The Ultra Mindset

An Endurance Champion's 8 Core Principles for Success in Business, Sports, and Life
by Travis Macy | Da Capo Lifelong Books © 2015 · 288 pages

Travis Macy is best known as the record-setting champion of Leadman—“a sort of six-week Grand Prix of Ultra Endurance” that consists of a jaw-dropping number of challenges. This book is a fun look at the eight principles that make up the Ultra Mindset Travis uses to do extraordinary things. Big Ideas we explore include: Your new mantra, what to do when you don’t feel like it, thinking about thinking, making the choice to give up choice, and never quitting… except when you should quit (w/a great litmus test for when you should/shouldn’t quit).

The reason I finish is commitment: before every race, during my training, I have committed to finishing. I have removed the option of not reaching the finish line. If you make a similar, wholehearted commitment— in your racing, your career, your life—you will reach your goals, too.
Travis Macy

“That’s the purpose of this book: to help you achieve your goals—whether they are in racing or in life—by sharing with you a few of the principles that have held me in good stead as I’ve logged my ultra miles through forests, deserts, and jungles. Are you looking to complete your first marathon or century bike ride? Are you trying to qualify for Boston? Are you training for your first triathlon, or ultra, or charity 5k walk? Maybe you’re trying to summon the courage to launch a new business, or enter a new career? Perhaps you just want to become a better parent, spouse, friend … person.

This book is about the Leadville Race Series and mountain biking in China and running across Utah and kayaking in Sweden and a whole lot more, because my experiences in these venues show that people really can accomplish whatever they commit to. I hope you’ll find my racing stories interesting, and maybe even entertaining. But primarily, they are vehicles to deliver tangible, actionable principles that are relevant to you and your endeavors. Principles that have steeled me, supported me, and guided me through some very long and arduous miles, in very faraway places and difficult circumstances.

Principles that I call the Ultra Mindset.”

~ Travis Macy from The Ultra Mindset

After reading Dean Karnazes’s great book The Road to Sparta, I was in an ultra mood. So, I picked this book off the ol’ book shelf and jumped in.

As it turns out, Dean actually wrote the forward to this book. (Get a copy here.) In his mid 50’s, Dean is now among the older ultra vanguards. In his early 30’s, Travis is among the younger crowd.

In addition to a ton of other jaw-dropping achievements, check out what Travis has done: “I am best known as the guy who won Leadman. This is a sort of six-week Grand Prix of Ultra Endurance that starts with a 26.2-mile trail marathon, followed by a 50-mile mountain-bike race, and then—in the course of seven days—a 100-mile mountain-bike ride, a 10k foot race the next day, and, in the grand finale the following weekend, the famed Leadville, Colorado, 100-mile ultramarathon. All of these events in the Leadman are contested at altitudes between 10,200 and 13,186 feet. The fastest overall combined time wins—which I managed to do in the summer of 2013 when I set a new Leadman record of 36 hours, 20 minutes.”

Um, yep. That’s definitely ultra.

This book is a fun look at the eight principles that make up the Ultra Mindset Travis uses to achieve extraordinary feats like that. It’s packed with Big Ideas. As always, I’m excited to share some of my favorites so let’s jump straight in!

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About the author


Travis Macy

Speaker, author, coach, and professional endurance athlete.