I am Alex Bridgeforth. A 1st Lieutenant in the United States Army. I am addicted to running. I share running in my world; shoe, nutrition, training, and book reviews are just the beginning. Enter your email to keep up. It's free.


Parents, as an inspiration. - Got to Live [Book Review]


Recently I read, Got to Live (923 Days to Remember), by Jay Danek (@mcdowelmtnman). Such a simple story, yet so profound on how he joined the ultra-running scene. It started it with deciding to run four miles 923 days in a row to memorialize the day that his dad passed, September 23, 2008. It really spoke to me because I have a similar relationship with my dad, as Jay did with his dad. He loved hanging out with his dad, playing baseball, heck he even enjoyed the drive across the country from Michigan to Arizona with his dad.

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Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald [Book Review]

imageRacing Weight is an in depth look at how endurance athletes should eat and what they should weight to have the best performance possible. It’s a book that pulls from much of Matt Fitzgerald’s history as a coach and adviser to many top athletes still competing around the world. It starts with what the elites do and how they maintain such a high performance level and goes all the way through several body-weight strength exercises endurance athletes should be doing for cross-training.

Racing Weight was written by Matt Fitzgerald (@mattfitwriter) and was published in 2012 by VeloPress. The book is a nonfiction read about how to reach your most efficient racing weight. The theme is how to maintain a high quality diet that helps you reach your full potential as an endurance athlete and is maintained throughout.

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The Running Life by Donald Buraglio and Michael Dove [Book Review]

imageThe Running Life s a simple, yet fragmented read. It’s a book that pulls from their bi-monthly running column in the Monterey County Herald. It spans from serious run stories, like Don’s running of the Western States 100, to light hearted jokes where they suggest what not do on a run. It is written in small stories and some catch you but others leave you wondering, why even write that. The Running Life was written by Donald Buraglio and Michael Dove and was published by iUniverse. 

It is a nonfiction book, written one-hundred percent in newspaper writing style. 

The theme of the book is just what the title states,The Running Life, it covers a range of topics but each one is related to a runner. They do a good job of splitting of the topics and categorizing so you don’t jump around too much. 

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Eat and Run by @scottjurek [Book Review]

Eat and Run is a great read. It’s Scott Jurek’s recollection of many different running stories from his beginnings, through Western States (WS100) and Badwater. Also, the book covers his diet from the beginning as well. It includes many of his favorite Vegan recipes (many of which I have tried). Eat and Run was written by Scott Jurek and was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcour Publishing Company. 

It is a nonfiction book, written almost like an autobiography, but it feels more like a novel as you go through the stories of an epic ultrarunner’s life. 

Comment: Would you ever consider an Ultra?

The theme of the book seems to be inspiration. He tells of the lowly times of his family in Minnesota and how a boy could come from such a broken situation and make such a great name for himself. At times you feel so caught up that you can feel the wind off the California Mountains at WS100 and even taste some of the interesting trail food that he chooses to eat.

Scott sets a pretty good background to his story with the setting of his rough childhood in Minnesota. 

He takes you from childhood, to being the first non-Californian to win WS100.

[On his first WS100 win] I didn’t nee any extra motivation. The last 10 miles we [Scott and Ian Torrance (his pacer)] ran at an 8:30 pace. The people watching — the Californians, the fans who knew what “real” mountain racing was all about — weren’t saying anything, they were just looking.

He draws you into every story and opens up about how it feels to have met all your goals. Scott does a great job of showing the ups and downs of a professional Ultrarunner’s life.

I loved the book. I kept reading the stories about WS100 and thinking, “that could, not that should be me.” His recipes sound delicious and he uses the stories to bring up the different recipes at the end of each chapter.

The main issue the book brings up is Veganism. It’s not really in your face, but its there throughout and he refers many times to how it helps him recover faster and the fact that he is sick less. He mentions thoughts that he had while racing, like; is it going to hinder or help him.

I’ve research veganism or a plant-based diet a bit now. Also, I’ve been vegan for three months now. It’s still one of those things for me that I haven’t seen it help nor hinder my training or life. I love trying new things so I’ve gave it a go. 

