Finding Ultra – a book review

Finding Ultra by Rich Roll is an inspiring read written by a phenomenal ultra endurance athlete.

Rich Roll was about to turn 40. He could barely make it up one flight of stairs.

As a previous collegiate swimmer who battled extreme alcoholism, Roll uses his courage and persistence to completely revamp his lifestyle for a second time.

Roll wants to change his life, and he does. He looks to his wife for guidance and overhauls his diet. Then comes the endurance.

Roll is driven, still maintaining his law firm and family life, when he decides to trains for an Ultraman competition (a 320-mile swim, bike, and run).

He eats a plant-based diet and promotes finding protein from other sources than animal products.

My favourite part of the book was when he and Jason Lester undertake the EPIC5 challenge of five iron-distance triathlons in five days, on five Hawaiian islands. I couldn’t put the book down during this part!

This book is powerful. It’s a moving memoir that should inspire both athletes and people who are looking to change their lifestyle. Although most people will never achieve what Roll has, it is a stunning example that we do have to power to change our lives.

If you are vegan or contemplating it, it’s also a good read to see how his body runs off plant-based fuel.

He has inspired many, being named one of Men’s Fitness magazines top 25 fittest guys in the world in 2009. CNN has highlighted him on more than one occasion. His last appearance was on CNN Fit Nation with Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Chrissie Wellington!

I highly recommend this book to anyone, but especially to endurance athletes.

Would you consider an Ultraman? Veganism or vegetarianism?

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36 responses to “Finding Ultra – a book review

  1. fortheloveoflifeandrunning

    If you haven’t, read Jason Lester’s “Running on Faith” – its ridiculously good

  2. Oh my, that sounds insane. Have you read Jurek’s Eat & Run? He’s all about veganism as well. I’m not sure I could ever live without meat. Could you?

    • I haven’t read it yet, but I keep meaning to buy it. Thanks for the reminder!
      My husband is vegan, and I rarely eat meat. (Usually only at Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving.) So, I could go meatless but not chocolate-less!

      • I think my husband would file for divorce if I suggested a meat and dairy free existence! 😉 Us doing one or two veggie days a week is already a huge improvement!

  3. In short, no thank you to the ultra or plant based lifestyle. But more power to em:)

    I don’t have the dedication. Elite athletes, like yourself, are in a class of their own.

    You need to check out James Cracknell – Discovery just did a bio show on him. AMAZING story.

    • Thank you, but definitely not an elite! Those guys are completely in a class of their own!
      Thanks for the tip. I just read his bio- insane! I’m going to have to look for more info on him.

  4. Wow! I love the message that you can change your life no matter what age you are. I think that’s something people often forget.

  5. I loved Rich’s candor in the book. The Epic5 was also my favorite part because he wasn’t afraid to tell us how bad it got and that he wanted to give up at times.

    I’m already vegan, but I doubt I’ll ever do an Ultraman.

  6. What an amazing story he has! Five IMs in five days? Wow. Very cool sounding book.

  7. Wow – I wouldn’t even consider an ultra, though I have soooooo much respect for those who do.

  8. That sounds so inspirational! I might have to get that book! I would consider veganism….but I don’t think I’ll ever give up meat (would happily give up dairy though)

  9. Sounds like a great read. I am just getting back into running so I will try the more extreme techniques vicariously through Rich Roll and friends. Thanks.

  10. wow, thanks for sharing that book, hadn’t had that one on my radar. i LUV LUV LUV running, but i dunno if i could do the ultra thing. as for foodage, i could almost do vegetarianism, i already an not a huge meat person, but never vegan….lol.

  11. Some days I think I could be a pescatarian (I’m not sure I could give up seafood) but vegan would be super tough!

  12. Great book and I just started reading it the other night. Can’t say at this point that I would ever go vegan but so far he sure makes a compelling case with a great life story to go with it.

  13. Thanks for the review on this book. I am constantly looking for a good and inspiring read. I’m going to look into this!

    I was curious about vegetarianism earlier this year and tried it out for a little while. I’m not sure if I could stick with it though. I did used to have a meat-rich diet when I was much younger. I’ve cut down a heck of a lot and definitely noticed that my energy increased so much and the feelings of sluggishness decreased! That’s my personal experience with it though!

  14. I was a vegetarian for about 5 years, and then stopped when I found it too difficult to maintain living in a university residence during my freshman year. I’m contemplating going back though, but I’m not sure… really can’t decide haha.

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