• Running the Dream

  • One Summer Living, Training, and Racing with a Team of World-Class Runners Half My Age
  • By: Matt Fitzgerald
  • Narrated by: Jamie Renell
  • Length: 7 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (377 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The best-selling author of 80/20 Running and How Bad Do You Want It? reveals his inspiring and surprising journey to see just how fast he can go.

Matt Fitzgerald has already made a name for himself in the endurance-sport community with books like 80/20 Running, How Bad Do You Want It?, and Iron War. He is an accomplished amateur runner, but if he follows the training, nutrition, and lifestyle of an elite runner, just how fast could he go?

He is approaching his mid-40s, so the time to do this is now. He at last has the financial means to do nothing but train. He accepts the goodwill of a friend who will let him crash at his apartment in the running mecca of Flagstaff, Arizona, and convinces the coach of Northern Arizona Elite, one of the country's premier professional running teams, to let him train with a roster of national champions and Olympic hopefuls for an entire summer leading in to the Chicago Marathon. The results were astounding....

Filled with a vibrant cast of characters, rigorous and gut-wrenching training, Matt’s knowledgeable yet self-deprecating voice allows us to vicariously live out our own fantasies of having the opportunity to go all the way. Yet for the runners Matt trains with, it’s no mere fantasy, but a calling, and their individual stories enrich this inspiring narrative. Running the Dream is a chance for us all to experience a bit of this rarified and wild world and to take away pieces of this amazing journey to try to achieve our own potential.

©2020 Matt Fitzgerald (P)2020 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Running the Dream

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    4 out of 5 stars

Loved until he was petty and cruel to Kellyn T.

As a 46 year old who's been spending the last two years being a full-time pretend pro athlete in another discipline who took up running to cross train, it's like this book was written just for me. The author has the running chops to hang just enough with the pros to really experience their routines, so there's loads of nitty gritty training stuff if you like to geek out on that as I do, but not so much of it that it becomes a "how-to" instead of a narrative about his experience.

My own experiment and heightened awareness of athletes of a certain age makes me believe that for many of us, it's the time invested, belief in ourselves, and commitment to the process that falls away moreso than an absolute capacity to improve and perform well as we age. One of my favorite parts of the book was the conversation around this topic with the non-pro woman and Matt during the retirement chapter at the conclusion of the author's journey. There's also a line from Steph Bruce that's repeated a couple of times (paraphrased) to "not let anyone trivialize your pursuit of running" that was a lovely touchstone to take away from this book for anyone who struggles to justify their passions to those who think sport for all but a few should be "just for fun."

I wished that he had dug into a more frank appraisal of the demands on the real pros for keeping a perky, inspirational, Instagram-worthy face...the reality that they make more from selling their image than from prize money. He made a statement to the effect that they got to nap in the afternoon while he had another job to do, but he left the pros' (and Team NAZ Elite's) "other job" maintaining endorsements largely unexplored. Of course, every second that they took away from focusing on their own training to help a famous writer in his pretend pro pursuit was time they spend doing this job of building their public image.

Kellyn Taylor is unusual among the pro runners in than rather than trading on her public image, she has been pursuing a regular job and raising and fostering a whole posse of kids. The author does mention her work, but with so much positive that could be said, he almost always brought up her bona fides in some backhanded way...referencing her newly minted paramedic skills; making sure you, dear reader, know it took her two tries to pass her firefighter test. It seemed to me that unlike her team and many teammates, it was not in her business model to fluff the ego of the pretend pro with a powerful pen, and he decided to punish her for it with a series of petty swipes at her personality every time she entered the scene of his book. Maybe he thought his story needed a bad guy? It didn't.

18 people found this helpful

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Be prepared to be motivated

This is the first book by Matt that I have read/listened to and it only made me pick up a couple more of his. The narration of it was great and I would certainly listen to other books by Jamie Renell.

The story telling was simply wonderful. As a mid-pack runner, I could not relate at all to running with elites or fathom what it is like. However, Matt told the story in a way that I could see myself there. Running a 6:05 mile for 26 miles has never been something I even thought about, but his story had me in his shoes pushing my pace for those few extra seconds per mile and having the run of my life on Lake Mary Road.

5 people found this helpful

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Captivating for anyone, inspiring for aging runners!

As a 46 year old runner who’s training for an ultra marathon now…. Recovering from a major patellar tendon surgery just over a year ago I’ve become acutely aware of how age creates both physical and mental barriers in our way. This book grabbed my curiosity and interest immediately as “Fitz” pursued his dream goal at 46. Having chapters as a “days left until Chicago” countdown was brilliant and I found myself hoping, fearing, worrying, dreaming, anticipating and resetting my mindset right along with the author. Great read! Loved it! I want to chat with Matt and didn’t want the book to end. Get it, read it, share it with others even if they don’t run. It’ll shake something loose from the dusty corners of years gone by and past dreams for anyone with a thirst for achieving a worthy goal. Thanks Matt for taking me on your adventure rather than keeping it all to yourself.

