There are times when we are working out, doing our cardio or lifting weights, when we just feel like we can’t go on right in the middle of the set. Those are the times we really need to push through it and finish our session to build ourselves up physically and mentally.

I recently read a great book that has helped me do just that. The book is about a guy named Dean Karnazes, also known as the Ultramarathon Man, and his story is a really great motivation for me.

I won’t go into detail about the book, you can pick it up for just a few bucks or check it out from your local library. What I will say is that the message I got from the book was you can pretty much do whatever you put your mind to, regardless of what your physical body tells you. Even if you’re not a runner, you will be inspired.

This guy has run a 199 mile race, that was supposed to be a relay race run by teams, by himself. And when he crossed the finish line he jumped on some roller-coasters with his kids. No rest, he just jumped on the rides after ONE HUNDRED PLUS MILES running on his own.

He runs through the physical pain, he runs through the mental doubt, he just keeps running. The story kind of reminds me of “run Forest, run!!!” (and I’m sure he’s heard that before). Heck, he even has pizza delivered to him while he’s running. He goes through something like 30,000 calories during a long run and he’ll eat as he’s running.

So when I’m feeling like I can’t do 10 more seconds of my sprint or I can’t do one more set of push-ups or I can’t swim 50 more yards, I usually think of Dean and what he’s been able to accomplish by pushing himself to the limit.

Dean has run an ultramarathon in the heat of the dessert where he has to be sure to run on the white stripe on the road (while running in a special suit to keep him cooler) or else the heat of the black top road would melt his shoes . He was the first person to run a marathon in regular running shoes at the South Pole. He’s run 50 marathons in 50 days. It’s incredible what this guy has done.

Besides the book, you can check out Dean’s web site. He tours the country giving lectures and running in marathons and ultramarathons (anything longer than the 26M standard marathon).

So if you want some great motivation, I really recommend picking this book up. It has really helped me push through some walls I was putting up which has helped me get to where I am today.