Review of Eat and Run

Categories: book   Reviews and stuff   vegan

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.

Written on August 29, 2012