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By the time it was published, I had been waiting to read Eat and Run for about 4 years. To be fair, Scott Jurek hadn't written it at that point. I don't even know if he'd thought about writing his life story then. Scott was featured in the bestseller, Born to Run by Chris McDougall, and I was exceptionally proud that one of the best ultramarathoners in the world was vegan.
I remember going to Scott's website (scottjurek.com) specifically to find his book, and being disappointed that it wasn't easier to find out what he was eating. Many people submit questions to our site asking about how to be a vegan athlete, and I wanted to share his success with them.
Well, it's been worth the wait. Eat and Run covers the story of Scott's life, from when he was a young child with parents who worked very hard to make ends meet to his success as an adult ultramarathoner.
Scott says that one of the most common questions he gets asked is, "why?" Why run a hundred miles at a time? I would imagine the next question is often, "how?" How can you run without your body breaking down, or without going insane?
Eat and Run strives to explain why Scott runs so much, and it seems to be a mixture of intense drive and the amazing calm he feels in the moment. It's that yin and yang that drives him.
And, of course, the vegan part is cool. He started out like most of us, eating meat and dairy products. He did have the benefit of seeing vegetables grow out of the ground and being taught how to cook at a young age. But, he says he mostly ate meat and potatoes, with the occasional vegetable, and plenty of baked goods.
As a competitive skier in high school, he was exposed to a few influential people who taught him about the benefits of a vegetarian diet, but he didn't want to stick out among his friends and he truly enjoyed eating meat, so he ate vegetarian sporadically. When he became a competitive runner, he learned to push himself mentally in long races and found that his natural ability to keep going against all odds helped him the run well. But, he didn't start really winning races until he stopped eating the foods that weighed him down (meat, fish, and dairy), and ate more of the foods that energized him- plant foods.
As you read Eat and Run, you learn more about the foods he realized he felt better with, and he gives tips on special foods that gave him even more energy. When I first read about Scott in Born to Run, I also first learned about chia seeds, a food that Scott also talks about in his book. He also includes a vegan recipe at the end of each chapter. I've made a few, and I find them simple and delicious.
For people looking for specific tips on how to run, you will find them in the book, but I'd imagine you might want more from Scott. He does include interesting tidbits of information and advice on how to increase your running skills, but his main message is that in order to learn to run better, you just have to put one foot in front of the other and do it; just run. He is a physical trainer and I'd imagine working with him would expose you to much more information on running posture and eating habits.