Get a free audiobook

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Finding Ultra is Rich Roll's incredible but true account of achieving one of the most awe-inspiring midlife physical transformations ever.

One cool evening in October 2006, the night before he was to turn 40, Rich experienced a chilling glimpse of his future. Nearly 50 pounds overweight at the time and unable to climb the stairs without stopping, he could see where his current sedentary lifestyle was taking him. Plunging into a new way of eating that made processed foods off-limits and prioritized plant nutrition and daily training, Rich morphed - in a matter of mere months - from out-of-shape midlifer to endurance machine. Ninety days into his physical overhaul, Rich left the house to embark on a light jog and found himself running a near marathon. It was time to scale up his goals.

Finding Ultra recounts Rich's remarkable journey to the elite Ultraman World Championship competition, which pits the world's fittest humans against each other in a 320-mile ordeal of swimming, biking, and running. Following that test, Rich conquered an even greater one: the Epic5 Challenge - five Ironman-distance triathlons, each on a different Hawaiian island, all completed in less than a week.

But this is much more than an edge-of-the-seat look at a series of jaw-dropping athletic feats and much more than a practical training manual for those who would attempt a similar transformation. Yes, Rich's account rivets, and yes, it instructs, providing information that will be invaluable to anyone who wants to change their physique; but this book is most notable as a powerful testament to human resiliency, for as we learn early on, Rich's childhood posed numerous physical and social challenges, and his early adulthood featured a fierce battle with alcoholism.

Ultimately, Finding Ultra is a beautifully written portrait of what willpower can accomplish. It challenges all of us to rethink what we're capable of and urges us, implicitly and explicitly, to go for it.

This revised and updated edition of Finding Ultra includes a new and original foreword, a bonus chapter, and updated resources.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2018 Rich Roll (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

More from the same

What listeners say about Finding Ultra

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    295
  • 4 Stars
    76
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    7
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    270
  • 4 Stars
    54
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    4
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    265
  • 4 Stars
    58
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    7

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good read

The story was super interesting. Change of narrator was confusing a little. Great story!! Not too preachy...

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome story of life and rebirth

Rich Roll's life journey has impacted me and set in motion within me that spark I needed to set me on my renewed life journey. Thank you for sharing your inspirational journey.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great listen

Easy book to listen too. I got to know Rich Roll a lot better and enjoyed the journey he takes you through of his life and struggles and achievements. I listened to most of the book running myself. The best way possible to listen to this book on reflection. It made it that much better. Highly recommend for any runner.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

came because of the podcast, stayed for the story

This audiobook had beautifully written story telling, a motivating vibe, and inspired a fall goal for me to run a 22 km stretch between two landmarks in my hometown.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An extra-ordinary tale of an ordinary person

It's an extraordinary tale of an ordinary person who decided to become an extraordinary person and achieved it. In this book, you will find drama, failure, emotional intelligence, resilience, struggle and a strong desire to change. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for inspiration and wants to make necessary changes in their life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

His story told his way!

Rich eloquently shared his story. His narration was clear and concise. Well worth taking the time to learn how a regular guy decided to change into an inspirational man.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

very inspiring story

The writer is also the narrator. the personal journey is very related to everyone. It is a good read

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

inspirant!

inspirant! Thanks Rich Roll!! I follow you on your podcast. and finally "read" your book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

reevaluate what you know and what you can do

one of those books that needs to be read and reread. Must take notes and reflect that we all have our own things to deal with. Ho

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great inspirational read

Loved Rich's story and his ability to accept grace in his recovery to transform himself and serve others

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Daniel
  • 2018-04-27

Underdog He Is Not

In the beginning of this book, Finding Ultra, Rich Roll tries so hard to make himself out to be an underdog. Calling Rich Roll an underdog is like calling Warren Buffet an average investor.

He's an Ivy League swimmer and says on one of his first college swim meets he was hung over, but still got 2nd place. Or he didn't apply himself in college, but still got mostly Bs. Or passing on Harvard instead going to Stanford. One point in the book he's like because I didn't really know what else to do went to law school at freaking Cornell mind you, then got a job at a NY Law Firm then later became an entertainment lawyer, and finally got into endurance racing. He tries to dramatize everything and even tries to sound like an underdog.

At his heaviest he was around 207 I believe (At 5′ 11″ that's not that very big by modern standards) and once he beats addiction goes into endurance racing and places very well pretty much immediately. The book is like a 400 page humble brag, but even though some of it annoyed me I did really enjoy this book and learned a lot. Especially about what it takes to live your life at a very high standard, even when life throws you curve balls. It's a fascinating page turner from someone that had it all, good family, good genes, intelligence, good education, then self-sabotaged, but came back even stronger. Recommend this book especially if you like fitness/sports/athletics.

