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5 Fantastic Books Every Runner Should Read & Have On Their Bookshelf

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Running is something that brings joy to millions of people around the world. It helps improve the person’s overall health and fitness while it also lifts the mood. However, sometimes runners lack the right guidance that leads them to injuries and affects their overall motivation. Some running workouts are extremely critical and if done right, can drastically improve our performance. For such cases, there are books every runner should read.

With the vast knowledge of information available on the internet, one can easily get lost. Books come to the rescue for these runners, as they provide valuable inputs related to specific topics. So let’s find out the books that are absolutely a must have for all the runners out there.

5 Books Every Runner Should Read

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Born to Run by Christopher McDougal

Born to Read - Best Running Books
Learn about the evolution of running ( Image Source )

This book is one of the first books that deserves to earn a spot on your bookshelf. It explains how running has evolved from its roots and shaped the evolution of the human race. It has an interesting story about taking on some of the great aspects of long distance running.

How standing up on two legs and having the ability to run long distances was the reason humans became the dominant species. It talks about the Tarahumara tribe that lives in the mountains, their running styles and eating habits, and why they are the best runners the world has ever seen.

The book is a story about how runners like Scott Jurek, Bare Foot Ted, etc. came to run with the Tarahumara tribe and how the entire plot comes down to an epic race between the civilized runners and the tribe. By the side of the main plot, there is a strong push towards minimalistic and barefoot running.

This is one of the books every runner should read. It will take you on a journey that’ll inspire you and leave you with a stronger desire to keep running.

Also, read The Joy of Running: A Way To Conquer Yourself.

Marathon – The Ultimate Training Guide by Hal Higdon

Marathon - the Ultimate Training Guide - Best Running Books
Prepare for the Marathon you’ve dreamt of ( Image Source )

If you want to run a marathon while doing the preparation right, this is the book you have to read. Whether you are a beginner just wanting to run your first marathon or a seasoned marathoner wanting to improve your personal best, this book has so much to take home, for all of us.

It has in-depth explanations of different types of workouts that can be done to improve the performance in the marathon. It explains in depth various training plans for different levels of runners. It also puts some light on the diet that should be followed and how you should eat in the weeks leading up to the big race.

All your doubts about distance running, the right pace, the taper period and carbo-loading will be answered by this book.

The 80:10:10 Diet by Douglas Graham

Running Books - The 80:10:10 Diet
The book is all about diet ( Image Source )

As much as we tend to neglect our diet while training, it’s important to understand the big role it plays in our performance. This book explains the effectiveness of the 80:10:10 diet, which is the ratio of carbs to protein to fat. The book is extremely moving and convinces you to follow the suggested low-fat plant-based diet.

The book has a realistic, scientific and humble way of getting the reader to try the plant-based diet and see the transformation in their lives. It’ll definitely make you reconsider your meat-based diets and give you strong reasoning for choosing a more natural diet.

The book frequently talks about how this type of diet will keep you energetic, help maintain better moods and live a healthier life.

Eat and Run – My Unlikely Guide to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek

Books On Running - Eat & Run
Eat and Run – The journey of Scott Jurek ( Image Source )

Scott Jurek is arguably one of the best ultra-marathoners of all time, and this is his autobiography. His story is the perfect example that shows the power of a strong will and a healthy diet in the sport of distance running.

The book talks about the immense pain these ultra-marathoners put themselves through and how Scott’s vegan diet helped him push through these obstacles and challenges to achieve the great feat. The book contains less science but has a lot of vegan recipes that can help enhance your performance and help you realize your highest potential.

If you lack motivation, this book will surely inspire you to dedicate yourself, endure challenges and rekindle your love for running.

Once a Runner by John L. Parker Jr.

Best Running Books - Once A Runner
Once a Runner, Always a Runner ( Image source )

The story is about a runner who one day dreams of breaking the 4-minute mile. It explains in depth the efforts that go into his training for the race of his life against the greatest miler in history. In ‘Once a Runner’, the author shows us the struggle and pain elite runners have to endure.This is a must on the list of books every runner should read.

The book talks about what it means to make sacrifices and have a focussed approach with a dream to one day achieve excellence. The path of the elite need not be the one you opt for, but it sure helps put your physical challenges in perspective when compared to what these runners put their mind and body through, to achieve greatness.

Although there are hundreds of good books every runner should read, the above five are the ones that are specifically recommended by the runners on LivingIt. They have recommended it for all the runners out there. These books will change your perspective towards running – from looking at it as a mere sport to a beautiful work of art that needs to be continuously refined.

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