Welcome to the sixth Note on Phil Maffetone’s books. As we’ve discussed, he’s a brilliant, iconoclastic philosopher-coach. He’s one of the best endurance coaches ever and has been advocating a fat-burning approach to ultra-endurance for decades.
We started with . Then, as I stepped up my athletic goals, I decided to go on a Maffetone binge. I read five more books in a week. Enter: Notes on The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing, Fix Your Feet, The Overfat Pandemic and 1:59.
I see the whole collection as, ultimately, a series of books on how to reach your athletic potential. The sub-title to this book puts it perfectly actually: “How to Achieve Your Athletic Potential, Stay Healthy and Get the Most Out of Your Body.”
This Endurance Handbook is basically an abridged version of The Big Book of Endurance. As I was shining a flash light into all the nooks and crannies of Maffetone’s brain that I could find (hah), I kinda thought of these two books as a sort of parallel to Epictetus’s (the “Big Book”!) and (the “Handbook”!).
btw: Before we jump/run in, I’d like to share a little Joseph Campbell wisdom that has guided my literary tastes over the years and served as an impetus to read so much of what Maffetone has written. In , Bill Moyers interviews Joseph Campbell. I love this:
Moyers: “How do we know these things [how to experience bliss]?”
Campbell: “I’ll tell you a way, a very nice way. Sit in a room and read—and read and read. And read the right books by the right people. Your mind is brought onto that level, and you have a nice, mild, slow-burning rapture all the time. This realization of life can be a constant realization in your living. When you find an author who really grabs you, read everything he has done. Don’t say, ‘Oh, I want to know what So-and-so did’—and don’t bother at all with the best-seller list. Just read what this one author has to give you. And then you can go read what he had read. And the world opens up in a way that is consistent with a certain point of view. But when you go from one author to another, you may be able to tell us the date when each wrote such and such a poem—but he hasn’t said anything to you.”
<- Yep. Exactly my experience.
Now… With that, let’s have fun exploring another route through Maffetone’s brilliant mind!