The book affected me by encouraging my thoughts and goals on wanting to do an ultra. It gave me the sense that I know with the training that I’m putting my body through, that I will not fail. My opinions of ultrarunning didn’t change much, I had already decided that I want to do a 100 mile race in the future. The book just helped back that goal up.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone that loves running and loves a good story. Scott does a great job portraying all the different emotions and life changes that he’s gone through.

Comment: Would you ever consider an Ultra?

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Comment: What happens to you when you don’t run?

Also, if you have any questions about running, supplements or training please ask away.

Run Less, Run Faster [Book Review] by Bill Pierce, Scott Murr, and Ray Moss

Run Less, Run Faster, become a faster, stronger runner with the revolutionary FIRST training program was written by Bill Pierce, Scott Murr, and Ray Moss. It was was published By Rodale and Runner’s World. Flat out, this is a book about running. It does contain training plans and lots of numbers, but it doesn’t include a interesting and revealing narrative to how the authors discovered the “revolutionary” FIRST training plan.

It is a nonfiction, written to sell or persuade the reader that you need to only run three days a week to become faster and better at running a 5k all the way up to a marathon and farther. The authors tell their background pretty well in the first few chapters. They were all training partners that would burn each other out and when one tried something and it worked they all had to either prove him right or wrong. The main issue they like to cite is over training/injury. Running is addicting (yes, that is the title of my blog)!

Comment: What has been your favorite training program?

As runners, we tend to get out and run quite a bit. For some of us running 100+ miles a weeks is feasible (I don’t know how yet.). Others, get injured putting such high mileage. In a nutshell the FIRST training plan has you run three times a week and cross train (Generally cycling or swimming) twice a week. The evidence lies within all the scientific studies the authors have done.

The book is filled with examples of runners signing up to be test subjects and coming out with PR after PR.

Our first finisher was under three hours, ninth place overall, and more than 24 minutes faster than his previous best marathon. We were thrilled that his success was mirrored by the other participants in our study.

They claim and show that their program not only works for elite runners (i.e. under three hour marathon finishers) but it also works for the common runner like myself. Basically they cut out “junk” miles and make sure all three runs each week are fast and worth every mile. 

The concept underlying the FIRST training regimen is that each run be performed with a goal of improving one of the primary physiological processes and running performance variables… The training programs are designed to help runners train effectively and efficiently and to avoid over training and injury.

I would like to think that my reactions we a bit abnormal to the rest of the running community. I’m pretty sure I agreed with the thesis of the book even before reading it. Over the past 6-10 months I have been doing Crossfit Endurance which stands by the rule of running three times a week supplement with crossfit and strength workouts throughout the week.

I had now finally found a “running book” back by Runner’s World magazine that said what I was doing (or similar to it) was right! I decided that I would use the FIRST plan for my fall 50K.

When I bought the book I thought it was just going to be a training plan book, filled with numbers and no story. I was extremely wrong. It was fun and exciting to follow Bill, Scott, and Ray through there discovery of a new way to train. the book draws you in to wanting to know what results or their testing are and wanting to know how the runners fared.

I agree with the authors in the fact that you can get better with running only three times a week. However, I do like that they really don’t harp on runners that like to go out more than that. They just offer an alternative plan to busy people that still want to get faster.

Well, I hope one possibility that the book offers comes true; that I do well in my first 50K instead of falling on my face like my first marathon.

One of the hard things that the authors harp on is not doing so many races. Most runners I know love doing races and would do them all the time if they could afford. The authors say that realistically if you plan on running marathons fast, you should only be running two marathons and maybe two shorter races A YEAR!!! That was hard to hear as a runner who loves doing races almost once a month, but I put my trust in the the numbers in book and I probably won’t be doing a race till September 29th.

I really haven’t read that many running training books. I know most of the Ultra Running books I have would disagree with running three days a week but so does the FIRST training plan when it comes to races 50 miles or longer. I think this is one of those, “do what works for you” kind of things.

In conclusion, I liked the book so much that I’m using it to train. I seems like a simple enough program and it really pushes your limits.

Comment: What has been your favorite training program?

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