Review of Eat and Run

I’ve know who Scott Jurek is for a number a years, and I’ll assume every reading this probably has too. When I saw that he had a book coming out, I was eager to read it.

(Er, if you don’t know, he’s a one of the best ultra runners in the world, and is also a vegan.)

His book, Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness, is his story about becoming a runner. It outlines his background growing up, meeting people that taught him about running, and a number of stories about different races he’s run.  At the end of each chapter, he gives one of his favorite recipes, and a brief summary of how it helps him on the trail.

Overall, I thought it was a good book. I enjoyed reading it. If you enjoy reading about peoples backgrounds and how they got into a sport, then you’ll like this.

Now, here’s my negative feedback constructive criticism:

One reason I bought the hardback copy of the book was that I was hoping that it would have a lot of recipes, and I’d be using it as a cookbook. I know people do digital cookbooks, but I prefer real paper when I’m looking at recipes.  While I like the recipes he gives, I just wish there were more of them.  I assume that will be the follow-up book.

Also, his recipes are very oil heavy. For most people, this probably doesn’t bug them, but since I’m trying to avoid most oil, it means I have to adapt each recipe to an oil-free version. (If you’re wondering why, see my post about diet here.) Not a big deal, but I think it’s worth mentioning.

I wouldn’t mind some pictures of the food, and details about how to go about packing it for trail use. I an make a rice ball with the best of them, but I really wonder how I’d manage to put one in a pack to carry with me.

Most of his race reports were all about his wins and successes.  While I’d never say I’m anywhere near the caliber of runner that he is, I at least know a little about losing and being on a trail for a whole long time.  When friends and I talk about races, we often talk about what went wrong, and how we could have improved things, so next time we’ll be better prepared. To use the ol’ army jargon, it’s an after action review for ourselves.  I’d really like to hear about some of his failures, and what he learned from the experiences.

There are some examples of this in the book, but mostly it’s limited to “I hurt my XXX, so I couldn’t continue.” Surely, in as many races as he’s run, there must be more to learn.

There are some other places in the book where I wish he had gone into more detail. I’ll pass on going into each little bit of it, since that would make this into a really long and boring post.  Let me know in the comments below if you want more details.

All this not-with-standing, I’d still recommend the book. I did read through it over a few evenings, and I look forward to making some more of the recipes.

You can find the book at Amazon or your local retailer.

Comments

  1. I’m not a runner, but I’ve always envied those who do. Sounds like this guy is one of those enviable ones.

    Now if I may be so uncouth as to hijack Rahn’s post to evangelize (er, to let others evangelize) about a low-fat diet (and what I see as the biggest resultant health benefit), well, here goes:

    From the Healthy Librarian: “Don’t be fooled that olive oil [or any other oil], chocolate, nuts, and avocados are health foods. There are far better choices out there — that are far less addictive — and more nutrient-dense.”

    From Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn: “The reality is that oils are extremely low in terms of nutritive value. They contain no fiber, no minerals and are 100% fat calories. And above all, they contain saturated fat which immediately injures the endothelial lining of the arteries when eaten.”

    As we’ve discussed before, to me, the nexus of eating healthy (or not) is the endothelium. Will what I’m about to stick in my mouth harm or help my endothelium? To that end, I try to keep this comment of Esselstyn in mind:

    ‎”Every mouthful of oils and animal products, including dairy foods, initiates an assault on these [cell] membranes and, therefore, on the cells they protect. These foods produce a cascade of free radicals in our bodies ,especially harmful chemical substances that induce metabolic injuries from which there is only a partial recovery. Year after year, the effects accumulate. And eventually, the cumulative cell injury is great enough to become obvious, to express itself as what physicians define as disease.

    Plants and grains do not induce the deadly cascade of free radicals. Even better, in fact, they carry an antidote. Unlike oils and animal products, they contain antioxidants, which help to neutralize the free radicals and also, recent research suggests, may provide considerable protection against cancers.”

    – Dr. Esselstyn, page 38 of “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease