Books are the best! But what's even better?
Inspiring running books!
Books are such a wonderful outlet to get outside one’s head and live experiences through another’s lens.
Keep a stack of inspiring running books on your coffee table or out in the open so that you can have a visual motivation in front of you!
Your brain will think, want and be motivated by what you see which is also why building a running dream board can be so powerful!
On this page, I want to share:
I love the solitude of running in silence but I also love reading and learning.
One of my favorite ways to spend time running is by listening to an audiobook.
Listening to a story or podcast is a wonderful way to spend your time running as it’s almost like being with a friend.
It also gets you excited to go out for a run and keeps you motivated to continue running!
Most people are familiar with Amazon’s Audible service for listening to audiobooks.
They have a huge selection!
However, I have only ever used free audiobook services. You can access literally thousands of titles for free through two of my favorite platforms.
The two free platforms you can use to access free audiobooks, ebooks, and music are:
Both of these platforms do require you to have a library card to your local library. Once you set it up in your account though it's very easy to download the titles you want.
With Hoopla, you are allowed 5 downloads per month which depending on the length of the audiobook is usually plenty for me.
If I do need more downloads in one month or can’t find a certain book on Hoopla, I turn to the Libby app and more often than not can find what I need.
One more tip:
When I would prefer to have the physical copy of the book, I always check my local library for the titles.
If I can't find the book, or a certain book really resonated with me then I usually check eBay to add it to my personal library.
I always love reading others book list recommendations so here are a few of my favorites that you can find in audiobook format or hard copy.
There are some great books running books out there to read.
Even if you don't consider yourself a reader they are very beneficial to forming your mental attitude when training for a marathon. (This is one of the things I talk about in the Mindset Training Plan for Marathoners)
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, if you aren't already running.
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.
North: Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail by Scott Jurek
This is a wonderful book for anyone interested in endurance sports. Jurek is an ultramarathoner who shares his experience of aiming to break the speed record of running the Appalachian Trail in 46 days.
He pushed the limits of human endurance and shared it with us in this fascinating and incredibly inspiring running book!
Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance by Alex Hutchinson and Malcom Gladwell.
Hutchinson is one of two reporters who were granted access to Nike's Break 2 Hours in the Marathon Training and he lays out the scientific research in this book.
This is a fascinating read for any endurance athlete who is interested in being able to go farther and become better!
by Deena Kastor
Run the Mile You're In: Finding God in Every Step
by Ryan Hall
26 Marathons: What I learned about Faith, Identity, Running and Life from my Marathon Career
by Meb Keflezighi
Born to Run - A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher Mcdougall.
Two Words: Excellent Book. Two More Words: Read it.
This book focuses on joys of running and a look at the Tarahumara Indians that run incredibly long distances, without breaking a sweat, without shoes.
This is what natural running is all about. The Tarahumara tribe is one of the most running-obsessed nations and we have so much to learn from them and their unique running culture.
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.
Mighty Moe: The True Story of a Thirteen-Year-Old Women's Running Revolutionary by Rachel Swaby
This is the story of Maureen Wilton who broke the women's world record in the marathon at age 13 and the struggles and triumph she endured in the midst of controversy.
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 -
The great writer, Haruki Murakami chronicles his love for running and writing while training for the New York City Marathon.
This is a great book if you want to be in tune with the relationship between your mental health and physical health
Pre: The Story of America's Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine
Prefontaine is one of those elite runners who has left behind an undying legacy even if his life ended in tragedy the running world will remember him.
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 G reatness - another great read by Scott Jurek
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.
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?
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".
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!
Adharanand Finn has given us runners some of the most inspiring reading books to help us become a better runner.
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!
If you want even more audiobook recommendations, Amazon's Best Sellers List is always interesting to scroll through.
Podcasts are another wonderful way to spend your time running.
I listen to them on Apple’s Podcast app that comes with the iphone but Spotify is another popular place to listen to podcasts.
My 2 favorite running related podcasts:
Two unrelated-to-running podcasts I enjoy:
Do you love to read as well? Do you wish you read more? Or perhaps you never really considered yourself a reader?
I hope you find something on this list to enjoy on your next run or to read during your downtime!
Please share your favorite book or running books!
I'll send you my free 24 Hour Timeline Checklist of Things You Should Do After a Long Run when you sign up!
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