Great books on running to inspire, motivate and educate:
The Perfect Mile by Neal Bascomb
Roger Bannister is well known for being the first to break the 4-minute mile barrier, but not many know how he did it. Bascomb explains how three runners were fighting for this record. He builds the suspense throughout the book as he explains the failed attempts leading up to the accomplishment of The Perfect Mile.
Running and Being by Dr. George Sheehan
This philosophical read is a great account of the author’s midlife return to the world of running. Running and Being is not only a running book, but also an outline to a program of finding joy with fitness. Sheehan’s knowledge of running, well-being and fitness will inspire any runner to re-evaluate their running and experience running at a new level.
Finding Ultra by Rich Roll
Roll has become an icon and mentor in the endurance athlete and plant-based eating world. He started out 50 pounds overweight and is now a lean and clean eating and exercising machine. Finding Ultra shares his remarkable journey and secrets to success. His positive view of training and living shows how it is possible to turn a life around, and accomplish great athletic feats.
Racing the Antelope by Bernd Heinrich
Racing the Antelope is a semi-autobiographical account of Heinrich’s life and his 100K world record in 1981. While training for this race, Heinrich had no ultramarathon training manuals, so he looked to nature. As a student of zoology and animal life, the book is intriguing and will help you view your training in a new light.
Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes
Perhaps one of the best known books about ultrarunning, Ultramarathon Man captures the euphoria and adventure of running long distances through inhospitable places, such as Death Valley. This biographical account of Karnazes shows how he turned his life around with running. The book keeps you reading as you find yourself wondering how you can also run an ultramarathon.
The Extra Mile by Pam Reed
This memoir dives into Reed’s passion for running and her struggle with anorexia. In The Extra Mile, Reed delves into how she balances the full life of being a mother, wife, elite athlete and businesswoman. Reed has run 500K nonstop and emphasizes that we can do anything we set our minds to.
Once a Runner: A Novel by John L. Parker Jr.
There are not many fictional running books out there. Once a Runner follows its hero, Quenton Cassidy, as he copes with the stresses and joys of being a successful runner. It is understandable why the novel is a cult classic among runners. The book is written for runners and captures the running life like no other novel on running has.
Lore of Running by Timothy Noakes
It has been called the bible of running and training. Author Timothy Noakes is a research scientist and physician whose dedication to running shines throughout the book as he educates runners on the finest details of running. This tome contains detailed chapters on training, racing, injuries and physiology. The Lore of Running is an excellent source for training methods and the effects of these methods.
Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon: How to Be Your Own Best Coach by Brad Hudson & Matt Fitzgerald
These two coaches are well known for their successful coaching strategies. In Run Faster, nothing is left out as they provide the tools to help you… run faster. The book will teach you how to be responsible for your own training, as it offers advice on designing and assessing your training program.