This is a really hard post to put together, mostly because there are SO many great running books out there, that it’s really hard just to limit it seven. That being said, these running books were chosen as “must reads” based on the impact that they’ve had on me after I’ve read them. You know, the ones that have truly made you go, hmm.
1. Duel in the Sun
Anyone who knows me knows that this will always top my list of the best running books ever. “Duel in the Sun” follows the 1982 Boston Marathon where the winner was determined by TWO seconds… between Dick Beardsley and Alberto Salazar. It talks a lot about what happened to them after that monumental race and why they were never the same runners again.
2. Run to Overcome
I love Meb Keflezighi — I think he is one of the most inspiring marathon runners out there.
I’ve met him a few times (actually now banned myself from meeting him again because I don’t want to
maintain reach stalker status). “Run to Overcome” covers his life story, from coming to the U.S. as a refugee to winning the NYC Marathon. His book is so inspirational and gives you a sense of who he is as a person and why he’s America’s favorite runner.
3. The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Love Running Long Distances
The Oatmeal is one of my favorite places to go on the internet when I need a good laugh, and this book basically takes a big dose of that and puts it in one amazing book… amazing because it’s all about running. “The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Love Running Long Distances” nails it on the head, talking about all the weird things that runners do and all of the crazy feelings that running gives us — and of course, why in the world we do this sport in the firs tplace.
4. The Runner’s World Cookbook
Can you count a cookbook as a favorite running book? Well, I’m going to. I love “The Runner’s World Cookbook” cookbook so much! I have been using it for months and there are SO many recipes that I love, and so many more that I want to try. They even have recipes for dessert; desserts that won’t make you feel super guilty for eating them!
5. Staying the Course
Dick Beardlsey (re: book recommendation #1) has had an incredible life filled with some crazy experiences, like running the Boston Marathon and being a drug addict. Yes, you read that right — he went from being an elite runner to a drug addict. I love “Staying the Course” not only because he has such an incredible story, but because his personality shines through the words on the paper — the bubbly Minnesota farm boy.
6. Racing Weight
I’ve talked quite a bit about my struggle with weight and nutrition, and getting to that perfect weight that I want in order to tackle the race I want at the speed I want. This book has been really helpful in making me realize that just because you are running, doesn’t mean that you need to eat all those calories burned. I really like how simple Matt Fitzgerald makes it in “Racing Weight” and breaks it down to what you need to do to succeed.
7. Building Your Running Body
For years, all I did was run, run… oh and did I mention, run? It was a recipe for disaster. My other muscles, which could have made me run faster, were so weak that it led to injury and that’s never fun. Anyways, “Building Your Running Body” offers a total body fitness plan… one that will make sure you are strong ALL the way around and ready to tackle whatever race is coming your way. I love how they list out SO many different exercises and have great graphics for you to follow as well.
What are your favorite running books?
Who’s your favorite elite runner? Why?
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