My Running Books

I try to read running books for inspiration in my own running and also to entertain various philosophies about how to run better. These are the books that I’ve made note of.

  • Once a Runner – A fictional tale about running that digs at the SEC, the exuberance of youth, and being able to do incredibly stupid things to push your limits. This book will get your fantasies going about the possibilities.
  • What I Talk About When I Talk About Running – Introspective and serene. I actually read most of this book while doing stationary bike programs.
  • Advanced Marathoning – This book got me back in tune with the nuances of strides and tempo runs, but my attempts to complete the 80ish mile training program faltered about week 13 or 14.
  • Unbroken – This is a story mostly about track star Louis Zamperini’s time in a POW camp in Japan. However, it also about redemption and being able to let go.
  • The Perfect Mile – I expected a thrilling tale about trying to beat 4 minutes per mile. I ended up with a cynicism about amateur athletics organizations as a side effect.
  • Again to Carthage – Perhaps I should reread this. This is a follow-up to Once a Runner. The story covers the main character’s return to running, but in a different capacity: the marathon.
  • Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life
  • Born to Run – This has a lot of folklore and is a good tale. I read it after the barefoot craze had died down, so maybe I read it with too much cynicism.
  • Running with the Kenyans – This is an interesting look into the rise and fall of African (primarily Kenyan) running stars, with additional speculation on how they get so fast in the first place.