Running Books

Books are fantastic. What's more fantastic? Running Books! There are some great books out there to read, whether you consider yourself a reader or not, that is great for the mental training part of the marathon.

They will psych you, pump you up, hold you to your chair just as much as giving you a strong desire to actually jump up and go out for a run.

Here are some of my favorite running books with just a brief synopsis as I don’t want to give away the greatest points and surprises of the books. 

  • Tip: I always like checking my local library for the titles and then if I find that it really resonates with me I'll add it to my running books library. 

Drink them in. They will make you a better runner.

Running Stories

Born to Run - A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen Two Words: Excellent Book. Two More Words: Read it. This book focuses on joys of running and a look at the Tarahumara tribe of Indians that run incredibly long distances, without breaking a sweat, without shoes. This is what natural running is all about.

Duel in the Sun: The Story of Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley and America's Greatest Marathon - The story of the 1982 Boston Marathon Battle between Dick Beardsley and Alberto Salazar. The book goes into the lives of both marathoners, lots of foreshadowing and flashbacks and their life after that fateful marathon.

Young at Heart: The Story of John Kelley, Boston's Marathon Man – Almost as legendary as the Boston Marathon itself, is John A Kelley, a man who ran 60 Boston Marathons. It is a book of his accomplishments but also of his humble personality. It is very personable going into many of his different experiences and relationships with people. A very inspiring story for runners and one that you will wish you had picked up sooner.


Once a Runner: A Novel - Acclaimed to be one of the best running books, this book focuses on the training of a collegiate athlete as he tries to break his goal in the miler. The grueling training he undergoes shows his dedication, perseverance and makes you cringe at the thought as he tries to gain his dream.

Again to Carthage - The sequel to Once a Runner and it's just as good!


What I Talk About When I Talk About Running - one runner chronicles his love for running and writing while training for the New York City Marathon. 

Marathon Man: My 26.2-Mile Journey from Unknown Grad Student to the Top of the Running World -The story of Bill Rodgers 1975 Boston Marathon win in 2:09 and how it inspired thousands of people to start running. If any race is responsible for you being a runner this might be the one! Kings of the Road: How Frank Shorter, Bill Rodgers, and Alberto Salazar Made Running Go Boom - Some call the 1970's the Golden Era of running. With these three greats and rivals, it's easy to see why. They gave heart and soul to this sport. Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness - a recent record holder in the 24 hour ultra marathon shares his secrets on mental endurance while fueling on a plant based diet. He was also one of the professional runners that were profiled in Born to Run.

General Running Books

The Runner's Rule Book: Everything a Runner Needs to Know-and Then Some - have questions about running? Does the running sport even have rules? Of course! This hilarious running commentary and rules handbook is for anyone in love with the sport. Witty, humorous and knowledgeable, this book knows it all. Meb For Mortals: How to Run, Think, and Eat like a Champion Marathoner - this book shows how Meb, a three time Olympian, and one of the greatest distance runners of all times prepares for the marathon. The best part: it shows how ordinary runners can implement his tactics! Running & Being: The Total Experience - Some call it the 'Runner's Bible' and it truly does piece the puzzles together. If you are a runner this is a motivational must read.
The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life - this running book by Amby Burfoot talks about 15 life lessons that he has learned along his 35 years of running journey. Running World Magazine calls it "one of the best books ever written on running". I Run, Therefore I Am--Nuts! - Why do runners do the things they do and still love every minute they are doing it? This book looks at all the humorous personalities, rituals, and running scenarios that runners find themselves in. The Runner's Literary Companion: Great Stories and Poems About Running - One of my favorite running books, this is for any runner and reader. It features inspiring short stories and poems from many different authors that all have to do with running!

Running Magazines

Runner's World Magazine – Ok, so this isn’t really a book but it has been one of my greatest joys of checking the mailbox since I was about 15. It is a great motivational booster as well as it gives great tips, stories and just a punch of good wholesome running reads and news. You will love it!

Running Times - like a running magazine should be it is full of training techniques, shoe guides, professional tips, nutritional recipes...and all that good stuff!





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