Reading For Runners

Ask me anything and when I offer my own advice based on what I’ve experienced or thought about, I’ll also add a book recommendation so you can do some research on your own and maybe even come back and teach me a thing or two.

I’m  in the middle of week 7 of my daily workout challenge and as I’ve been getting back into running regularly, I’m also reading more about running. It’s what I did when I’d just started running a few years ago and wanted to know what every new runner had tried and experienced as well. I read and subscribed to every running blog I could find, I picked up back issues of running magazines (once-a-month publications just weren’t frequent enough and the old information doesn’t really get obsolete so why not?) and I thumbed through every book I could find that was written by or about runners.

Below are a few of my favorite running recommendations – books I’ve enjoyed and that I think you will enjoy if you:

  • are a new runner yourself
  • love reading about running or
  • just want to understand the crazy runner in your life a little better.

Born to Run by is about the tendency for people from certain cultures to be great distance runners. Among other peoples, McDougall describes the running lifestyle of the Tarahumara people in Central America, still one of the most inspiring running stories I’ve ever read.

Updated: I just reread this one and it’s still an amazingly inspirational story. If you need a little running mojo, check out the way the author speaks casually of ultra runners and how these athletes run 50 and even 100 miles distances for fun. 
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Scott Jurek is a vegan ultrarunner (that means he frequently runs races longer than 26.1 mile marathon distance. In fact, he has won more 100 mile races than anyone and in this book, he shares the recipes he’s picked up from traveling across the world to compete.  Eat and Run is a great read about a man outrunning his problems and running into solutions instead. (See my puns? Did you like what I did there? )
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Shut Up and Run tells Robin Arzon’s unlikely story about changing the trajectory of her life to embrace professional running. With full color pages, the book looks like a magazine but it includes lots of tips for transitioning into any stage of running.
Purchase: Amazon|Book Depository

Runner’s World Big Book of Marathon and Half-Marathon Training is all about preparing to excel at any race distance you choose, as long as you run and want to run better. There are several editions because the book has been revised several times as running technology gets better but the basic book, which explains every running term you can imagine and even a few you can’t (like fartleks – how many rookie runners know what fartleks are), will suffice. The book is also cowritten by Bart Yasso whose name is almost synonymous with running in the professional racing circuit.
Purchase: Amazon|Book Depository

Meb Keflizighi is one of the most inspiring runners ever. 2 weeks before his 39th birthday and several years after he won the NYC marathon and what many considered to be several years past his running prime, he outran a field of other elite runners to win the 2014 Boston Marathon. I love his story and his book Meb for Mortals is all about the journey to become the runner he is.
Purchase: AmazonBook Depository 

I haven’t read Confessions of an Unlikely Runner yet but I can’t wait to check it out. Ayer’s story is so familiar, I feel like I could have written this book myself.
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

At age 40, Rich Roll was overweight, unsatisfied and having a midlife crisis. He wrote Finding Ultra after he became a vegan ultra runner and was profiled as one of the 25 fittest men in the world. Most of us past a certain age can probably identify with his initial problem so the good news is we can all do what he did to reject midlife standards we’ve been told to expect.
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

If you’ve read any of the books I mentioned or follow any of these runners otherwise, let’s chat about them in the comments. Also, if you have other reading recommendations for runners, please share.

And pausing just a  moment to share an update from my daily running challenge that I started with myvirtual running-buddy:

today is run 33 in week 7 and I ran 1.5 miles this morning. My goal was to run a 5K (3.1 miles) today but I was really late this morning. I’ll have to make up the additional mile and a half tomorrow.

When you click my affiliate links, I make a small commission to fund my book buying habits. Thanks! 

Linkup: TOL, Throwback Thursday

10 Comments Add yours

  1. swosei12blog says:

    Great book suggestions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Run Wright says:

      Thank you for reading!


  2. I love that you have two of my favorite vegan athletes on your list! I’d really like to read Meb’s book. I’ve met him a couple times and he is such a great ambassador for the sport of running. Just a really nice guy too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Run Wright says:

      Oh that’s cool. I am always so impressed by vegan athletes. Are you vegan?


  3. C. P. says:

    This book help me to know more about the books Thanks! I will check if I can find it on the public library!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great book recommendations!

    I have not read any of them but I do want to read Meb’s book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Run Wright says:

      Meb is definitely a favorite of so many runners.


  5. Susan says:

    Great reads!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Janelle @ Run With No Regrets says:

    All of these books look great – I have had the Runner’s World book on my Wishlist for well over a year! I’ve heard good things about Meb for Mortals too.

    Liked by 1 person

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