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10 Books to Make You a Better Runner

Every serious runner is educated by the roads and trails they run, and by the books they read. The right running book can inspire you and teach you how to be a better runner.
Here are 10 running books that will rock your running world.
Lore of Running–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 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.

Running and Being–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.

Racing the Antelope–Bernd Heinrich

Racing the Antelope is a semi-auto biographical account of Heinrich’s life, and his 100km 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 new light.

Once a Runner–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.

The Perfect Mile–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 3 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.

Ultramarathon Man—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 about how you can also run an ultramarathon.

Run Faster–Brad Hudson and 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.

Finding Ultra—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.

Daniels Running Formula–Jack Daniels

Daniels has coached many elites and top distance runners to run strong. His secret: the formula.. His best-selling book has great insight into training from short 800m programs to marathon distance. The training tables in the book assure that every runner at every level is going to run the right paces on Easy days, Tempo runs and Interval pace runs.

The Extra Mile–Pam Reed

This memoir dives into Reed’s passion for running and her struggle with anorexia. In The Extra Mile she delves into how she balances the full life of being a mother, wife, elite athlete and business woman. Reed has run 300 miles nonstop and emphasizes that we can do anything we set our minds to.


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