20 Must-Read Running Books to ‘Fit’ In for 2014

Recently, I surveyed runners from around the web, asking them what their favorite running-related books were. The results were astounding. Thank you to all of you who participated in the conversation! The following are some great running books to check out. Have more suggestions? Leave them in the comments!

#1 – Body for Life, by Bill Phillips

It breaks the workout and nutrition down scientifically, but in everyday language. It explains how most people either train the wrong way and/or overtrain. It begins with a 12 week cycle of the proper way to eat and work out, which is so much more simple than you can imagine. I felt like I wasn’t doing enough for the first several weeks, but my personal end results were incredible.

After being a college and professional athlete who was always in decent shape, this book took me to extraordinary shape. The workouts are short, but specific and include one day to eat anything I want. The pictures of results they show in the book (and probably a website somewhere) are accurate and true, no matter how much you say “no way.” I work in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles and have turned many actors on to this program and every single one has had success. I am in no way affiliated with Body for Life, but really do believe it enough to write this. *[suggested by David R.]

#2 – The Lore of Running by M.D., by Tim Noakes

This is an incredibly thorough book that covers just about every facet of running, from a renowned medical doctor/running aficionado Tim Noakes from South Africa. *[suggested by Bill L.]

#3 – Spark by John Ratey M.D.

This is a book about the correlation between running/exercise and how good it is for the brain and emotions and psychology of humans. *[suggested by Bill L.]

#4 – Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall

Born To Run is great. Doesn’t matter if you want to run barefoot, etc. I found it very interesting to read and it touches so many topics. *[suggested by Ninjawolf on Daily Mile]

#5 – Anatomy for Runners, by Jay Dicharry

*[suggested by Bill P.]

#6 – Barefoot Runner, by Paul Rambali

This covers the life of marathon champ Abebe Bikila who won the Olympic marathon twice in 1960 and 1964. *[suggested by Simon B.]

#7 – The Running Man, by Gilbert Tuhabonye

…which is a biography of Gilbert, primarily growing up in Burundi. *[suggested by Simon B.]

#8 – Run to Overcome, by Meb Keflezighi

His is a truly inspiring story and I highly recommend his book. It’s very engaging and a pretty fast read. *[suggested by Lisa A.]

#9 – Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else, by Geoffrey Colvin

Ryan Hall mentioned he was reading “Talent is Overrated” so I picked it up. Great read! *[suggested by Luis G.]

#10 – The Big Book of Endurance Training & Racing, by Philip Maffetone

At different level they both change my mind and way of running and training. *[suggested by Luis G.]

#11 – The Runner’s Field Manual and the Runner’s Rule Book, by Mark Remy

A little light/humorous reading. *[suggested by Michael Y.]

#12 – Chicken Soup for the Runner’s Soul, by Jack Canfield, et al.

…Also short stories but a good read as well. *[suggested by Michael Y.]

#13 – Running the Highway to Hell: The 28th Sultan Marathon des Sables, by Graeme Harvey

#14 – Bowerman and the Men of Oregon: The Story of Oregon’s Legendary Coach and Nike’s Cofounder, by Kenny Moore

#15 – Running with the Buffaloes: A Season Inside with Mark Wetmore, Adam Goucher, and the University of Colorado Men’s Cross Country Team, by Chris Lear

These are two of the better running books I have read. *[#14, 15 suggested by Glen S.]

#16 – Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner, by Dean Karnazes

#17 – Feet in the Clouds: A Tale of Fell-Running and Obsession, by Richard Askwith

Both of those should get you fired up for the new year! *[suggested by Gareth E.]

#18 – From Last to first, by Charlie Spedding

#19 – More Fire: How to Run the Kenyan Way, by Toby Tanser

#20 – Bounce, by Matthew Syed

Bounce is a brilliant read, and focuses on the science of success rather than the myth of talent. *[suggested by Stuart L.]

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