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Summary

How high or far or fast can humans go? And what about individual potential: what defines a person's limits? From running a two-hour marathon to summiting Mount Everest, we're fascinated by the extremes of human endurance, constantly testing both our physical and psychological limits.

In Endure, Alex Hutchinson, PhD, reveals why our individual limits may be determined as much by our heads and hearts as by our muscles. He presents an overview of science's search for understanding human fatigue, from crude experiments with electricity and frogs' legs to sophisticated brain imaging technology. Going beyond the traditional mechanical view of human limits, he instead argues that a key element in endurance is how the brain responds to distress signals - whether heat or cold or muscles screaming with lactic acid - and reveals that we can train to improve brain response.

An elite distance runner himself, Hutchinson takes us to the forefront of the new sports psychology - brain electrode jolts, computer-based training, subliminal messaging - and presents startling new discoveries enhancing the performance of athletes today, showing us how anyone can utilize these tactics to bolster their own performance - and get the most out of their bodies.

©2018 Alex Hutchinson (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"This book is amazing!" (Malcolm Gladwell)
"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)
"Anyone who has ever felt exhausted, whether from heat or cold or altitude or pain or simply a loss of will, is going to find their own experience in this book." (David Epstein, author of The Sports Gene)

What listeners say about Endure: Mind, Body and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance

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An encapsulating journey of endurance

As a Sport and Exercise scholar, beginning my academic pathway further into the world of physiology and the psychology behind it, I utterly loved each chapter of this book. It was broken down into divisions of endurance exploring what can effect performance supported by history & peer reviewed science. I like the curious venture of Hutchinson and believe he highlighted some important topics. There’s definitely a dominance in the omnipresence of Noakes and his role in our understanding of performance; it-is what it is I suppose. All - On - All a great read (Listen), which reminds me to highlight that the spoken ‘performance’ was great and easy to consume.

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Great read (listen)

After recent doping allegations, this restored some of my faith in human performance. It is amazing what the human mind and body can achieve.

4 people found this helpful

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Fascinating and thought provoking

Relates to all avenues of life - not just physical exertion. A fascinating listen.

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Good Book...Learn to Pronounce People's Names

Author is great, but narrator can learn to pronounce running legends names properly. Pre-reading prep?

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academic book

A good book but not what I expected. very academically focused. hard to stay motivated.

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Good stuff

I found this very interesting and not too heavy on the science behind it all

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Superb summary of the field

Alex provides a fascinating and seriously useful summary of the various strands of scientific studies on the topic of endurance - and he weaves (for me) just the right amount of stories of feats of endurance (or conversely tragedies) to bring it all to life. Great book.

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Excellent book

Very thought provoking for any keen athlete... if you can get passed the mispronouncing of Eliot ‘kipchoog’

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Really Interesting

This book gives real insight into the difference between elite endurance athletes and ordinary folk.

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Brilliant

I learned so much from this book, brilliantly written by Alex Hutchinson, beautifully narrated by Robert G Slade :)

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  • Andrius
  • 12-09-21

Best book on endurance sports I have ever read

The book itself is full of scientific backing for all the ideas spread in it. As a medical doctor and running enthusiast myself I adore that all ideas in it are backed by firm scientific proof. Chapter by chapter it reveals the detailed insights in endurance as a whole. I really enjoyed listening to it. I did it during my runs and sometimes I wanted to run longer and longer just to listen to another chapter. Narrator was just right for this book and was reading the book just fine except for some wrong name and/or surname pronounciations.

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  • michelle
  • 11-05-20

unfortunately I've already read this book

I have read this before, it's a good read but added nothing to my knowledge of the subject.

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  • Riaan
  • 25-04-20

A very good book with lots to ponder.

Instead of offering absolute answers, the book guides and makes one curious to explore and read further, and to expand ones own thinking and hopefully performances. I thought it very good. Good production, clear and easy to listen to, but one thing I have to mention, is to check and get the pronunciation of the surnames right! So irritating, come on, it’s not that hard. Can recommend the book despite this though.

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  • gudrun
  • 16-04-19

The best overview of endurance

This was the best overview of endurance in general, very well written, fun and a clever combining of the science and real life stories. Historically and academically interesting. A must read and will be my bible on the issue. Will read again!