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Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself Paperback – 31 May 2013


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Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself + Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness + Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; Reprint edition (31 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307952207
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307952202
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.6 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By D. Nicklin on 25 July 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Many people seem to critisise the book because of constant references to his Vitamix blender and his blend of special vegan supplements. This is a pity. I think it should be taken for what it is which is or was for me a truely inspirational and enjoyable read. I write this days before the start of the 2012 Olympics. The news over the last few days has been filled with violence and all that is broken with humanity. Yet this provided the perfect escape. The chance to indulge my imagination in positive inspirational fetes where someone does something the vast majority on the planet consider impossible. It just goes to show how amazing the body and mind are. For that I can excuse the product placement and the constant promoting of a vegan diet. As far as the author is concerned these are things that are the corner stone of his metamorphosis and therefore he has every right to be evangelical about it.

The great thing about read like this is their ability to open ones mind to new things. He like me, doesn't like the term vegan as for the vast majority of meat eaters it has massively negative connotations. By the end of the book I had developed a completely new view of veganism as well as a very healthy respect for it. Will I give up my rare steaks? Don't know - hard to imagine but I might be tempted to see what happens for 30 days say.

I like the style of the book. I never got bored reading it, in fact once he starts telling the story of his ultra triathlons and his adventures doing the EPIC5 challenge, I couldn't put it down. As a formerly fat middle aged bloke myslef who suddenly discovered fitness late in life I can really identify with the guy.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Andy Flett on 25 Sep 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read a number of self development books and made tweaks along the way that have made a small difference here and there. But none like Finding Ultra. About 4 months before I read this book I'd embarked on a gluten free diet and a move towards vegetarianism. Why? I generally felt rubbish the way I was eating and couldn't shift the last stone of extra weight having been a runner for over 2 years but never achieved the results I knew I was capable of. Finding Ultra answered a lot of questions I had about reaching the next level, how can I improve my performance and everyday well being. I can honestly say in all my 39 years I haven't felt better now I've shifted to a predominantly plant based diet, lost the weight I needed to lose and found energy I never had before. Rich's story from college swimming success through alcoholism to ultra marathon champion is mind boggling. The book now resides in my kitchen, not the book shelf as it's packed full of great training, food & nutrition tips I'm constantly referring back to.

This is a must read for anyone looking for inspiration to get fit and healthy. It's never too late, age or weight don't matter this will give you the will to succeed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By penny moreton on 1 Aug 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a must for ultra runners. Really gives depth on how diet can dramatically affect performance - a sound vegan diet can produce the goods to support the training. An excellent read I couldn't put it down
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marcus Chester on 15 Dec 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From the outset, I knew that I would be hooked. This was going to be one of those books about recovery and running that simply did it for me. It was not just the clearly written prose and the enjoyable pace with which it clipped along. There was something very ordinary and honest about the narrative of spiraling addiction that had me reading feverishly from the opening lines.

Chapter one is where it all starts to get juicy. Quiet literally. Here Roll describes his junk food addiction as something that he believed he was entitled to after successfully quitting alcohol during a programme some years before. He had been a promising college swimmer but he also found himself plagued by another obsession: alcohol. He describes the havoc that this caused in his personal and then post-college professional life, with his family and friends. What is interesting is the honesty with which the obsessive thinking of the alcoholic is laid bare. There is no pity, no clichéd set pieces; just the solemn dawning that things could not continue in the way that they were. He had to change. And, although, with support, Roll managed to leave alcohol behind, he soon found himself on a diet that was just as surely slowly killing him: high in fat and high in salt. His sodium levels soared just as much as his expanding waistline. On the eve of his fortieth birthday he decided that he needed to change. He needed to find ultra.

And change he did. From a lifestyle that was slowly killing him and through the miasma of middle age, junk food, TV and nicotine gum came a new obsession: one for health and a positive way of living. And central to that was his wife's passion for fruit and vegetables, raw, cooked, steamed and juiced.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Aphie on 24 May 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Half of this book is an enjoyable account of how a life can be turned around to achieve something truly amazing. Unfortunately for the other 50% of this book I felt like a was stuck in an ad break. The constant product pushing was a real turn off for me. The narrative tends to jump around and sometimes I was left wondering if I had somehow jumped back a few pages by accident.

Unfortunately this book just didn't quite match up to expectation and to some of the truly inspiring and engaging stories out there (Mud, Sweat and Tears - An Irish Woman's Journey of Self-Discovery by Moire O'Sullivan being a great example). It's not a terrible book, but one which could have been so much better.
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