Skip to main content

Endure: Book Review


A few years ago I reviewed a book, Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights? written by a high school classmate of Adam, physiologist and journalist, Alex Hutchinson.

I very much liked that book so was eager to read his latest one, Endure: Mind, Body and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance. Adam purchased it and read it first and after raving about how well it is written, gave it to me to read.

This book is all about the factors that affect human physical performance. If you are an endurance athlete of any kind, either professionally or even just recreationally, than you must read this book. Even if you are not, in fact, even if you do no physical activity at all and the closest you get to sports is watching them on TV with beer in hand, you will still enjoy this book.

That is what I liked best about Endure: Alex manages to make the science interesting and proves himself as a story teller. He weaves in engaging tales about arctic explorers from a century ago, elite athletes from today, as well as his own personal experiences being a competitive runner.

The book has 3 parts:

Part 1: Mind and Muscle (dominate theories)
Part 2: Limits (pain, muscle, oxygen, heat, thirst, fuel)
Part 3: Limit Breakers (brain training, brain stimulation and belief)

If you think you know everything about physical limits, this book will likely prove you wrong. The theory about lactic acid build up that many people in the field still adhere to has been disproved. New research in this area is far more complicated and fascinating. I don't want to give away everything, but lets just say this book provides further evidence that mind and body are one. It is also good for debunking a lot of myths about products and practices that supposedly affect performance.

I also find it fascinating to read about some of these extreme endurance athletes, who run like 100 miles without rest, not sleeping for days. Its totally insane to me but also amazing at the same time.

Usually I reserve bed time reading for fiction as its my zone out/chill out time, but this book was such an easy read and so compelling, I read it before bed and found myself staying awake longer because I didn't want to put it down.

Read this book!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Blackfly Coolers: Product Review

Summer is over! Well, at least if you're a student. Officially it doesn't end for a few weeks, and it certainly still feels like summer. Yeah, I hate it. This f*cking hot, humid weather needs to end NOW! We made the most of our last weekend of the summer with our annual trip to the CNE on Friday, with a crowd of friends. It wasn't unbearably lot, thank goodness, and the girls and their friends had a blast on the rides.  Saturday I had to work, and Sunday was errand day. Monday we took the girls berry/apple/pear picking but didn't last long due to the heat. I organized the house to prepare for the construction workers starting back up yesterday, while Adam took the girls for a swim in our neighbourhood pool.

Yesterday was the first day of school. Grade 2 and Grade 5. Yep, the girls are growing up.  We are fortunate that the girls don't have much anxiety about school, they are so much more confident than I ever was as a kid! But now, in the midst of our reno chaos, …

Live Clean

I have been committed to living a healthy life through nutrition and fitness for over 20 years now.

It took me a lot longer to pay attention to what I was cleaning the house with and what I was putting ON my body as opposed to IN it.

When I got pregnant with Big A I started reading about the toxins in a lot of commercial cleaning products and switched to the all-natural, eco-friendly stuff. When I became pregnant with Little A, I switched to all-natural, eco-friendly personal care products.

I am all for being environmentally friendly for the good of the planet, but to be honest, what really motivates me to make these types of changes is concern for my family's health.

You may remember I mentioned giving up my favorite perfume a while back because it apparently is full of nasty chemicals. I switched to the "Red Tea" scent made my Roots, which is supposed to be somewhat "natural". This was only after a number of trial and errors. I first found a woman in …

Panang Curry

When we go out for Thai food, one of my favorite things to order is the panang curry. But there is no doubt when this dish is made in a restaurant, it packs a hefty wallop of fat, sodium and calories.

My version is lightened up, but still rich and flavourful and it is super simple to make.

Traditionally, panang curry is made with either beef or chicken, but I made it vegetarian, using dried seiten (wheat gluten) I got at T&T a few weeks ago. If you are not sensitive to gluten, this is a great source of vegetarian protein. If you cannot find it dried, you can get it prepared at most health food stores. Alternatively, you can use tofu, or the more traditional chicken or beef options.

This dish also doesn't usually have much vegetable matter in it, but I love how yummy veggies taste when simmered in this sauce, and it makes this a healthy one-pot meal. Use whatever veggies you prefer or have on hand.

Protein of choice (2 cups seiten or 1 lb organic tofu, boneless skinless ch…