When I first heard about Scott Jurek’s new book called Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness a few months ago, I immediately jumped online and pre-ordered my copy. Scott is an ultramarathon legend, who happens to be vegan, and the subject of food as it relates to running is a big passion of mine. So one mention of the title of the book and I knew I had to read it. The book finally arrived about two weeks ago (release date was June 5th) and I devoured it in about a week. It was a quick read with a lot of great stories and insights from Scott himself.
The book is essentially a story of his life until present. Scott talks about how he came into running, how he transitioned to ultrarunning, and how his transition from a meat-and-potatoes diet to vegetarianism to veganism ultimately transformed his running. After the chapters on Scott’s early life, each chapter of the book is devoted to some of the ultramarathons he has run (including the Copper Canyon ultra that was chronicled in Born to Run). Sprinkled throughout are stories about how his diet changed his running performance, helped him recover faster, and just feel better overall. At the end of every chapter is also a recipe. Most of them sound quite good and I plan on trying many of them.
What I love most about this book is that Scott doesn’t push veganism on the reader. He talks about how it helped him personally, but it’s not something that he preaches about or tries to convince the reader that they need to do. At the end of the book he even mentions that veganism is what works for him, but maybe a different diet has the same beneficial effects on someone else. Diet can be a very personal and individual thing and everyone has different needs.
I also love how Scott didn’t listen to everyone who told him that runners cannot and should not live a vegan (or even vegetarian) lifestyle because they need the protein and iron that comes from eating meat, poultry, and fish. Scott was very smart about making the transition from a meat-and-potatoes diet to veganism, he did his research, and he was (and is) very cautious about the nutrients he needs and gets and he makes it work. If you do it the right way, there is absolutely nothing wrong with combining running and veganism. And he proves that.
I really liked this book and would definitely recommend it to anyone who has a passion for running and eating. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever met a runner who isn’t also passionate about food.