149 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Mike
  • 2018-06-24

Gave Up

The people here calling this a humble brag are spot on. But more than that, half of the book is about his alcoholism. That's fine; more power to him for getting clean and sober. But it felt like I kept waiting for him to move forward. I didn't want to hear hours of details about his alcoholism. Just.... wasn't what I was expecting and I couldn't make it though

99 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Ruth Calisch
  • 2018-06-21

Mastery of the humble brag!!!

I've never heard the word "I" as many times as in this book. While Rich Roll says that he's humbled by a myriad of difficulties in his life, there's nothing humble about him. Here is a man who had every advantage in life, yet somehow made his upbringing sound pitiful and difficult. I get that life is hard for everyone at some moments, but he made the lavish gifts of his parents seem like hardships. While gifted with genuine athletic ability and opportunity in his youth, he threw all of that away for a life of drug abuse and then gets really preachy about how his recovering body enjoys a vegan life and can perform outstandingly well with very little training. He also gets on his high horse about how bad all meat is for everyone and how eating meat is the worst thing for the planet, I'm not exaggerating. He states outright that we should all eat simple veggies to make the world a better place, and then the concoctions and extreme vegan super foods that have been made in a lab that help him get through his extreme sports, seem ridiculous and extravagant, to say the least. I can imagine the amount of waste that goes into making his super foods is pretty profound. I almost threw up when he talked about his ungrateful and even mean attitude towards the woman who helped him get through his 5 ultras. That woman was a saint and she did it all for his vain glory. And when it comes down to how much he put his own vain pursuits in front of the welfare of his family, you realize what a messed up set of priorities this man has. I have recently listened to "The Pursuit of Endurance," and "Born to Run" and both of those books have inspired me to be more athletic and hopeful of accomplishing long hikes and learning how to run better to improve my life. So when I picked up this book, I was hoping for more of that inspiring love for the big, beautiful outside and all that working hard on our own two feet can do for a person. Instead, Rich's inspiration just made me want to make sure and never turn into him. The only reason he seems to want to accomplish his long, dramatic, made up ultra races (specifically the 5 ultras on 5 islands) is for his own pride: something no one else has done, but for the benefit of no other soul, but his own. And don't get me started on his overly dramatic reading of his own self glorifying book. His rise and fall of his voice made sure that I knew when he was feeling sorry for himself that life dealt him any blows; even though most of his blows were 100% his own lack of self control and self awareness. Don't listen to this book unless you want to learn how to be more self important, or how to recognize self importance in others.

261 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • jbru13
  • 2018-06-28

Worthwhile listen, not entirely relatable

While it’s impressive that Rich Roll overcame alcohol addiction and turned himself into an elite endurance athlete, he can be hard to relate to. He seems to be a person who is always addicted his pursuits, whether it be his trademark “plant power diet” (which he endorses a bit too much) or risking all his finances to run in races of enormously long distance for not much purpose. Luckily it worked out for him in the long run and he’s able to essentially self-promote for a living thanks to social media and the like. I do admire his success, but there is a certain lack of humility in this story that is annoying. I find he’s a bit too quick to ascribe his success to his plant diet and following his dreams, and not quick enough to be like “ok, so maybe it helps that I was an Olympic level athlete in college.” Nevertheless, Roll is an interesting guy who has a lot of interesting things to say. I personally just like to take him with a grain of salt (is salt allowed on the plant power diet?) The performance would have benefitted from a professional narrator as well.

