Episode 007: Alex Hutchinson - Author (Endure)

I interview Alex Hutchinson, author of the newly released book Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance (Click here to check it out).  

ENDURE cover hi-res.jpg

What is your writing Experience? I am a National Magazine Award-winning science journalist focusing on endurance sports.  I currently write the Sweat Science column for Outside, and was a former columnist for Runner’s World. My writing also appears regularly in a variety of other publications, including the New York Times, the New Yorker, and the Globe and Mail. I’m written three books, the latest of which (published by HarperCollins in February 2018) is ENDURE: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance.

What is your experience with sport?  I competed as a middle- and long-distance runner through high school and university, and then for the Canadian national team in track, cross-country, road racing, and mountain running.

How were you inspired to begin writing about sport?  I actually started out as a physicist. I did a Ph.D. in Britain, then worked for the U.S. National Security Agency as a postdoctoral researcher for a few years. In my late 20s, I made a switch to journalism, and one of my key motivations was wanting the opportunity to spend more time being involved in the things I was passionate about—like sports. Since I had a science background, writing about the science of sport seemed like an obvious route to stay involved in that world.

What is your favorite article that you have written (other than this book)?  This is a tough one. If I skip the various sports science articles I’ve written in the course of reporting my new book over the past seven or eight years, my favorite is probably this one about how navigating with GPS may be changing our brains.

Alex Hutchinson

Favorite Quote:  “A book is like a mirror. If an ass peers in, you can’t expect an apostle to peer out.” (Georg Christoph Lichtenberg) That’s what I plan to say to anyone who doesn’t like my book. :)

Fun fact:  My best 1,500 meter run was 3:42.43—which, unfortunately, is just slightly slower than the equivalent of a four-minute mile. According to the IAAF tables, it’s worth about 4:00.03. That still hurts.