17 Best Books About Running Update 05/2022

Our editorial team worked together to come up with the best reading list for runners. We can say that we’re excited about the results.

There are plenty of things to choose from on our list, whether you want inspiration, entertainment, or training tips.

Bravey: Chasing Dreams, Befriending Pain, and Other Big Ideas By Alexi Pappas

The first book Alexi Pappas ever wrote, Bravey, has been a big hit in the running world. She talks about everything from her Olympic dreams to how to build confidence, how to deal with your mental health, and how to be a bravey. People who are runners or not will be inspired by this book, which is written in a series of short essays by Pappas. She talks about her own struggles and achievements and draws sharp, insightful lessons from them.

Mind Gym By Gary Mack

Gary Mack is a well-known sports psychologist who has worked with a wide range of athletes, from Olympic hopefuls to strikeout pitchers. Here, he talks about how important the mental game is and how psychology can affect how well you do.

Running With Sherman By Christopher McDougall

With a donkey? That’s a new one. When Christopher MacDougall decided to take in a donkey that had been given up for adoption, it was a heartwarming decision. He trained for one of the most dangerous races in the United States so he could run with it. You’re going to want to hug your dog or cat a little closer while you’re reading.

Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way To Victory By Deena Kastor and Michelle Hamilton

Kastor’s memoir is a great example of how to use positivity and gratitude to help you achieve your goals. As an elite athlete, Kastor has learned a lot about the power of gratitude and positivity. She weaves these lessons into her story. She goes from running with fear to running with strength, power, and courage. This is one of the most important parts of the story.

Born To Run By Christopher McDougall 

When Christopher McDougall talks about his time with the Tarahumara people of Mexico’s Copper Canyons, he talks about their running-based way of life. McDougall’s book talks about how running works and why we were all born to run.

The Comeback Quotient By Matt Fitzgerald

Matt Fitzgerald is a sports writer who talks about how athletes stay mentally strong and focused when they make a comeback. He calls these people “ultrarealists,” people who fully accept, embrace, and deal with the reality of their situations in order to be successful. This is what Fitzgerald tells us. We can all do this in any part of our lives. Then again, who doesn’t love a good comeback?

The Perfect Mile By Neal Bascomb

History buff? Runner? This is for you. You can read about the three athletes who tried to break the 4-minute mile barrier and did it. You can read Bascomb’s book even if you don’t like reading about sports history or if you want to be inspired. You’ll be motivated to break through your own barriers both on and off the course.

Run Forever By Amby Burfoot

In this video, marathoner Amby Burfoot talks about how to have a healthy relationship with yourself and your training so that you can keep running and enjoy it for years to come. He gives you clear, easy-to-follow advice that you can use in your daily life, no matter how much you know about it.

Strong By Kara Goucher

In this video, Kara Goucher, a two-time Olympian, talks about how to build your self-confidence and overcome doubt both while you’re running and in your everyday life. When she comes up with tools for you to use in your daily life, she draws on the experiences of professional runners like Emma Coburn and Molly Huddle, as well as sport psychologists and other experts in the field.

Running the Rift By Naomi Benaron

This book tells the incredible story of Jean Patrick Nkuba, the first track athlete from Rwanda to win an Olympic medal, and how he fought for his life as a Tutsi during the Rwanda Genocide. It all comes down to Nkuba’s love for running, and it saves him.

Once a Runner By John L. Parker, Jr.

The author came up with the story based on his own experience as a college champion. They want to run a four-minute mile. Quentin Cassidy is the main character in the book and wants to do that. In less than a second, he’s close to his goal, but the Vietnam War throws his dreams into a whirlpool.

After he took part in an athlete’s protest against the war, he was suspended from the track team and had to leave the school. In order to prepare for the race of his life, he stops living the way he normally does. An insider’s account of racing at the top level is both inspiring and funny, but it’s also a lot of work to read.

The Runner’s Kitchen By Emma Coburn

Emma Coburn’s cook book has something for everyone, whether you want to make Butternut Squash Gnocchi or learn more about sports nutrition. This is what she has to say about her favorite recipes. They’re made to fuel your runs, and they also make your food even better. Besides, they’re fun and easy to make.

Run Fast. Eat Slow: Nourishing Recipes for AthletesBy Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky 

According to Kopecky, the most important thing an athlete can do, aside from training, is learn to cook. This cookbook has recipes that are healthy and tasty, as well as smart ideas for saving time and reducing waste in the kitchen. Meal plans, budget tips, and kitchen tools all make this book a must-have for anyone who wants to eat healthy.

Unbroken By Laura Hillenbrand

By the way, Hillenbrand’s book tells the amazing true story of Louis Zamperini. An outcast as a child, Zamperini turns to running as an adult and qualifies for an Olympic Games spot by running just four times. During his service in the Air Force during World War II, he is aboard an airliner that crashes into the ocean, leaving him drifting on a raft struggling for survival. You’ll want to read this amazing, true story about the power of the human will. It’s a well-written book that will make you want to read more.

Running Rewired By Jay Dicharry

Physical therapists and running coaches have recommended this book. It breaks down research-based exercises that can help you avoid injury, break bad habits, and build a strong running foundation. In Running Rewired, there are a lot of ways to improve your stride when you’re stuck at home.

How Bad Do You Want It? By Matt Fitzgerald

The idea of mind over matter has been around for a long time, but it’s not as easy as it sounds to do. It’s Matt Fitzgerald’s job to write about sports, so he looks at over a dozen important races and talks about how elite athletes build their mental strength. He talks about cutting-edge, psychobiological principles that help people who want to be good at endurance sports. These principles are sure to change your mindset as you go about your next run.

North By Scott Jurek

Scott Jurek talks about how his mind was blown when he tried to break the speed record on the Appalachian Trail. As a well-known trail runner and ultramarathoner, this was a challenge for him both physically and mentally. That didn’t stop him, though. He came away with a better sense of himself and a story that will inspire both runners and non-runners.

Epic Runs of the World By The Lonely Planet

Traveling has made you want to go more. We also have to. People at the Lonely Planet want you to go on a different kind of vacation. They want you to run through your next trip. People who like to run can find out about some of the best running routes in the world. They can also plan their next trip on the trail. And, we have to say, it’ll look great on your coffee table.

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