David’s #21 – Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons by Bryon Powell

A few months ago I thought it would be a good idea to run an ultramarathon without training and with very little research on how to handle the various forms of pain that come with running more than 26 miles…on trails…at 7000 feet.  I definitely do not regret the decision but I learned several things the hard way, typical.

I wish that I had checked out this book beforehand.  I had done several long distance events prior to that race but long distance trail running is a different beast.  Powell does a great job of outlining how to make the transition much less painful.  He makes it easy for everyone, from the non-runner to the elite road marathoner, to go the distance.  He covers all the pertinent topics, the basics of running on trails, choosing suitable courses, hydration and nutrition, gear, injuries, foot care, and even how to handle unique environmental factors.  He explains the ins and outs of preparing for a variety of event lengths and provides training plans for different distances and skill levels.

Powell is a talented writer and uses clear, simple, and humorous style.  He includes a little bit of science but not an overwhelming amount.  He not only speaks from his own perspective, the book is also filled with articles and anecdotes on a variety of subjects from accomplished ultramarathoners.  This instructional and inspirational book is a great tool for those looking to enter the amazing community of trail and ultra running.

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