Written by Al Pepper
Having read Andy’s last book Magic, Madness and Ultramarathon Running I suspected I was in for a good read. His new book was already in my sights but before I got chance to buy it I was lucky to win a signed copy in a competition here in the Ultra Running Community.
I was a little sceptical when it arrived as it had the words ‘ How to prepare for the ultimate endurance’ printed across the front cover. I’ve sat in one or two ‘Ultra Running’ presentations and had to endure being told that the only way to survive was that you must eat this, wear that, do this training and use these shoes and if you didn’t you’ll die and score a DNF! And I’ve also part read a few books (I lost interest part way through) and articles about how to go about training for and running ultras. But they just seem to go over the top with unachievable training plans and information that gets diluted.
However, I made a start on the book and instantly I found it to be a well written treasure trove of information. Andy has a real down to earth approach that I can relate to and explains himself and the sport in a simple and easy to understand format without forcing the must and must not do’s on the reader.
It’s a well rounded book that encompass everything an ultra runner both experienced and novice needs to know. It’s pitched perfectly without being too overwhelming and each section explains the basics but certainly for the more experienced its thought provoking and personally initiated a few lines of inquiry into more detail of a specific subject. Also whilst reading the text I found myself making mental notes of things that I’d forgotten or need to focus more on during training and racing.
Using revelations from other ‘Real’ runners is a brilliant feature of this book as it provides some different angles on the sport and something most readers will relate to. Andy is very open about his methods and what keeps him relentlessly moving forward in the toughest of events. So it’s good to read a wide spectrum of experiences and for me has certainly made me think crikey I’m actually doing a few things right even though others would say it was wrong.
Don’t expect to have a training manual full of plans, specific nutrition advice, the must have kit and shoes or be dictated to!
Do expect to have a few light bulb moments, be entertained, be prepared to be directed into further research and have a few thought provoking moments.
Oh and I read the book over 3 evenings and just couldn’t put it down. It now has post it notes stuck on pages that I need to find out more about or remember.
Well worth a read.
The first bit of advice I used from Andy’s book was if you find a shoe that works for you go and buy a few pairs.........Here I am now with 3 extra pairs of new shoes!