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04.08.2022

Books about running – TOP 20 the most interesting recommendations

Books about running – TOP 20 the most interesting recommendations

It might seem like books for runners are nothing more than a waste of precious time. But is it true? Sometimes it can happen that running and continuous training alone are not enough and they are not helping in achieving better results. Inspiration also plays a very important role here. You can find it in various books about running and runners. Among the various propositions, you will find not only advice for beginners or guides that talk about how to run better. There are also stories of those who have already achieved success.

The best running books will help you;

  • get you motivated to run again; 
  • gain a fresh and different perspective on your running training;
  • change your approach to running;
  • find joy in running;
  • reach for medals

Books on running that will bring freshness into your training

Running is not only a way to get your dream figure or next success in competitions. This should also be your ‘temple’ of calm, reflection, and relaxation. There is a reason why all the good ideas come to mind after the training – even after a light workout. Running gives happiness, and satisfaction, and clears your mind, which is entangled in thousands of different things…

Do you have a couple of years of running behind you, or even more?

Do you feel that your training routine is overwhelming you and all this has ceased to please you? 

Are you no longer able to get anything more out of your training than just better and better results?

We will show you books for runners that will help you look at running from a different perspective, to rediscover the joy and greater, deeper meaning in it. Tonight, instead of putting your shoes on, reach for a book for runners. 

1. “SLOW JOGGING. JAPANESE WAY OF RUNNING, HEALTH AND LIFE”

Authors: Hiroaki Tanaka

Slow jogging is simply running at a steady and slow pace. The book turns out to be quite beneficial for your health, as well as your psyche. You can also read more about what slow jogging is in our article: what is slow jogging and whether it is worth trying.

“Slow jogging. The Japanese way of running, health and life” is a very short book. You can read it on the bus, on the way to or from work. It briefly explains what slow jogging is and presents its basic principles.

This book will be suitable for you if:

  • you want to jog, but don’t have time to do so;
  • you are just starting to run;
  • you are looking for something that will allow you to fully loosen up and live a healthy life without getting too tired;
  • you’ve lost somewhere the meaning of running, you’re tired of constant intense, scheduled workouts.

However, this reading is just an introduction to the world of slow jogging. You could say it’s something like a long pamphlet encouraging this activity. So when you feel that slow jogging is something you want to try, reach for some other item.

2. “Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen”

There are different opinions about this book online. Some take it seriously, while others read it like a good fantasy. Nevertheless, it is worth reading. It can help you gain distance from your pursuit of results and running achievements. It will probably also draw your attention to so-called nature running – which means – without special running shoes. Maybe it will seem like an abstraction to you..and the whole book as well. However, natural running really does exist, and there are even special, toe running shoes for it. People who were born to run may inspire you for such running.

And who are these born runners?

They are the Indians of the Tarahumara tribe. They don’t run for results or medals. They don’t choose special shoes or even clothes. They run in a way that is free of technological innovations. They are persistent. So, the author of the book convinces the reader that evolutionarily each of us is made for running.

Read this book! You will certainly learn many interesting things from it, which you will also be able to implement into your training. And even if you don’t, you will certainly be able to relax with an interesting read.

3. “CHI RUNNING”

Authors: Danny and Katherine Dreyer

Do good running, ever-improving performance and lack of injury depend only on muscle strength?

Not necessarily – at least that’s what Danny and Katherine Dreyer prove in this book. In it, they describe, among other things, the principles and technique of Chi running, how the developmental process of running according to Chi should take place, or how to get the title Chi with the help of a proper diet.

Chi running is intended not only for beginners but also for those who want to return to running after injuries. Read this post if you want to run safely, injury-free, calmer, and with more relaxation. When you are tired of constantly forcing your muscles and body, but still want to run until old age, you should also delve into its pages. In this book, you will learn techniques that will help you improve your running both when you are an advanced runner and with a little less skill.

