Canoeing the Lievre River in Quebec


As of September 2017, new Sweat Science columns are being published at Check out my bestselling new book on the science of endurance, ENDURE: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance, published in February 2018 with a foreword by Malcolm Gladwell.

- Alex Hutchinson (@sweatscience)


Another bit of self-promotion: my travel piece on canoeing the Lièvre River in Quebec is running in this weekend’s New York Times Travel section:

WE had two choices: stop and haul our canoes and gear along a four-mile trail running parallel to the river, or paddle into the canyon, with its 19 sets of rapids and near vertical walls. Either way, the decision would be final.

It was our fourth day on the Lièvre River in Quebec, about 170 miles north of Ottawa, and the current, gentle at first, was getting pushier with each tributary we paddled past. The land around us, thickly blanketed with pines and dotted with occasional cedar and birch, rose steep and rocky on both sides of the river ahead of us. From around the bend came the muffled roar of angry water… [READ ON]

It was a great trip — and a great incentive to keep working at some upper-body strength instead of just running (those whitewater canoes are wayyyy harder to portage than the ultralight Kevlars I used to use for trips in Algonquin and Temagami). My biggest regret about being in Australia for the summer is that I’m going to miss this year’s canoe trip.