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The Ultra Mindset: An Endurance Champion's 8 Core Principles for Success in Business, Sports, and Life
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The Ultra Mindset: An Endurance Champion's 8 Core Principles for Success in Business, Sports, and Life

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  719 ratings  ·  72 reviews
Travis Macy summited glacial peaks in the French Alps, rappelled into vast limestone caves in China, and ran through parched deserts in Utah. Most famously, he won one of the country's marquee ultra-distance events: Leadman, a high-altitude series of super-long-distance races, culminating with a 100-mile mountain biking race and a 100-mile trail run. Macy accomplished it w ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 14th 2015 by Da Capo Lifelong Books (first published January 1st 2015)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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Tammam Aloudat
This is a good book, or an OK book. I would have given it a 3.5 if I could.

The reason it is not a great book is that it is a little lost between trying to help people who aspire to run ultra distances and everyone else. What Trevor Macy is trying to do is admirable and his book is more connected and readable than many of the books written by athletes. Maybe because he is also an English teacher. But the difficulty is that it doesn't quite serve any of the two purposes as it should.

As someone w
Nate Dern
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book! Enjoyable and useful. The Ultra Mindsets that Macy describes are useful for endurance athletes, but also useful for anyone looking to maximize their personal potential.
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I listened to this as an audiobook, but will be purchasing the hardcopy to re-read (and take notes).
Paul Deveaux
Jan 14, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a good book but not a great one. Macy spends a good bit of time on race memoirs to illustrate each of the aspects of the ultra mindset that he is attempting to communicate. Many times the anecdotes did not fit nicely into the principle being explained and it felt forced. That said when Macy got it right he did it very well. The exercises at the end of each chapter are extremely valuable and will be useful for a long time. There are far better books on the mental aspect of endurance sport ...more
Jun 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
I recommend just listening to the URP podcast about the book instead of reading it. Gasp, I know. In the podcast the author is more likable.

There weren't any big novel ideas in the book, it didn't pull from ultrarunning science as much as I thought it would / would have liked given the title, and I felt that the author's personal story sections got insufferable. I was looking more for an educational / self help style book than the "I'm awesome" autobiography that this is.

Maybe when I go ba
Chad Sayban
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Not just one of the best running books or motivational books I've read, on of the best books, period! Must read. ...more
Dmitry Khvatov
Dec 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: sport
Good read.
Feb 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off, though I'm a runner, I'm far from an ultra runner, but every year I go farther than I thought I could go the previous year.

I really wanted to love and be inspired by this book. I was only a little inspired.

I did enjoy the racing stories, especially the one about Travis' dad. It had compassion and drama and I thought, "Man! This is going to be a great book!"

I also loved the story near the end where Travis was competing in the same race that watched his dad suffer through as a kid.

Mar 09, 2019 rated it liked it
An opening chapter of this book throws us directly into a race, where Travis Macy is battling in a second place behind frenchman Francois d'Haene in an ultra race in French Alps called Ice Trail Tarentaise. Even though I've never heard of Travis as an athlete before, this introduction gives a lot of credibility to this book for everyone interested in ultra endurance events.

Travis shares with us his coping mechanisms, so if you are curious to know what goes in the mind of endurance athlete durin
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great book for athletes and anyone who is looking to up their mental game. Macy presents a series of tactics, a chapter for each, with some exercises at the end of the chapter to help get you thinking about how it might work for you and in what situations and to help you set goals. I found them all really useful and have even used a few successfully in bike races and hard workouts since finishing the book. Macy sets up each tactic with a personal story of his own from his many adventure races. ...more
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is one of those running books that applies to your running and all other aspects of your life. The stories that Travis shares, along with the core principles will change how you tackle the "impossible." There is also a good chance you will want to tackle one of those races that Travis mentions haha, I know I did :) ...more
Kris Lodwig
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’m training for a 50 mile ultra, this dude does adventure races that are so way beyond what I want to do. BUT, his core principles for success can be used in many areas of life. Very inspirational and educational.
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book! Not normally the type I read, but absolutely a page-turner!
Urgh. Way too much testosterone for me; I cannot abide all this alpha male posturing. It is quite possible to talk about your own outstanding achievements without turning it into a bragfest - just look at Scott Jurek. Or Charlie Engels. Or Catra Corbett. Or Adharanand Finn. Or - but you get my meaning.
Андрій Тихан
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
1. It’s all good mental training
Embrace the difficult times in running and in life, appreciating that
they're growth and learning opportunities.
2. Be a wanna-be
Find people you can admire and use their success as a motivator
for your own growth; if they can do it, so can you!
3. Find your carrot
Spend time delving into your own desires and motivations, every
day if possible, so that you build a deep understanding of why you
do what you do.
4. Have an ego and use it, until it’s time to put your ego aside
May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Traversing a boundary somewhere between self-help and high-adventure writing, Macy has written a stellar book in The Ultra Mindset. Compelling narratives provide a rare degree of insight to the world of ultra-running and adventure racing, highlighting internal and external challenges and extracting key lessons gleaned from adversity. By enumerating the items in the successful toolkit--both those found and those that Macy himself found lacking from time to time--the book manages to approach a car ...more
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
A year or two ago I truly enjoyed reading Born to run and three or more other books related to endurance tests, ultra distances and similar challenging races. What I enjoyed at the time was reading more about how hard and gruesome those tests could be and specifically how they eventually overcame them. This book is more about life lessons and self help rather than the competitions and the author’s journey through them, he spends significant time describing his principles and as valuable as they ...more
Sep 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ultra Mindset is loaded with mental strategies and explicit exercises designed by seasoned endurance athlete, Travis Macy, to provide others with mental tools that are helpful in breaking through those self-imposed barriers. As an ultra runner myself, I did find some useful tricks here, especially in the realm of utilizing multiple motivational strategies optimally, during a race, at specific periods.
Psychology is a fascinating to me, and to fulfill my satisfaction, Macy could have gone much fu
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this book not necessarily for the writing quality but for the content itself. I listened to this as I am getting ready to run my second marathon next week and have begun to think about dabbling into Ultras. I am an English teacher that considered going into the path of principalship and decided that it wasn’t for me. It was incredible to hear Macey had the same path. While he is a competitive Ultra runner (and I know I will never be at his level), the book did make me truly th ...more
Scott Stewart
Jun 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Thanks to the author and publisher for providing this ARC through NetGalley for an honest review.

