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Best Running Books

Hit your stride with this comprehensive list of the best running books, perfect for athletes and enthusiasts alike, ranked by appearances on distinguished sports and health platforms.

Recommendations from 118 articles, Bill Gates, Joe Rogan, Kate Upton and 41 others.
Best Running Books
100 books on the list
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Born to Run book cover
Born to Run
A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
Christopher McDougall - 2009-05-05
Goodreads Rating
Discover the secrets of endurance running in this riveting adventure that takes readers from science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks of North America. Join award-winning journalist Christopher McDougall as he dives into the world of ultra-runners and the incredible abilities of Mexico's Tarahumara Indians – who can run hundreds of miles without rest or injury. This book will not only engage your mind but inspire your body to realize that we are all born to run.
What I Talk about When I Talk about Running book cover
What I Talk about When I Talk about Running
A Memoir
Haruki Murakami - 2008-07-29 (first published in 2007)
Goodreads Rating
This memoir delves into Haruki Murakami's passion for long-distance running, which he adopted in the 1980s and has since competed in over twenty marathons and an ultramarathon. The title is an homage to Raymond Carver's short story collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.
Recommended by
Brian Koppelman
Eat and Run book cover
Eat and Run
My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness
Scott Jurek - 2012-06-05
Goodreads Rating
This book details the life and career of ultrarunner Scott Jurek, who held the American 24-hour record for nearly two decades. One of the elite runners profiled in the bestseller Born to Run, Jurek shares his journey to becoming a champion athlete with a plant-based diet. From his childhood in the Midwest to practical advice and his own recipes, Eat and Run provides readers with inspiration and insight into the power of determination and breaking stereotypes surrounding athlete nutrition.
Let Your Mind Run book cover
Let Your Mind Run
A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory
Deena Kastor - 2018-04-10
Goodreads Rating
"Let Your Mind Run" is a powerful memoir that chronicles how shaping your mindset can lead to unprecedented achievements. Deena Kastor, a former youth running star, almost gave up on her passion after college. However, a move to Colorado and the guidance of legendary coach Joe Vigil helped her realize that a positive mindset results in faster, more efficient running. Kastor's journey is a testament to the power of resilience, discipline, and self-awareness. This book is an inspiring read for anyone looking to cultivate a more positive outlook on life.
Once a Runner book cover
Once a Runner
A Novel
John L. Parker Jr. - 1999-05-01 (first published in 1978)
Goodreads Rating
Discover the world of competitive running and athletic competition through this beloved sports novel originally self-published in 1978. Inspired by the author's experience as a collegiate champion, the story follows Quenton Cassidy, a runner at Southeastern University whose lifelong dream is to run a four-minute mile. With the Vietnam War era causing turmoil within the athletic department, Cassidy is suspended from the track team after becoming involved in an athletes' protest. Join Cassidy on his journey as he gives up his scholarship, girlfriend, and future to train for the race of his life against the greatest miler in history. Once a Runner offers a rare glimpse into the intensely competitive lives of elite distance runners and is an inspiring and humorous tale of one man's quest for championship glory.
26 Marathons book cover
26 Marathons
What I Learned About Faith, Identity, Running, and Life from My Marathon Career
Meb Keflezighi - 2019-03-19
Goodreads Rating
Follow the journey of legendary distance-runner Meb Keflezighi as he shares his experiences from each of the 26 marathons he's run throughout his career. From the Boston and New York City marathons to an Olympic medal, Meb's story is full of challenges, rewards, and outcomes that will inspire runners of all levels. In 26 Marathons, Meb shares his wisdom about life, family, identity, and faith, as well as tips about running, training, and nutrition. This book offers an inside look at the life and success of one of the greatest runners living today, and shows readers how they can apply Meb's lessons to their own lives.
Running with the Kenyans book cover
Running with the Kenyans
Adharanand Finn - 2012-05-15 (first published in 2010)
Goodreads Rating
Explore the world of elite long-distance running with this captivating memoir. Author Adharanand Finn travels to Kenya to uncover the secrets of the world's fastest runners and fulfill a lifelong dream to run with his heroes. His journey takes him through chaotic towns, training schools, and even barefoot schoolchildren. Along the way, he learns valuable lessons about both running and life. With practical advice and unforgettable characters, this book is perfect for runners of all levels.
Endure book cover
Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance
Alex Hutchinson - 2018-02-06
Goodreads Rating
Explore the science of human endurance and push your limits with this fascinating book. From physical to psychological factors, Hutchinson covers the findings that have overturned our understanding of human limitations in endurance. Learn how the brain dictates how far we can go, and discover tactics to enhance your own performance, whether you're an athlete or not. For fans of The Sports Gene, Born to Run, and Grit, Endure is a must-read.