2 people found this helpful

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Well written - engaging

Well written and engaging. I am not a runner but enjoy other activities for exercise, but this kept me engaged. The dialogue, behind the scenes, and the emotion when something happens to possibly hinder your goals.

All of the cursings wasn't needed.

1 person found this helpful

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Very inspirational

First, I will say that I am not a runner. I am in decent shape, and I am trying to lose a few pounds. I do jog regularly but could never win a race. Having said that, I will say that this book definitely inspired me to work a little harder and to be the best that I personally can be. On second thought, after reading this book, I realize that if put my mind to it, maybe I will win a 5K or 10K someday.

1 person found this helpful

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Running the dream

Great story of an amateur runner who gets chance to train like a professional

1 person found this helpful

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Inspirational, educational and fun

I recommend this book to all runners whether casual, weekend warriors, competitive and professional. It explores the intricacies of elite running in a way that is simultaneously incredibly educational and entertaining. As usual, Matt uses his humor to brighten the serious topics but without derailing the impact. It’s an incredibly inspiring story that makes me excited to chase after my “A goal,” confident that if I truly feel it’s important to me, I can achieve it.

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  • DM
  • 07-06-22

Highly recommended

This is another great book by Matt. A high-quality guide for all runners to implement elite runners techniques to improve our running outcome. By providing trips in training, nutrition, and lifestyle and accommodate those in your routine, the results could positive impact your next race.

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Loved it!

If you love running, you'll love this story. I loved peeking into the life of an elite runner.

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Inspiring

Another classic by Matt. The story keeps moving and will make you want to set some new goals.

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  • Steve, Uk
  • 12-02-20

Great story and desire to succeed

When I first heard Janie Jamie Renell read this I wasn't sure at all but after a while I grew to really like his story telling and I think he's done a cracking job, to a degree his voice is better than Matt's and whilst listening to this Jamie has become Matt's voice to me.

it's not all about running either I think anyone could find something to reflect in this book. a poignant moment for me was in reference to Matt's Mom having Alzheimer's and his coach telling him to reflect on the film 50 First Dates, my Mum and Dad both have dementia and wow this hit deep and what was a typical sad love story actually can make you see the world in a different way especially in my Dad's eyes instead of me explaining things over again and reminding him of Mums passing make everyday special for him, wow hit me hard!

But as a runner myself I'm finding Matt's journey and books very inspiring! I'm set to race this week and was holding myself back a little but I'm now thinking this is what I'm in it for and I've done all the training so why not set myself a goal!

Anyways good book 🙂

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-13-22

Best book on running I've listened to in some time

I thoroughly enjoyed this title. A well narrated and compelling book.

As a runner I found it had the perfect balance of technical detail and background story.

I was sad to finish this book.

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  • Big Dude
  • 03-23-22

Loved it a real insight into the life of a runner.

Loved it a real insight into the life of a runner. I've now dusted the cobwebs of my trainers.

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  • EarlyBhoy
  • 03-15-22

inspired

makes me believe in the possible, I'm going to return to this book when it's my time

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-31-22

If you’re a runner you’ll enjoy this

For who is at least semi serious about running this will be a good listen. Useful info but also a good story.

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  • Seboto
  • 11-25-21

The book is interesting and good narration

Got a couple of his books and this one was quite an insight into the professional training regime. You do get to see that it's not all rosy. It does drag a bit at times but didn't bother me as I was listening whilst running.
Thoroughly enjoyed it and the narration is very good.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-16-21

Such a fabulous book

Really enjoyed, what an amazing experience. Would definitely recommend you to listen to this audible book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Richard Barnes
  • 09-01-21

Inspirational

Loved reading about what it takes to train as an elite runner and Matt's journey

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  • Lady Aga
  • 08-22-21

Engrossing, Inspiring, Fascinating

Fabulous from start to finish. Well written, self deprecating and often very amusing. The narrator did a wonderful job of reading this with real feeling, great timing and intonation given in just the right places every single time.

I listened to this every morning on my run which subsequently made me put more effort into my running and my distance. I am really sad to have finished this book as I loved Matt's writing style and the fascinating insight he gives to training and living with the elites. I was genuinely interested to hear what he had to say next in his days of countdown to his race in the Chicago marathon, but, good news I have downloaded another of his books to start tomorrow morning when the dog and I hit the trails here in Scotland. If you are a runner you will really enjoy this book and, I would predict, find great inspiration for your own running. Matt was pushing himself as an older runner of 46 to see what he could achieve. As an older runner of 64 this really fired me up to see what I can achieve. A truly great listen, loved every minute.

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  • DesignerDecor
  • 03-15-21

Great insight into the pro running scene

I loved it so much that I listen twice in a week and will listen again 😀

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-25-22

Excellent book for runners who dream

Truely excellent book on living your dream as a runner. Very strong narration as well by Jamie that captures Matt and the book.

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  • daniel
  • 06-16-22

Enjoyable Runners Story

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. A good listen for an avid runner/running geek or a fan of Matt as an author more generally

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