41 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • DM
  • 2018-08-06

More of a Testimony than Instructional

First off, let me say that regardless of how I characterize the content, this book is inspirational. It allowed me to self-reflect on my goal-setting, during which I realized that I fail because I seldom set deadlines. It caused me to set a measurable, firm, and publicized goal. More than anything, his testimony motivated me to pursue my goal. I would characterize this book as follows: 30% childhood-college testimonial dealing with athleticism cast aside in favor of alcohol 10% college/grad/early career alcoholic testimonial 10% couch-attached family man testimonial 10% becoming healthy testimonial 10% anti-meat, pro vegan rant 20% triathlon challenge highlights 10% motivational speaking ...roughly in that order. That said, I feel it was written quite well, with the exception of the vegan rant. It was perhaps because of him familiarizing me with his backstory that lended more weight to the instructional. I simply mention the amount of testimonial so that the reader will know what to expect. I expected less testimonial, and although surprised, not disappointed. My only issue is with the anti-meat rant. Not with the lifestyle so much as with the way he presented making the decision to adopt a vegan diet. In short, he goes from eating platters of hamburgers, to a diet of what he deems “vegetarian junk food” (simple carbs, gluten, sugars), to a plant-based, vegan diet. Even by his own admission, he remained overweight during his vegetarian phase. Yet he villainizes MEAT rather than sugars and simple carbs. Never once does he mention trying a plant and meat-based diet, which could have worked out just as well. From personal experience, a plant and meat-based diet yielded me the same feeling of well-being he describes achieving with veganism. Please just try something (or mention you did) before you bash. And certainly don’t hastily generalize solely based on your own body. What I really loved about this book was how he explain all of the triathlete and nutritionist jargon, breaking down the complex concepts into language anyone who is not athletic can understand. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to rekindle or make changes to their health.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • C. Spencer
  • 2018-04-12

Presently Surprised

So, I'm on chapter 9 and this book does not disappoint...I'm not even sure what prompted me to buy this book initially as I'm not a runner at all and the book cover can be quite intimidating. Let's just say I was drawn to it beyond my understanding. It's a raw and fantastically written biography about life's ups and downs and how we're the only ones holding us back but, more than that, it digs deeps and leaves you with no excuse as to why you are not meeting every challenge with one foot in front of the other. For me, consciously, I do not have an addiction but, unconsciously it speaks to my core, knowing we all have some type of dependency on something...it's about facing yourself, letting go of your fear and allowing your brightest version of yourself to shine through. If you're looking for a book that touches every emotion and reaches way beyond the surface, you've found it! P.S. My favorite statement is his reference to his wife, "To this day she's the coolest woman I've ever met." Awesome job Rich Roll.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • jronaldlee
  • 2019-07-15

Prepare to be Prosthelytized

Masquerading as a story about becoming an ultra athlete, Rich Roll is here to encourage you to become more spiritual, give up the drink, and for the love of all that is holy, become a vegan. Along the way he performs some amazing feats of endurance that are truly epic. This part, at least, was interesting. One part giving up alcohol (which can't be done without god), two parts convert to veganism, three parts athletic memoir, with a heaping does of humble brag thrown on top. I saw a few comments about the humble brag in other reviews, and at first, I dismissed it. Anyone writing about completing 5 Ironman length triathlons in a week has some bragging to do. But when he talks about running over 52 miles in 9 hours, he says, "Nine hours even. Certainly not a time I could brag about to a true runner." Dude. I'm a true runner... but I've never gone beyond 28 miles, so maybe Rich doesn't consider me a true runner. When/if I ever run 52.4 miles in one sitting, you can bet your last dollar I'll brag about it. And so did Rich, in his book. But in a way that made me want to gag. The book's greatest sin is its constant harping on veganism. Or as Rich likes to say, whole food plant based diet. Whatever. Having raised two vegans, I can tell you there's a way to talk about your food choices, and there's a way that comes across as pushy and preachy. Rich found option two, and embraces it fully. He suggests that you could never achieve his feats of endurance if you didn't follow his example. He references some studies, which is fine, but then he proclaims his sample size of one (it worked for me!) to be all the proof you need. Right before insisting that we all go adopt his diet for the next 30 days. If he kept it to a chapter, or a section of the book, it might be forgiven, but once he broaches the topic he can't let it go. The man literally can't describe having lunch without pointing out that his sandwich has veganaise on it. Over and over and over again. Look, I get it, you ate a lot of avocado sandwiches while on your adventures... but you don't have to prove your vegan bona fides every time you have a snack. I tried very hard to finish the book so I could leave a more detailed review, but I just couldn't. I'm glad for Audible's good listen guarantee.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joyce
  • 2019-04-03

inspiring

Great story in turning one' s life around. But I will not become a vegan.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Shannon Eagle
  • 2018-06-04

Inspirational

I ordered plant power and am sharing with all my friends. Roll is at once soft spoken and hard nosed in his message and honesty. Vulnerable and fierce. Will now listen to all pod casts as well. Totally awesome! Thank you for sharing your story.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Stacey Sacco
  • 2018-03-27

Great listen! Deeper and more expressive.

A great update to an already fantastic first edition. There is a clarity of time and more of the warrior path under the author's belt in this new version of Rich Roll's extraordinary life story.

8 people found this helpful