Recommended by
Adam GrantNoah Kagan
North book cover
Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail
Scott Jurek - 2018-04-10
Goodreads Rating
Follow ultrarunner Scott Jurek on his inspiring and grueling 46-day journey to break the speed record for the Appalachian Trail. Running almost 50 miles a day, every day, Jurek pushed himself to the limit both physically and emotionally. With the support of his wife, friends, and strangers, Jurek's journey is a stunning example of perseverance and personal transformation. Read North for a thrilling and inspiring story that will motivate both runners and non-runners alike to reach their personal best.
Running with the Buffaloes book cover
Running with the Buffaloes
A Season Inside With Mark Wetmore, Adam Goucher, And The University Of Colorado Men's Cross Country Team
Chris Lear - 2003-07-15 (first published in 2000)
Goodreads Rating
Follow the University of Colorado cross-country team on their unforgettable journey to the NCAA championship in Running with the Buffaloes. With unparalleled access to the team and coach Mark Wetmore, writer Chris Lear provides a riveting and emotional look inside the triumphs and heartaches of a perennial national contender. As the Buffaloes face injury, tragedy, and blind misfortune, they are tested like never before. But what they manage to achieve in the face of adversity is the stuff of legend and glory, capturing the lives and motivations of these young men and their great coach. A glowing celebration of sport and an inspiration to beat the odds and follow a dream.
The Rise of the Ultra Runners by Adharanand Finn
Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes
Daniels' Running Formula by Jack Tupper Daniels
80/20 Running by Matt Fitzgerald
How Bad Do You Want It? by Matt Fitzgerald
Finding Ultra by Rich Roll
Running Like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley
Run the Mile You're In by Ryan Hall
ChiRunning by Danny Dreyer
Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. by Shalane Flanagan
Running With Sherman by Christopher McDougall
Running Rewired by Jay Dicharry
Strong by Kara Goucher
Anatomy for Runners by Jay Dicharry
Run Faster from the 5K to the Marathon by Brad Hudson
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances by The Oatmeal
Lore of Running, 4th Edition by Timothy Noakes
The Perfect Mile by Neal Bascomb
Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger
Feet In The Clouds by Richard Askwith
Mighty Moe by Rachel Swaby
Can't Nothing Bring Me Down by Ida Keeling
My Life on the Run by Bart Yasso
Running & Being by George Sheehan
Runner by Lizzy Hawker
Bravey by Alexi Pappas
Run Fast. Eat Slow. by Shalane Flanagan
Running Home by Katie Arnold
Good to Go by Christie Aschwanden
Relentless Forward Progress by Bryon Powell
Run the World by Becky Wade
The Way of the Runner by Adharanand Finn
A Beautiful Work In Progress by Mirna Valerio
Choosing to Run by Des Linden
The Pants Of Perspective by Anna McNuff
Rebound by Cindy Kuzma
Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron
Natural Born Heroes by Christopher Mcdougall
Brain Training for Runners by Matt Fitzgerald
Running Is My Therapy by Scott Douglas
Running on Empty by Marshall Ulrich
Running by Jen A. Miller
What Made Maddy Run by Kate Fagan
The Science of Running by Steve Magness
Marathon Man by Bill Rodgers
Running Your First Marathon by Andrew Kastor
Epic Runs of the World by Lonely Planet
Meb For Mortals by Meb Keflezighi
Why We Run by Bernd Heinrich
The Longest Race by Kara Goucher
How to Lose a Marathon by Joel Cohen
Good for a Girl by Lauren Fleshman
Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins
Mind Gym by Gary Mack
A Life Without Limits by Chrissie Wellington
Science of Running by Chris Napier
Hansons Marathon Method by Luke Humphrey
Build Your Running Body by Pete Magill
Training Essentials for Ultrarunning by Jason Koop
Run to the Finish by Amanda Brooks
The Art of Running Faster by Julian Goater
Running Man by Charlie Engle
Hal Koerner's Field Guide to Ultrarunning by Hal Koerner
Reborn on the Run by Catra Corbett
A Race Like No Other by Liz Robbins
Mile Markers by Kristin Armstrong
Running with the Mind of Meditation by Sakyong Mipham
Jog On by Bella Mackie
The Running Dream by Wendelin van Draanen
Ready to Run by Kelly Starrett
Running While Black by Alison Mariella Désir
The Long Run by Matt Long
Marathon Woman by Kathrine Switzer
Nowhere Near First by Cory Reese
Hansons Marathon Method by Luke Humphrey
Running Up That Hill by Vassos Alexander
The Happy Runner by David Roche
Train Like a Mother by Sarah Bowen Shea
Run Forever by Amby Burfoot
Don't Stop Me Now by Vassos Alexander
Pre by Tom Jordan
The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life by Amby Burfoot
Runner's World How to Make Yourself Poop by Meghan Kita
Depression Hates a Moving Target by Nita Sweeney
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner by Alan Sillitoe
Kara Goucher's Running for Women by Kara Goucher
Girl Runner by Carrie Snyder
Run or Die by Kilian Jornet
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight