Elite Marathoner Peter Gilmore Reviews Make the Leap
It's not everyday that someone you look up to takes the time to praise your work. That happened to me today when former elite US marathoner Peter Gilmore sent me an email with a short review of Make the Leap. He generously allowed me to share it as I see fit, so I'm going to more or less shout it from the digital rooftops :)
Before the review, some fun back-story.
How Peter Helped Me Make the Leap (but didn't know it)
I competed against Peter while running at UCLA. He was a couple years older and quite a bit faster. But as I wrote in the book, I could still relate to Peter because he seemed like me. We had similar high school times, we seemed physically similar, he was at Cal and not Stanford...
I wrote about Peter in Chapter 6 (p. 98), where I discussed the power of using other people's experiences to improve our self-efficacy:
"The other time that stands out had to do with a good runner making a big leap. Peter Gilmore—who went on to run a 2:12 marathon—ran for UC Berkeley and made a big leap in the PAC-10. Peter was always a good runner, but he was never a great runner like Meb, Bernard Lagat, Abdi Abdirahman, and Brad Hauser.
Peter Gilmore was relatable. My teammate Will and I talked about Peter on our runs. Will had beaten him in high school, and I was running as fast as Will. We could imagine beating Peter. We literally said to each other: “If Gilmore can do it, we can, too!”
Were we as talented as Peter Gilmore? I don’t know and it doesn’t matter. We believed we were. So his results became a proxy for what our results could be. And that got me to increase my effort, after which my improvement led to even more effort and so on."
Unbeknownst to Peter, he played a pretty large role in my making the leap in college. When he went on to run 2:12 in the marathon, it gave me further confidence that I was capable of running sub 2:20. (Note: I never did, but this was a debate we had on our team when I was training competitively.)
I Interviewed Peter on the Go Be More Podcast
Last year we started the Go Be More Podcast and had a wonderful time interviewing Olympians like Kara Goucher and Abdi Abdirahman. We had the pleasure of interviewing Peter on episode 79 in March of this year.
I have lots of reasons to be biased, but I thought our conversation with Peter was one of the most inspiring and thought-provoking episodes we've published. (And we've had some amazing conversations!) He discussed going to train in Kenya, the lessons he learned about compounding improvement and decision-making, his unrelenting drive to get the most out of himself, and his approach to racing. I came away from that conversation with a profound respect for him.
[Editor's note: Seriously, you won't regret taking an hour to listen to the episode. Also editor's note: I am the editor. You got me.]
I also took the opportunity to tell him about his role influencing me and the fact that I wrote about him in my book. He was gracious and offered to read the book and let me know what he thought.
Peter Reviews Make the Leap
I sent him a copy after our conversation. He recently wrote me back with a concise, two paragraph review, which I've printed below:
"Make The Leap is a phenomenal read for anyone looking to take their performance to a higher level. The concepts are straightforward, but the book ties them together in a unique way to create a cohesive framework for success. Improving the way we think about training and competition yields better results, but more importantly, leads to more balanced and fulfilled lives.
Anyone who’s entered the fray and tried to improve at a difficult task can relate to the examples and strategies in the book. I recognized patterns of success from my life, and missed opportunities, where the book lays out a strategic path that could have produced better results. Internalizing the framework presented in Make The Leap offers readers a path to greater levels of achievement in sports, or any other training-based pursuit."
Now I'm curious what those missed opportunities are! Most of all, I like that he captured something that I think gets overlooked: thinking better about training can actually lead to us having more balanced and fulfilled lives. It's possible to be 100% committed to your improvement while still having hobbies, relationships, and even careers. Not easy, perhaps, but what is?
I can't thank Peter enough for taking his time to read the book and supporting me with this review.
Why You Should Read Make the Leap
Because Peter said so! Wait, you want to know more?
One of the main ideas in Make the Leap is that there is a Hidden Training Program and the secret to revealing it is engaging more in the sport. In fact, the entire book is my attempt to reveal that hidden training program to you and, as a result, make it easier for you to do what you need to do to be successful.
From how improvement happens, to what beliefs underpin the most effective behaviors, to how to prioritize your time and energy, Make the Leap's framework is sure to help you improve in key areas of your training.