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Endure: Mind, Body and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance

Narrated by: Robert G. Slade
Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (38 ratings)

Non-member price: $24.26

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Publisher's 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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Well researched

Finds a good balance between anecdotes and scientific research. Author also points out potential biases and pitfalls of prior research. Uses good research to back up points made, but often doesn't manage to tie that research back into the narrative - instead leaving a 'cliffhanger' after describing a piece of research.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic!

As a runner and coach, I found this book incredibly insightful. Sad when it was finished. I will be buying the hard copy because there is so much to unpack. Brilliant!

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    4 out of 5 stars

Maybe a good read but not a great listen.

The narrator let this book down with constant mispronunciations of names and places, like Eliud Kipchoge.. aka the most famous & accomplished marathoner of our time. Five seconds research.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • max
  • 09-09-2018

Storytelling meets science. A great book.

Endure was a very enjoyable way to absorb what would otherwise be very dense content. Alex Hutchinson’s skill to intertwine story telling with science if very engaging.

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good non biased opinion of human performance

shows a good knowledge of past and furture endeavors of the human body and what the mind is capable of when it is influenced by internal and external changes

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Great listening.

I loved it, will be listening again to pick up the bits I missed. So much interesting information.

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  • gudrun
  • 16-04-2019

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!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-03-2018

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • PCurran
  • 21-01-2019

academic book

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • LC
  • 01-07-2019

Exploring the brain and body contributors to physical endurance

An interesting review of what we know so far about the factors contributing to human physical performance, and what we still don’t know.
I found it interesting how much training, pushing and deceiving the brain contributes to results.

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  • Nick Elliott
  • 12-06-2019

Wow. Informative and interesting.

Sometimes got lost in the weeds of the detail, but the details proves such depth of understanding and research by the author. really well written, great stories intertwined and perfect in audible. I found myself quoting theories and facts in so many conversations I have!! so applicable and interesting if you have even the slightest interest in sport and/or one's body.

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  • Will Arnold
  • 09-06-2019

Thought provoking

Fantastic book and extremely well written. Great read and couldn't put it down. The author showed a huge understand and fully researched the subject. recommended.

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  • Tamas Lorincz
  • 29-05-2019

Brilliant

Not much of a runner ... not much of a non-fiction listener but this book grasped my attention and make me want to stay along the journey.
Exquisitely well written with an impressive array of personal experience, research and knowledge about the history and current state of knowledge about endurance, this book is a treasure trove of further investigation opportunities.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 30-04-2019

Fantastic Read

Loved this book. A very informative look at endurance sports, and the research to help with performance.

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  • AS
  • 14-04-2019

Going to listen again - packed with info!!

Lots of info from all different angles. Excellent for those with a keen eye on pushing limits and the realities of what works, what may work and what doesn't.

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  • JonD
  • 12-03-2019

excellent listen

easy to listen to, very informative, useful from a performance perspective and just a good book!

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  • Oli
  • 11-03-2019

The Brain Body Connection behind extreme endurance

This is a compelling account of how people can push themselves to the limits...it gives great accounts of fascinating research in areas of endurance such as diet, hydration and muscle development but ultimately it os the brain body connection that always wins...Includes a brilliant account of the attempt to break the 2 hour marathon.