Macy takes all that he has learned from the world of ultra running and adventure racing and applied it to success in all areas of life. This is not a book specifically about ultra running, so don't get confused. It is a self help book using the endurance athlete mindset to be successful in life. Macy does a good job with that, and his level of sharing and openness was refreshing as you learn about th
Wilfredo Malazarte
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Book that tries to be both biography and self help at the same time. The biographic parts serve as examples to illustrate his self help principles for developing grit, willpower, and resilience. I tried putting some of the author's ideas to use during an endurance event and they worked fairly well. Being an aspiring ultraendurance/extreme sports athlete myself, I thoroughly enjoyed this books.

Must read for obstacle course racers/adventure racers/triathletes, but casual/nonathletes will also find
Geoff P Brierley
Aug 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
At first I wasn't exactly sure if I'd find anything new in The Ultra Mindset.

I think the key point here is that whilst the ideas within might not be new, the key to success with writing such as this, is that it gets us to think in new (and personally applicable ways) about what we're reading.

And it is that, that Travis Macy has successfully done. This book is a good introduction too for those considering getting into the word of Ultra marathons, as it gives a good feel for what it is to compet
UMass Dad in SLC
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed how the author blended his stories with success at Ultras with common sense advice on how the rest of us average folk can achieve our own goals. With these these kinds of books you never know if they are just going to be self-promoting crap about how great they are. I didn't think the author did any of that. I liked the stories he told about his races, including the ones he made costly mistakes in. It definitely baffles the brain how athletes like him can go for a hundred miles ...more
Algirdas Purkenas
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible
Good read, good points on how to improve when you start struggling on your long distance training. Problem is that Travis is such a hardcore ultra athlete, that your own suffering even when training for short distance might seem too small to complain and this is slightly demotivating. I mean it is painful to run for 3 hours + and Travis throughout the book is telling the stories how he ran, swam, cycled and paddled hundreds and hundreds of hours and miles. Overall I am satisfied with the book :)
Matt Leiv
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
A solid book about ultra running and life. The author talks about a range of adventure sports and isn't limited to running which is a nice change of pace. There are a lot of pointers about both running, and life, in which you just keep going. The stories were well told but, not next level material. The feats themselves were incredible but a little more detail would have helped readers connect better. Regardless, if you've gone through some ultra books and looking for another, this is a solid opt ...more
May 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
It will be impossible for me to write a completely objective review of this book, as the author is a former colleague. I really enjoyed reading about his adventures as an ultra adventure athlete. While I typically don't gravitate toward the "self help" genre, those aspects of the book weren't too hokey - in fact, they were quite helpful for some of the internal conversations I've been having lately. ...more
Neil Gaudet
Sep 08, 2015 rated it liked it
I had one big takeaway from this book and that is all I could ask for. It was focusing on the "what or the why" of training or anything in life. In general I found the book rather tedious to be honest but there were moments I was very interested. It was kind of hit and miss. The efforts at relating endurance sports to life and work sometimes worked and others didn't. Definitely a book aimed at the entrepreneurial person that loves endurance sport. ...more
James Prosenjak
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the content, and Travis obviously has plenty of experiences that have helped him shape and utilize his strategies. I enjoyed the tables, practical examples, and "back stage passes" to the races of which he was part.

It was a little preachy, and I felt that the "everyday" life examples of a non-athletic person using these skills a bit far-fetched. Almost all examples were of races, apart from Travis' personal examples at the end of each section.
I found this book to be very useful as I prepared for my first ultra marathon (50 miles of trails). Though the book is about much more than ultra running - it is about using your mind to achieve your goals - getting out of your comfort zone and looking at all of our experiences as a form of mental training.
"There are no bad experiences."
Highly recommend this book.
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked this a lot -- kind of a cross between an extreme adventure story and a self-help book. My only criticism (not the book's fault) was that I listened to the audio book so now I need to go back and re-listen to the ends of each chapter to review the principles. Engaging listen and I learned way more about adventure endurance sports events than I ever thought I would. ...more
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“When you feel bad, try to hold on. When you feel good, it's time to push.” 1 likes
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