4. “UNBREAKABLE RUNNER”

Authors: T.J Murphy, Brian Mackenzie 

When it comes to books on running, there is also “Unbreakable runner” – a reading that will convince you that CrossFit or Tabata has great training significance for any runner who wants to achieve better and better results.

The authors of the book show original training methods, thus going against the established patterns. But they don’t stop there. For they accuse the “old” schools of leading to overtraining and “professional” burnout. So, if you already feel bored with your workout routine, be sure to read “Unbreakable runner”.

The exercises described here are not based on long runs. You will find intervals here, exercises with kettlebell dumbbells, and plyometric boxes. That is all-around training.

This is a book for any runner who is open to different exercises, wants to develop his body in a comprehensive way, and at the same time is trying on a 5km or even ultramarathon competition.

Perhaps we should count this item among the “training guides” proposed below. However, its purpose is not only to show other training methods but also to encourage the reader to perform them. If you are persuaded to do them, your training will certainly enter a different track than before and break with your current routine.

Books for runners – training guides

And now a book suggestion for runners who are looking for specific advice at their stage of running development.

5. “HOW TO START RUNNING”

Author: Collective work

It is always better to start running with even a substitute of basic running knowledge than completely without it. Then you’ll reach your first goals faster, and it’s also easier to avoid injury and overloading your body. And so “How to start running” is an item for beginner runners who feel lost, don’t know where to start or how to do it in a safe way. 

This guide was written by the authors of the blog treningbiegacza.pl , who speaks extensively about every aspect of running. They gathered their vision and experience, and in this way created a help for anyone who is completely at the beginning of this path.

6. “THE RUNNER’S HANDBOOK”

Author: Bob Glover

Among other running books is also designed for anyone, even a complete beginner.

Want to start moving, but you sit in front of the computer all the time and can’t motivate yourself to take the first step?

This is the manual that will help you do it safely while giving you the necessary knowledge to do so. As a bonus, you’ll get plenty of motivation. Until you want to move and run with this book in your hand. This reading will increase your self-confidence and your capabilities. It will be your friend in difficult beginnings.

7. “THE COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO RUNNING”

Authors: Bill Rodgers, Scoot Douglas

Another suggestion for beginners. Don’t know how to choose shoes, how to put together a training plan, why a warm-up is a must, or why you should stretch? Be sure to reach for this book. In it, you will also find suggestions for basic exercises.

Subsequent items are already dedicated to intermediate and advanced runners.

8. “DANIELS’ RUNNING FORMULA”

Author: Jack Daniels

It is also a must-read for anyone who is past the first stage and wants to do much more in running than lose weight or run the first 30 minutes without stopping. The initial chapters will take you through the ins and outs of the Daniels method, repetition training, threshold training, intervals, and marathon pace. Running with the Daniels Method will help you understand what to do differently, and what you need to work on until you finally learn specific training plans… and quite a few plans.

With this book, you will prepare for a marathon and learn how to break a personal record. However, this is not a book that you will immediately “absorb” in its entirety. There is a lot of knowledge in it, so you will certainly return to it many times as your form grows and you move on to the next stages.

9. “GALLOWAY’S BOOK ON RUNNING”

Author: Jeff Galloway 

Jeff Galloway is an American Olympian, now reaching his 80th year. His book for runners is a must-have item on the shelf of every beginning athlete. This is because Galloway presents a very relaxed, amateur approach to training.

Galloway’s method is based on marching and respecting one’s limits. This runner does not encourage you to give 200% of yourself. He believes that to run a marathon… a maximum of 90% is enough. 

Want to beat your first long-distance race? Check out Galloway’s book. He has a solution for you for sagging after a few killometers. He wrote many other books about running – it is worth it to check them out. 

10. “RUN FASTER FROM 5K TO THE MARATHON”

Authors: Brad Hudson, Matt Fitzgerald

Do you want to know how to run faster and how to be able to put together a training plan on your own?

If so, this is your must-read. It will also help you learn how to reach your full potential and analyze other ready-made training plans from books. You will become independent, and your own workouts will give you even more satisfaction.

