Back in 2014 when I started running long distances, I began reading any books I could find that were related to running. I went on a major spree, devouring them all. What’s funny about all of these books is I don’t own the hard copy of any of them, they are all on my kindle!
5 Favorite Running Books
Born To Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall – One of the reasons that I will eventually run an ultra-marathon 🙂 I couldn’t put this book down. Well.. I couldn’t put my kindle down.
McDougall tells the story of the very reclusive tribe of Mexican Indians, the Tarahumara, who live in a remote part of Mexico, the Copper Canyons. They have crazy long-distance running ability. The Tarahumara live on a simple diet and enjoy very good health, little disease, and none of the pressures or conflict that modern civilization face. They are difficult to locate due to their ability to camouflage their homes, and prefer hermet-like isolation to interacting with the outside world. It’s difficult to earn their trust, but McDougall, with the help of a small cast of ultra-distance runners, visit and come to know/admire the Tarahumara. Ultimately, he participates in a 50 mile race with them in the Copper Canyons. Along the way, McDougall talks about some very interesting and informative side ventures, including stories about Nike and running shoes, the anthropology of running, runners’ health, and more.
Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek – Another reason that I will run an ultra some day. Scott Jurek is truly a legend in the sport of ultra-marathon running & one of my running hero’s. Last year, he broke the on foot Appalachian Trail record. I’ve wrote about him a little in past and how he has inspired me. Reading this book was definitely a motivating factor of me going plant based for a while last year.
The book is a sort of memoir, detailing Jurek’s childhood and family life, and the evolution of his ultra-running and dietary lifestyle. I really liked that there was a section ending each chapter that had either an exercise tip, a recipe, or both. It’s well written, easy to read, engaging, and a must read!
Once A Runner by John L. Parker Jr. – I read this book for a ‘long distance’ running reading club and really enjoyed it. It describes the dedication, hard work, and goofiness that is required to be successful and what makes runners an interesting breed. The story itself, is about a young college-aged runner and his quest to run the fastest mile he could while in school & after he got kicked out. It’s extremely well paced and smoothly written, just like a good race! Once A Runner is a fantastic book and I would highly recommend it for beginners, enthusiasts, or someone who just needs a little motivation.
Mile Markers:The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run by Kristin Armstrong – Kristin is a mother, a writer, an editor/blogger for Runner’s World, and most importantly a runner. Oh, and Lance Armstrong’s ex-wife. At first I didn’t like this book but I changed my mind as I continued to read it. Then read it again. This book is made up of Kristin’s blog posts broken out into topics, so I related with some of them more than others. There are lots of great insights, new perspectives to think about, and motivational pieces of wisdom. A favorite quote from the book:
“If you have slogged or sprinted through the final .2 of a marathon, then you know intimately the difference between 26 and 26.2. And it’s not as simple as 200 meters. .2 is simultaneously the end and the beginning. Because when we cross one finish line, we arrive at the next start line, carrying with us everything we learned from prior distance.”
My Life On The Run by Bart Yasso – So, I’ve only just started reading this book but so far I’m really enjoying it. Like Scott Jurek, Bart Yasso is the man! He’s ran races on all 7 continents, completed 5 Ironmans, and invented the infamous Yasso 800’s (which kicked my a$$ yesterday). I’m including this book on the list because I just have a feeling it’s going to be one of my favorites!
Forever looking for suggestions for new books to read, no matter the genre, so if you have any… please share!
As always, thanks to Mar, Courtney, & Cynthia for hosting!
What’s your favorite book?
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