Best Books On Running

Our 25 Best Books On Running, Nutrition, Cross Training and Mindset

Any simple Google search will come up with hundreds of suggestions on what are the books to read about running. We’ve picked out some of the highest reviewed books (and personal favorites) you can read about different aspects of running from training and nutrition to more inspirational stories to keep you going on your toughest runs.   (Note: The following post contains links that are part of our participation in the Amazon affiliate program. This means that should you purchase, we may receive a small commission from Amazon. This is at no extra cost to you and just helps support our podcast and website expenses.)

Five Books About Run Training

Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance by Alex Hutchinson

Alex Hutchinson is a former national team distance runner and trained at Cambridge tobecome a physicist. His book, Endure combines science and storytelling to show readersthat the mind is just as important as the body in overcoming barriers in training.Hutchinson addresses many common barriers people face such as; fuel, oxygen,muscles, and pain and then gives a real-life account of someone who has surpassedthose training barriers.

Shut Up and Run: How to Get Up, Lace Up and Sweat with Swagger by Robin Arzon

Robin Arzon is an ultramarathoner and a running coach who shows us that sometimesyou just need to shut up and run! In her book, Arzon gives us tips and motivation to helpus get out there and run and stay motivated when we’d really rather just sit on thecouch all day. She gives advice on training, what gear to use, what kind of music to listento and even has a place for you to track your progress and goals!

How to Make Yourself Poop and 999 Other Tips All Runners Should Know by Meghan Kita

In this book, Runner’s World’s Meghan Kita, shows runners how to avoid a mid-runbathroom break! Kita also gives runners easy to use tips on everything from nutritionand training to tying shoes and post run recovery.

The Happy Runner by David Roche and Megan Roche, MD

This book is for those that have fallen out of love with their running and are strugglingto get back on their feet. David and Megan Roche detail the emotional and mentalbarriers that are keeping you from running happy and reaching goals. This book teachesrunners how to balance effort with happiness so you can continue to make running fun.

80/20 Running: Run Stronger and Race Faster by Training Slower by Matt Fitzgerald

Matt Fitzgerald makes his first appearance on this list with his book about running 80%of runs at low intensity and 20% of runs at a high intensity. This method of training helpsprevent burnout and can be used for all level of runners from 5ks to ultramarathons.This book examines the science behind the method and gives runners actionable toolsto add to their training.

Five Motivational Running Books To Keep You Going

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

While not completely about running, running does play a large role in the life of LouisZamperini, who this book is based on. Unbroken follows Zamperini from a young mantraining for the Olympics in the mile and breaking records to a World War II bomberwho gets stranded at sea for over a month. This book shows us that if you put your mindto it, you can not only survive, but you can also win.

Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron

Set during the Rwandan genocide, this fictional book follows Jean Patrick Nkuba as heruns through the Rwandan hills and dreams of Olympic gold medals but soon findshimself running for his life as the Hutu and Tutsi conflict grows.

26 Marathons: What I Learned about Faith, Identity, Running and Life from My Marathon Careerby Meb Keflezighi

Most runners have heard of Meb and in this book, he shares with us what learned fromthe many marathons he has completed over the years. Meb takes us through each ofthe 26 marathons and tells us what challenges he faced, what the rewards were and helearned from the experience.

Reborn on the Run: My Journey from Addiction to Ultra Marathons by Catra Corbett

Catra Corbett has ran more than one hundred miles more than one hundred times andholds the fastest known record for the John Muir Trail, completing it in just over fourdays. But she wasn’t always a gifted runner. Corbett suffered from meth addiction fortwo years before getting arrested and turning her life around through running andsobriety which led her to become an ultramarathon leader.

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

No runner’s reading list would be complete without Born to Run, probably to mostrecommended book for any runner. Christopher McDougall sets out to find theTarahumara Tribe in Mexico, the people of which run long distances mostly withoutshoes and without injury. McDougall wanted to see exactly why it was these NativeAmericans could run such distances without getting hurt when thousands of peoplearound the world injure themselves during their runs.

Five Top Books about Running Nutrition

Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultra Marathon Greatness by Scott Jurek

Scott Jurek is an ultramarathon runner and a vegan. In his book, he details his career asa champion runner and becoming a vegan. He believes runners should eat to fuel theirruns, not just to fill their stomachs and includes his own recipes to get you started.

Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky

This cookbook highlights what marathon winner Shalane Flanagan ate during hertraining for the New York City Marathon. These recipes are fast, easy, and healthy butdon’t sacrifice taste. The cookbook as everything from snacks, on the go meals andquick dinners for the busy runner that may not have a lot of time to cook.

Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance by Matt Fitzgerald

Another book by Matt Fitzgerald, Racing Weight shows athletes how to lose weightwithout compromising their training. The book offers practical tips and food suggestionsto get the fuel every athlete needs to stay healthy while also losing or maintainingweight for an event.

