Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness
Scott Jurek with Steve Friedman
For nearly two decades, Scott Jurek has been a dominant force—and darling—in the grueling and growing sport of ultrarunning. Until recently he held the American 24-hour record and he was one of the elite runners profiled in the runaway bestseller Born to Run.
In Eat and Run, Jurek opens up about his life and career as a champion athlete with a plant-based diet and inspires runners at every level. From his Midwestern childhood hunting, fishing, and cooking for his meat-and-potatoes family to his slow transition to ultrarunning and veganism, Scott’s story shows the power of an iron will and blows apart the stereotypes of what athletes should eat to fuel optimal performance. Full of stories of competition as well as science and practical advice—including his own recipes—Eat and Run will motivate readers and expand their food horizons.
2017 is my year of intense ultrarunning education. I’ve become suddenly obsessed with this sport, and I have a lot to catch up on. I was introduced to the ultrarunning community through YouTube, so I knew about today’s top competitive runners before I learned about some of the greats like Scott Jurek and Dean Karnazes. But I’m catching up!
I enjoyed Jurek’s back and forth narrative of discovering running, finding his rhythm, and competing at top levels. When you see elite ultrarunners, it can be difficult to imagine the journey they’ve taken, from their first run to record-breaking feats. This book is a good reality check, an examination of the gradual improvement that leads to such astonishing performances.
Jurek talks a lot about his nutrition, especially his transition from meat and potatoes to full veganism. Perhaps that transition is a revelation for some runners, but I think many of today’s runners will be more familiar with the benefits of healthier options. That may be a reflection of the changes Jurek and others introduced, combined with general societal awareness.
Great read if you’re a runner or you love stories about sports psychology. Ultrarunning is a uniquely challenging mental endeavor.