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Publisher's Summary

Featuring a foreword by Malcolm Gladwell

Writing from both the cutting edge of scientific discovery and the front-lines of elite athletic performance, National Magazine Award-winning science journalist Alex Hutchinson presents a revolutionary account of the dynamic and controversial new science of endurance.

The capacity to endure is perhaps the key trait that separates champions and determines great performance in any field - from a 100-meter sprint to a 100-mile ultramarathon, from summiting Everest to acing finals. But what if everything we've been taught about endurance was wrong? What if we all have more potential than we think to go farther, push harder, and achieve more?

Blending cutting-edge science and gripping storytelling in the vein of Malcolm Gladwell - who forewords the book - Hutchinson reveals that a wave of paradigm-altering research over the past decade suggests that the seemingly physical barriers you encounter are mediated as much by your brain as by your body. But it's not "all in your head." For each of the physical limits that Hutchinson explores - pain, muscle, oxygen, heat, thirst, fuel - he carefully disentangles the delicate interplay of mind and muscle by telling the riveting stories of men and women who've approached (and sometimes surpassed) their own ultimate limits.

As the longtime "Sweat Science" columnist for Outside and Runner's World as well as a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and New York Times, Hutchinson draws on his background as a former national-team long-distance runner and Cambridge-trained physicist. But the lessons he draws from traveling to labs around the world and trying out new endurance-boosting techniques like electric brain stimulation and brain endurance training are surprisingly universal. Endurance, he writes, is "the struggle to continue against a mounting desire to stop" - and we're always capable of pushing a little farther.

©2018 Alex Hutchinson (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"If you want to gain insight into the mind of great athletes, adventurers, and peak performers then prepare to be enthralled by Alex Hutchinson's Endure." (Bear Grylls)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    3 out of 5 stars
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finishing this was an act of endurance

This would have earned at least 4 stars if it had been edited down by 30%. Illustrative stories and anecdotes should augment, not frustrate the reader.

60 of 62 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved the content; narration frustrated me

The content is wonderful, and I learned a ton. Slade doesn’t seem to have a running background. Names and places are mispronounced and at one point he makes reference to a 2 minute and 5 second marathon, which I’m imagining was written as 2:05 in the original text. Maybe I’m picky, but these things bugged me. These little things aren’t a dealbreaker; it’s still certainly worth your time.

100 of 104 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Excellent book, but the performance contains egregious pronunciation errors

Alex Hutchinson is an outstanding writer, one of a very few who write well about science and sport. “Endure” is a deep exploration of the science of human endurance, told in a style that moves easily from compelling story to scientific story.

Unfortunately the narrator makes a number of unforgivable pronunciation mistakes with names and places. He badly mispronounces “Kipchoge” dozens of times, each instance like fingernails on a blackboard. In other places, he reads “2:08 Marathon” as “two-minute eight-second Marathon. It’s really annoying.

I’m going to buy the book and read it, rather than listen. I recommend others do the same.

49 of 51 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great overview of endurance science

The strength of this book over those such as Matt Fitzgerald’s How Bad Do You Want It is Hutchinson’s decision to contrast and compare similar, but subtly different theories in sports psychology and sports medicine. Instead of getting behind a single view, he emphasizes the similarities among them while acknowledging the mostly academic differences that make them unique. I’m pretty sure Hutchinson could also beat Fitzgerald in a race :-P The reading could have been much better. Several words and names were consistently mispronounced or Canadianized.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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The mind is the most powerful fuel

Alex Hutchinson does a great job intertwining science and story in this book. This book will be a great listen for those that are interested in the science behind great endurance athletes but also the unique stories of some of the greatest testaments of endurance.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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I finally got the big picture!

Great job by Alex Hutchinson explaining all currently trending theories by the likes of Marcora, Noakes, Jeukendrup et al in a very cohesive manner.
I had previously read most of the individual contributor's works but put together in this fascinating book it all makes sense.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Interesting . . . but pretty dry

Broadly speaking, the main premise of this book is that we can do far more than we think we can. While I like the concept, the material offered by the book to support this notion is very dry. It is case study, upon case study, upon case study of athletes that were able to push past their perceived limits - and then more studies of why/how they were able to do so. The book does have some interesting stories and points to make, but I found the constant scientific information and study analysis to be too dry to hold my attention - particularly as an audio book. Perhaps it is because I am a beginner runner and just trying to find some motivation to keep at it. This book may have been more enjoyable/helpful for me if I were at the point of working on pace or distance. But for now, it just wasn't very helpful.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • MarkJ
  • Arlington
  • 03-15-18

excellent circumspect thesis on endurance

This is a great review and synthesis of the scientific literature around the limits of human performance. Alex beings his A game to this book with his insightful and non-biased views of the science and the scientists doing this research. loved it!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Interesting

I am a life long runner and found some of the concepts he talks about interesting, Over all I found it to not be all that new or thought provoking for me. I have looked into a lot of different ways to train and this did not add much to what I have already read.
If you are not familiar with some new concepts for endurance then this is a great book with a lot of good information. I do recommend people to read it. #Endurance #Tagsgiving #Sweepstacks

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great read for any endurance athlete

Would you listen to Endure again? Why?

Yes, tons of mindful information, worth a couple reads

What was one of the most memorable moments of Endure?

No particular moment comes to mind

Have you listened to any of Robert G. Slade’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Breaking barriers

Any additional comments?

Not the typical running or athletics-in-general book. Puts training and racing into a new perspective.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-28-18

Endure is an absolute masterpiece

Loved every page. Alex Hutchinson has written the most thorough investigation of the limits of human performance. I cannot recommend Endure highly enough. Alex, thank you for writing this. You have the rare ability to provide insightful and easily digestible accounts of complicated scientific research with the eloquent prose of a literary master.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 03-28-18

I lost interest 2 thirds in

Very interesting initially, however a lot of the anecdotes go on for too long. Ultimately it lost any sense of direction and I became less and less interested.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sean
  • 11-07-18

great book

great content and research based book. thoroughly enjoyed it. recommend it to anyone who is a sport enthusiast

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  • nick
  • 10-09-18

Full of insight

For the athlete striving to get better, on any level. The mind was a new one for me 😊

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    2 out of 5 stars
  • dave finch
  • 09-16-18

ingesting but too dry for me

from the blurb I was really excited about this book. it's got some fascinating insights but it just too dry and couldn't keep my attention.

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  • Erin
  • 07-25-18

a really interesting read even for a non athlete

I really enjoyed listening to this book. There was a lot of science mixed in with stories of athletes and endurance giants. It was inspiring and has made me think about physical and mental endurance in a new way.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-19-18

A terrific book for the sports science geek.

A terrific book for the sports science geek. Meticulously researched, objective and very well written.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-05-18

Well-researched and captivating.

A well-researched and captivating read for anyone interested in the 'limits' of human performance, particularly from a runner's perspective.

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  • Mr S P Sankey
  • 03-22-18

Highly recommended

Great insight into the background of athletic performance and some of those athletes and researchers helping to develop the understanding.

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  • ACB
  • 03-16-18

Fascinating and varied well worth a listen

Good narration, broad topic area, nice navigation of subjects through narrative. Most enjoyable audible title in a while

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  • Naomi
  • 09-02-18

Fantastic book for any endurance nerd!

Even if you've read lots on this topic, there's more to take away from Endure