Runner’s World Meals on the Run: 150 energy-packed recipes in 30 minutes or less by JoannaSayago Golub

This cookbook offers runners even more recipes to fuel their runs while staying healthy.With 150 recipes to choose from, you’re bound to find some favorites that you can cookup in less than thirty minutes and keep yourself from binging on junk food.

In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan

While this book isn’t athlete specific, In Defense of Food gives readers a look into howthe Western diet has changed from wholesome food and easy to navigate nutrients toover processed, over complicated ingredients. Pollan shows us how to navigate all thesenew nutrients and how we can still eat wholesome and healthy.

Five Books about Strength and Cross Training For Runners

Build Your Running Body: A Total-Body Fitness Plan for All Distance Runners by Pete Magill

This work out plan is a great tool for every level of runner that wants to begin crosstraining. This book targets connective tissues, muscles and the cardiovascular systemand even helps with hormones and the brain! It features 150 workouts, interviews fromleading runners, coaches and nutritionists, race strategies and more!

Running Rewired: Reinvent Your Run for Stability, Strength and Speed by Jay Dicharry

Jay Dicharry is a leading sports physical therapist and coach and came up with 15workouts using cutting edge research and technology that will help with mobilityproblems, weaknesses and imbalances. In this book there are 15 self-tests to see howyou are moving certain parts of your body, 83 exercises to build strength and 15workouts to add to any training plan to boost your performance.

Anatomy for Runners: Unlocking Your Athletic Potential for Health, Speed and Injury Precentionby Jay Dicharry

Another book by Jay Dicharry, this one delves into how the body works, how runningaffects your body, and how your body affects your running. This book also containsmobility and stability tests and exercises to help strengthen weakness while reallygetting into what causes these weaknesses and how it can lead to injury.

Quick Strength for Runners: 8 Weeks to a Better Runner’s Body by Jeff Horowitz

Jeff Horowitz offers a stronger overall running body using two 20-minute workouts perweek without having to have a gym. This includes 40 exercises with step by stepinstructions and pictures to make sure you’re doing them right and a full 8 weekprogram to really build your strength.

Attain Peak Running Through Cross Training: How to Train Smarter to Become a Better Runnerand Balanced Individual by Benjamin T. Mueller

This book dives into what helps people attain their peak running form from psychologyand training, to recovery and nutrition. Mueller lays out the science behind crosstraining and offers strategies to build their overall fitness and run injury free.

Five Books to Improve Your Running Mindset

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

This great book is about Japanese marathon runner Haruki Murakami who decided tokeep a journal during his training for the New York Marathon. Murakami gives hisinsights about running and what he did to over come challenges he faced duringtraining.

How Bad Do You Want It?: Mastering the Psychology of Mindset over Muscle by Matt Fitzgerald

This last book from Matt Fitzgerald examines elite athletes in various sports and whatgot them through some of their toughest races or events. Featuring post-raceinterviews, Fitzgerald gives us a glimpse of the mindset these elites have to trulybecome champions and gives us tips on how we can have strong minds as well as strongbodies.

Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory by Deena Kastor

Deena Kastor is an American running champion and Olympic gold medalist who almostquit running after college. Luckily, Colorado coach Joe Vigil added her to his team andchanged her mindset from running as fast as possible so you don’t lose to a morepositive and encourage outlook. This book shows us how to change our way of thinkingto be more encouraging to ourselves during a run and look at things from a morepositive light.

Running is My Therapy: Relieve Stress and Anxiety, Fight Depression, and Live Happier by ScottDouglas

We all know that running is good for the body and the mind but in this book we learnexactly how running can help you form a healthier brain. As many people have noticed,running makes you feel happier and that is because running is natural antidepressantand Douglas helps us use running to improve our mental health and lead happier lives.

The Ultra Mindset: An Endurance Champion’s 8 Core Principles for Success in Business, Sportsand Life by John Hanc and Travis Macy

In this book, accomplished ultramarathoner Travis Macy, tells us about his outlook hecalls the “ultra mindset” that he uses in everyday life and helps him overcome manyobstacles. Macy shows us how to rewrite the stories we tell ourselves and how to have apositive, hard working attitude about anything you do in life and how that can help youaccomplish great things.

Bonus  – Our Favorite Training Journal For Runners

Believe Training Journal by Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas

I personally use this journal to keep track of all my runs throughout the year. For thoseof you who like keeping a written record of runs this is a great tool! It has a monthlytracker so you can easily see how many miles you ran in a month as well as weeklylayouts to write in your workouts, how you felt about them, and how many miles youcompleted. The journal also features a few quizzes and some motivational pieces to helpkeep you on track.