex Hutchinson is March’s Athletic Bookworm Pick
Hey guys! Hopefully you’ve been digging the Athletic Bookworms. (If you are, let me know on the social medias or in the comments here, especially about which books you really enjoyed and what you learned!) But let’s talk about March. This month’s Athletic Bookworm pick is “Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance” by Alex Hutchinson.
About the book: “The capacity to endure is the key trait that underlies great performance in virtually every field—from a 100-meter sprint to a 100-mile ultramarathon, from summiting Everest to acing final exams or completing any difficult project. But what if we all can go farther, push harder, and achieve more than we think we’re capable of?”
Alex has taken years to write this book: hundreds of studies, anecdotes and personal experiences went into it, and so far—I’m about 1/4 of the way done because I cheated and pre-read a bit in prep for our podcast with him!—it reads super smooth for a heavily science-backed book. A lot of the time, I have to admit, I start reading books like this and ultimately give them up because, if I’m being honest, they’re a little dry and kinda get boring. This one actually reads like a good book, and has great information. Awesome.
RELATED: How to ENDURE with Alex Hutchinson
(Full disclosure: We are also planning on stalking Alex’s weekly tempo run in Toronto now that we know where and when it starts. So that might be part of the ultimate review and notes at the end of the month. Stay tuned.)
I also like that this book doesn’t rehash merely a discussion of sports psych, visualization or brain training, though there’s plenty of that as well. Instead, the book talks about all of the different factors that blend together to make up endurance, from, yes, some brain training, to food, hydration, heat, and more.
I wrote yesterday about how one of the earlier chapters really resonated with me as I worked on the jumpline at the BMX park last week: Alex writes about when he broke 4 minutes in the 1500 meter run, and how after he broke it the first time (partially thanks to a bad timer!), he was suddenly able to consistently run well under 4 minutes. I felt the same way about the jumpline: once I got the motion down once, the seemingly impossible task of getting airborne wasn’t so terrifying, or even that difficult, after all. Now, it’s time to work on going faster and higher.
Anyway, I think it’s worth the read, especially for those of you feeling a little stuck where you are in your sport.
Not convinced? Check out this week’s Consummate Athlete Podcast with Alex to hear a bit about what’s in the book and what he’s all about!
Intrigued? Get it here: Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance by Alex Hutchinson
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