Whether you are just starting out running, have years of running experience and need to move to the next level, or just need some inspiration for your daily miles, a good running book will fire you up. Reading and learning will help you get the most out of your runs.
But not just any book will do. Running books have varying content, from general advice to personal memories to specific training plans. Hence, think about what you need from a book before buying.
To make your buying decision easier, I have reviewed dozens of books out there and picked the best. Let’s now see the top 10 running books I have lined up for you; you can choose from these depending on your preferences.
1. 80/20 Running
In this book, Matt Fitzgerald, a renowned running and fitness expert, explains how an 80/20 running program works. This program recommends that you do 80% of your runs at low intensity and 20% at high intensity. The 80/20 method helps improve the performance of all runners with all types of abilities.
The 80/20 Running is backed up by thorough research and science; this is a perfect manual for runners at all levels, with training plans for various running distances.
This amazing book will coach you on how to improve your workouts to avoid burnout. And with this running method:
● Runs will become more enjoyable and less draining
● You will have less fatigue in each run
● Your performance will become better by having a few high-intensity runs
● Your fitness levels will improve
Besides using the 80/20 method in running, you can also implement this technique in other activities or workouts like weight loss exercises, cycling, or triathlon.
Through this training manual, Matt Fitzgerald aims to make most of your workouts easier and get better results.
2. 26 Marathons
The 26 Marathons book is a New York Times best-seller written by Meb Keflezighi, Scott Douglas, and other authors. In this resource, a world-class runner and Olympian share a true story of his life and the lessons he has learnt from the 26 marathons he has run in his career.
Meb Keflezighi is the first man in history to win both New York and Boston marathons, plus an Olympic gold medal. He ran his final marathon in the New York City marathon on November 5, 2017, which marked the end of his extraordinary running career.
Meb’s last marathon was his 26th, and there were unique challenges, outcomes, and rewards in each of his marathons. In 26 Marathons, this successful runner takes us through all those amazing races, along every bend, hill, and unexpected turn, that made each marathon an excellent learning experience and an inspiring story.
Meb shares running, training, and nutrition tips in this amazing book. Also, he shares the wisdom he has garnered about life, family, and identity. It’s a resource containing equal parts of practical advice and inspiration from the life and successes of one of the renowned professional runners living today.
3. Born to Run
Born to Run is a national bestseller that has completely changed how people run. And it all began with “why does my foot hurt?”
Christopher McDougall, an award-winning journalist and author, who was often injured during runs, noted a unique characteristic of the Tarahuma Indians who Mexico’s Copper Canyons isolated. These awesome humans sharpened their ability for long-distance running without resting or getting injured.
In that compelling narrative, Christopher sets out to discover the secrets of these Tarahumara Indians.
Christopher’s process starts from the science labs at Havard. Then the process proceeds to North America's freezing peeks and sun-scorched valleys, where enormous numbers of ultra runners push their bodies to their limits. And finally, to the tribe at the Copper Canyons that competes with America’s best ultra runners.
This incredible story will engage your mind and inspire you as you realize that all humans were born to run.
4. Can’t Hurt Me
For David Goggins, there was nothing beautiful in his childhood; poverty, physical abuse, and prejudice tormented him day and night.
But through mental toughness, self-discipline, and hardwork, David remoulded himself from a hopeless person to one of the world’s leading endurance athletes and a U.S Armed Forces Icon.
In Can’t Hurt Me, David shares his impressive life story. He reveals that most of us only utilize 40% of our abilities. His story lights up a path everyone can follow to push past pain, destroy fear, and reach their total potential.
5. Daniel’s Runing Formula
Do you want to train for your next race? Daniel’s Running Formula is a must-have.
Jack Daniel, the author of this guide, is a man many call “the world’s best running coach.” With over 55 years of experience, Daniel has received numerous recognitions and mentored some famous runners like Alicia Shay, Jerry Lawson, Jim Ryun, and many others.
In this book, Daniel has shared his training advice, methods, and strategies that will enable you to run faster and stronger.
Also, in this guide, you will get guidance on the features that make the training formula work and learn the various types of training, including fitness training, treadmill training, and training in challenging atmospheres. Plus, modifications for the various ages of runners.
Herein you will find advice on creating your own seasonal plan or following one of Daniel’s proven training plans and workouts.
The author includes four fitness running plans in this book for every running level, whether amateur runner, average runner, or even a competitive runner. All this will help you get in shape or restore conditioning after an injury.
6. Eat and Run
Scott Jurek, the author of Eat and Run, has been a powerful force in the growing sport of ultra running for almost two decades. Until recently, he has been the American 24-hour running record holder.
The author talks about his life and career as a successful athlete with a plant-based diet and inspires runners on all levels.
From his childhood activities like fishing, hunting, and cooking meat and potatoes for his family to transitioning to an ultra-running career and vegan diet, Jurek shutters irrelevant rules that dictate what one should eat for optimal performance.
This guide is full of competition stories, science & practical advice, and recommended recipes from the author to motivate you and expand your food horizons.
Jurek’s stories and ideas should cheer up someone desiring to live a full life.
7. Running with the Buffaloes
This text is one of the all-time best running books for all avid runners. The book was initially published in 1998 and centers around the true story of one of the best cross-country teams, the Buffaloes.
Chris Lear, the author of this resource, had the opportunity to be with the Buffaloe team from pre-season workouts to NCAA finals. He enjoyed the unlimited access, attended daily meetings & practices, read the team members' personal journals, and interviewed coaches and runners regularly.
Here is what you will get from reading this book:
● An understanding of what makes a person one of the best runners out there
● Alot of training tips and principles that helps runners enhance their daily training
● Inspirations from the Life of a competitive runner
8. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
This book is authored by Haruki Murakami, a Japanese writer who is also an ultra runner and a triathlete. Haruki has finished over twenty marathons since he began running in 1980.
This book looks back at this author's past and the crucial impact running had on his life and mostly on his writing career. Haruki says that he wouldn’t have become a writer without running.
Haruki’s stories will take you to places; for example, he will take you to Jingu Gaien Gardens in Tokyo, where he trained with an olympian runner, or Boston’s Charles River, where a group of young women outperformed him.
In addition, Haruki has written this book in a playful, funny, and philosophical manner, making it an exciting read. He explains how running impacted his life and discusses his triumphs and disappointments, which eventually became great life lessons.
Being an expert runner yet an author, Haruki has a lot to offer to the world of long-distance athletes.
9. Let Your Mind Run
Deena Kastor, the author of this book, was a star youth runner and very promising. However, her running career almost collapsed after college after her competitive method—running as hard as possible for fear of losing—birthed frustrations and negativity and pushed her very close to burnout.
When almost quitting, this female runner took one more step, which turned out excellent. She moved to Alamosa, Colorado, where she joined a legendary coach Joel Vigil who was forming a professional distance running team.
While at Alamosa, Deena discovered an idea that transformed her running career. She realized that building a strong mind enabled her to propel her running and break the American marathon records.
Let The Mind Run is a great success story showing how little steps of positivity can give anyone a competitive advantage. Also, this resource allows you to see the mind of an elite athlete.
Alex Hutchinson, the author of this book, reveals that the capacity to endure is a key determinant of performance in almost every field. He says that the mind is the new limitation of endurance and that the horizons of performance are more elastic than we ever thought.
With compelling stories of athletes who exceeded their physical limitations, Alex encourages readers to think about how their minds affect their ability to push themselves forward in running and other endeavors.