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Running the Dream

One Summer Living, Training, and Racing with a Team of World-Class Runners Half My Age
Written by: Matt Fitzgerald
Narrated by: Jamie Renell
Length: 7 hrs and 11 mins
5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The best-selling author of 80/20 Running and How Bad Do You Want It? reveals his inspiring and surprising journey to see just how fast he can go.

Matt Fitzgerald has already made a name for himself in the endurance-sport community with books like 80/20 Running, How Bad Do You Want It?, and Iron War. He is an accomplished amateur runner, but if he follows the training, nutrition, and lifestyle of an elite runner, just how fast could he go?

He is approaching his mid-40s, so the time to do this is now. He at last has the financial means to do nothing but train. He accepts the goodwill of a friend who will let him crash at his apartment in the running mecca of Flagstaff, Arizona, and convinces the coach of Northern Arizona Elite, one of the country's premier professional running teams, to let him train with a roster of national champions and Olympic hopefuls for an entire summer leading in to the Chicago Marathon. The results were astounding....

Filled with a vibrant cast of characters, rigorous and gut-wrenching training, Matt’s knowledgeable yet self-deprecating voice allows us to vicariously live out our own fantasies of having the opportunity to go all the way. Yet for the runners Matt trains with, it’s no mere fantasy, but a calling, and their individual stories enrich this inspiring narrative. Running the Dream is a chance for us all to experience a bit of this rarified and wild world and to take away pieces of this amazing journey to try to achieve our own potential.

©2020 Matt Fitzgerald (P)2020 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Running the Dream

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  • NTD
  • 2020-06-16

Best running book yet

This was a great journey, I felt like I was along for the ride. Appreciated the smaller details which painted a vivid picture of the moment and how it felt.

I will listen to this one again. I actually learned valuable information about running with this one.

Thanks for doing this adventure and journey.

I wish I could do that sort of journey. Sounds like a dream.

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  • Melini
  • 2020-08-09

Loved until he was petty and cruel to Kellyn T.

As a 46 year old who's been spending the last two years being a full-time pretend pro athlete in another disciple who took up running to cross train, it's like this book was written just for me. The author has the running chops to hang just enough with the pros to really experience their routines, so there's loads of nitty gritty training stuff if you like to geek out on that as I do, but not so much of it that it becomes a "how-to" instead of a narrative about his experience.

My own experiment and heightened awareness of athletes of a certain age makes me believe that for many of us, it's the time invested, belief in ourselves, and commitment to the process that falls away moreso than an absolute capacity to improve and perform well as we age. One of my favorite parts of the book was the conversation around this topic with the non-pro woman and Matt during the retirement chapter at the conclusion of the author's journey. There's also a line from Steph Bruce that's repeated a couple of times (paraphrased) to "not let anyone trivialize your pursuit of running" that was a lovely touchstone to take away from this book for anyone who struggles to justify their passions to those who think sport for all but a few should be "just for fun."

I wished that he had dug into a more frank appraisal of the demands on the real pros for keeping a perky, inspirational, Instagram-worthy face...the reality that they make more from selling their image than from prize money. He made a statement to the effect that they got to nap in the afternoon while he had another job to do, but he left the pros' (and Team NAZ Elite's) "other job" maintaining endorsements largely unexplored. Of course, every second that they took away from focusing on their own training to help a famous writer in his pretend pro pursuit was time they spend doing this job of building their public image.

Kellyn Taylor is unusual among the pro runners in than rather than trading on her public image, she has been pursuing a regular job and raising and fostering a whole posse of kids. The author does mention her work, but with so much positive that could be said, he almost always brought up her bona fides in some backhanded way...referencing her newly minted paramedic skills; making sure you, dear reader, know it took her two tries to pass her firefighter test. It seemed to me that unlike her team and many teammates, it was not in her business model to fluff the ego of the pretend pro with a powerful pen, and he decided to punish her for it with a series of petty swipes at her personality every time she entered the scene of his book. Maybe he thought his story needed a bad guy? I didn't.

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  • Belinda A.
  • 2020-08-05

Matt never disappoints!

Such an inspiring story and so full of insight into the world of elite running and it’s challenges!

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  • ken alexander
  • 2020-07-01

The best

The best and most inspiring book I have read in years with a message for anyone of any age.

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  • Soren G. Brockdorf
  • 2020-06-23

Dream Job

Matt Fitzgerald just lived most runner's dream job. To be part of the pack and live the life of a pro runner--what a unique experience. This would have been a really fun book on tape for the author to have read. I also wish I could find his training log to this adventure, it would be interesting to see.

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  • John
  • 2020-05-25

A wonderful story

Loved the book, a great story of a normal guy chasing a dream. Top quality

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  • D. C. Bradley
  • 2020-05-23

Fountain of Youth

Fitzgerald gets to relive the dream of a young person under the ruse of being a writer. It's a performance that I'm sure would make Houdini proud. Kudos to Fitzgerald who, appropriately, compares himself to author George Plimpton who pulled off the same shenanigan 50 years before. I loved both books: Plimpton's and Fitzgerald's. I would recommend
Running the Dream' to anyone who wishes for that second chance to be young again and wants to 'laugh as a young man laughs' (Sandburg's city plays a role in the story). I would recommend it to any runners who have forgotten the role that a team plays in uplifting one's spirit and motivation. I would recommend to anyone who reminisces about a coach who played a critical role in their life. And, I would recommend to anyone who just likes a good underdog story.

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  • Allegra Stevens
  • 2020-05-22

Outstanding

This book and narration was so good. I’m recovering from an injury (unrelated to running) and listened to Matt’s story while getting back into running. Not there yet but the final words and message of the book really meant a lot to me. As I continue my process of becoming my fittest and enjoying running I will remember those words. Excellent job, Matt. Thanks for this book😎

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  • Gabby
  • 2020-05-21

Aweome Book- makes you feel like an elite!

Loved listening to this as for most of us, this is the closest we’ll coming to being an elite. Just listening to the experience really gave me great insight. I’m so glad Matt did this and you felt like you were rooting for him to achieve his goal too. A must for any marathoner to listen/read.

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  • shane johnson
  • 2020-05-11

Matt Fitzgearld does it again.

I could not stop listening to this book. Every time I had to hit the pause button I cringed, wondering when I could hit play again. Matt writes some of the best running books out there. I feel like I’m with him through every step of the run. Great book! I can’t wait to see what comes next?