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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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  • Melini
  • 09-08-20

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • markcole
  • 16-03-21

Be prepared to be motivated

This is the first book by Matt that I have read/listened to and it only made me pick up a couple more of his. The narration of it was great and I would certainly listen to other books by Jamie Renell.

The story telling was simply wonderful. As a mid-pack runner, I could not relate at all to running with elites or fathom what it is like. However, Matt told the story in a way that I could see myself there. Running a 6:05 mile for 26 miles has never been something I even thought about, but his story had me in his shoes pushing my pace for those few extra seconds per mile and having the run of my life on Lake Mary Road.

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  • Brent Hanson
  • 23-02-21

Running the dream

Great story of an amateur runner who gets chance to train like a professional

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-11-20

Delivers on the Goal

Setting out to inspire other “average,” aging runners, Fitzgerald succeeds. The story is an engaging one and offers some nice anecdotes about life and living each day to its fullest.

The writing and some poor one-liners distract from time to time, but the story is great!

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  • Jill Surface
  • 08-10-20

Great Book!!!!

Loved every minute of this book. Great inside look at professional running, and very inspirational.

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  • Bryce
  • 07-10-20

Great story and can relate

Whats funny about this is that I was in Flagstaff the same year he was there as well but did not see him there or we never spoke. I had the complete opposite experience where people where not that friendly and people seemed to do their own thing and really didn't feel all that welcome. Only a few people made an effort to make me feel somewhat like I was apart of the group which was Nick Arciniaga, Tommy Rivs, & some others. Pro's seemed to have some sort of ego and it sure was and I couldn't be apart of it.. I don't know what Matt did but I'd sure like to know because I do feel the same way about Flagstaff but left because of how other runners didn't make me feel welcomed.

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 30-09-20

Great!!

Fitzgerald did it again. Another great book. Very Inspiring and easy to follow.
love the narrator!

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  • HRD0983
  • 17-09-20

Great story!

As a recreational runner who keeps hoping for bigger goals into my late 30s,and someone who is in constant awe and amazement of NAZ elite, this was an incredible story that brought me to tears at times. Inspirational is an understatement. I truly enjoyed the honesty of the author with his experience and was easily relatable. Thank you for telling this story.

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  • Cain S. Vasquez
  • 12-09-20

blown away

great narrator and motivating book. as someone who ha s never been good at running but enjoys it and at age 41. I know with proper training I can get my own PR later in this stage of life.

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  • Belinda A.
  • 05-08-20

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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  • DesignerDecor
  • 15-03-21

Great insight into the pro running scene

I loved it so much that I listen twice in a week and will listen again 😀

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  • Kevin Scott
  • 05-12-20

Amazing read/listen

Its been awhile since a book can make me both laugh and cry, a story of loss, team work, comradery, ups and downs and of course running.
For anyone who thinks they can't achieve anything. This is certainly the book for you!!

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  • Steve, Uk
  • 02-12-20

Great story and desire to succeed

When I first heard Janie Jamie Renell read this I wasn't sure at all but after a while I grew to really like his story telling and I think he's done a cracking job, to a degree his voice is better than Matt's and whilst listening to this Jamie has become Matt's voice to me.

it's not all about running either I think anyone could find something to reflect in this book. a poignant moment for me was in reference to Matt's Mom having Alzheimer's and his coach telling him to reflect on the film 50 First Dates, my Mum and Dad both have dementia and wow this hit deep and what was a typical sad love story actually can make you see the world in a different way especially in my Dad's eyes instead of me explaining things over again and reminding him of Mums passing make everyday special for him, wow hit me hard!

But as a runner myself I'm finding Matt's journey and books very inspiring! I'm set to race this week and was holding myself back a little but I'm now thinking this is what I'm in it for and I've done all the training so why not set myself a goal!

Anyways good book 🙂

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  • Jonathan T
  • 18-10-20

Superb

Another excellent book from Matt Fitzgerald. Exciting and absorbing journey, the chronological format works. Very well narrated.

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  • Russell
  • 08-10-20

Wonderful!

A privileged insight into the life of a professional runner. Perfectly retold by the author, with an approachable manner. There's plenty to appeal to runners of every level, and inspiration to be had for the non-athlete too...

Highly recommended!