Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Review: Ultramarathon Man DVD

Just watched Ultramarathon Man: 50 Marathons in 50 Days. I had already listened to the audio book version of Dean Karnazes' story last year, but saw the movie on Netflix and decided to watch it.
I've been trying to soak up motivation from various sources. This has been a really harsh winter with a lot more snow than we usually get. Running for me is very much tied to loving the outdoors and warm weather. Cold weather makes me want to curl up in the fetal position under a blanket and not move unless it's to eat. :) So, I thought I could at least lay on the couch and watch someone else run a bunch of miles and maybe it'd somehow light my fire.
Well, it did and it didn't. I did want to build my endurance and I did think about how I need to put in the low miles now, even though I don't feel like it because by the time my mileage builds to something decent, it'll be warm outside and I'll want to be out there.
The movie itself was pretty entertaining. The complaints I read about this film seem to be people who were upset about how focused it was on Dean. Well, Dean was the one running the 50 marathons! What do they expect? He also focused on his cause which is childhood obesity and other smaller themes like the research they did on his body and how the crew survived living in a van for a month together.
One reviewer wanted the documentary to go into how Dean prepares his body and how he's able to endure that much exercise stress. But I think the documentary does hit on that. It shows Dean running a lot of miles to prepare for the Endurance 50. It also shows how he eats well on the road, how he never got as much down time as he needed, how he admits that a lot of his success is probably due to genetics and how afterward, he ended up doing 1300 more miles and ran half way across the country!
I think that Dean isn't doing secrete concoctions of Cytomax and Gatorade or a certain amount of gels and salt caps. Maybe in important races he strategizes but in this one, the fueling plan didn't seem very rigid. I think his success is just because he puts in the mileage day after day and his body is able to recover from it quickly due to genetics and his healthy lifestyle. They said that after 50 marathons, Deans body only showed 1/4th of the damage that a normal runner would have after just one marathon!
Anyhow, I thought it was an interesting story and definitely worth watching while snowed in on your couch.

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