Blue Runnings

Race Reviews, GPX files and more from North-East England

The Reading Nook: Finding Ultra

Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself – Rich Roll


In a nutshell:

Rich Roll has had something of a rollercoaster of a life. High school misfit becomes dedicated competition swimmer, goes to college, learns to fit in and gain popularity with alcohol as a coping mechanism and ends up an alcoholic through college and into work as a lawyer. Failed marriage leads to rehab, where he finally feels ready to tackle his addiction and comes clean. Meets lovely lady, starts family, builds home, launches own law firm, life is dandy and comfortable. Too comfortable. Unfit and overweight – mid-life crisis moment hits knowing early cardiac death is on the cards. Cleans up eating, dons trainers and mounts bicycle, starts swimming again. Ironman ambitions; finds coach – trains for Ultraman and finishes with massively unexpected times. Finds eating plan and exercise lifestyle that works for him. The world of ultra-distance triathlons follows…

The structure of the book itself is written in an autobiographical sense for the first half, and then has appendices addressing what I guess are a regular barrage of frequent questions mostly relating to how the ‘PlantPowered’ athlete has used his diet to get to where he is now.

From my brain:

There is very clearly a huge amount of dedication involved in RR’s journey to his current self. Unsurprisingly many pro athletes have a real drive for improved performance and a strong commitment over huge periods of time to rigid and I suspect not always enjoyable training programs. I often find myself incredibly jealous of their passion. Many are able to fit training for top-level sport alongside a full time job and a family life in a way the rest of us cannot imagine juggling. Clearly, it’s possible with enough commitment, and possibly an occasional blind eye to a full night’s sleep and the chocolate in the fridge but I confess I personally lack the drive and the willpower! Might be a contributing factor in my not being a competition level runner…

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