The author himself is a coach of Olympic athletes, and in the book, he encourages you to run faster. His methods have already been proven by more than one professional runner. In “How to Run Faster” you will find a lot of specific knowledge – you will get a fishing rod, not a fish. So if you are an aspiring runner, read this challenging read.

11. “RUN YOUR BEST HALF-MARATHON THE HANSONS WAY”

Authors: Luke Humphrey, Keith, and Kevin Hanson

You can already guess from the title that it is a proposition for runners who want to take part in a marathon and achieve a really good time. If you are set on heavy, intense, and heavy training you can be inspired by this particular method. It is important to remember that this book for runners is intended for advanced runners and professionals. It is because only this kind of people – with such experience – who run a marathon in under 3 hours, will be able to meet the Hansons method. 

If you are tough and ran a marathon before you should check this recommendation. Maybe this particular book for runners will help you achieve your goal. 

Books about running – inspiring (auto)biographies and more

There are a lot of books in the bookstore. What would you say about books with true events and people? Are you looking for inspiration, someone noteworthy who has achieved success in running despite many hardships, or is just a steadfast runner? Read the following items.

12. “TWIN AMBITIONS”

Author: Mo Farah

Olympian, athlete. He describes not only his success but more importantly, the entire road from the bottom to the top – marked by various difficulties and pain. In this book, you will find interesting facts and knowledge that you will not get from typical guides. Despite that, remember that it is his autobiography. It is written in a nice way, so you will be able to read this recommendation quickly and with enthusiasm.

Do you want to know how to achieve this kind of success?

From this book (for runners and not only) you will find out the universal truths that have proven themselves in the example of Mo Farah. 

13. “FINDING ULTRA”

Author: Rich Roll 

Do you have someone among your friends that wants to make a 180-degree change when it comes to their health, but doesn’t believe it’s possible? If so, you find for them the best gift. Maybe you are this kind of person and you are looking for books for runners that will motivate you to get up from the couch and do something.

20 kilograms overweight, alcoholics, frequent clients at the local fast-food restaurant. The wreck of a man, no hope and willingness for change. Only the way to change was shown to him by a Grim Reaper – Rich Roll had a heart attack at the age of 40. 

Rich Roll is living proof that you can do anything if you want! Even if the stairs on the first floor are the problem. Even when you have short-lived enthusiasm and everyone around is laughing at you, and you have been overweight all your life. 

Rich Roll believed that it is possible to change his life for the better and healthier! Then he ran – Ultramarathon – 515 kilometers of the world’s most demanding triathlon.

You are passionate about running from a young age and don’t understand the situation of people such as old Rich Roll? Read “Finding Ultra”. Thanks to this book you will learn how to support people in similar situations in your surroundings. You can really change someone’s life!

14. “EAT AND RUN” 

Author: Scott Jurek 

Scott Jurek is an ultra-vegan. If you ever consider giving up zoonotic products, this is the book for you! If you haven’t thought about it….reach for this recommendation anyway! Why? Because Scott is an extraordinary runner and an extraordinary man. 

Scott Jurek is a star of ultra marathons around the world. He breaks records over hundreds of kilometers and clashes with the best long-distance African runners. He was born into a traditional family, not practicing veganism. Now he wants to spread his sports-meat-free way of living. 

Jurek’s book is an amazing story about his love for running and also a mine of vegan-sports advice. You’ll devour it in no time…and then devour your first cube of tofu. In both (sport and veganism) you will fall in love for good. 

15. “26 MARATHONS: WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT FAITH, IDENTITY, RUNNING, AND LIFE FROM MY MARATHON CAREER”

Authors: Meb Keflezighi, Scott Douglas 

Meb Keflezighi is a 4-time Olympian from Eritrea. He started his sports career by competing in 10-kilometer running. In time he changed to marathons – and he did it on a high note. He competed in 26 marathons including the one in New York and Boston. 

Book “26 Marathons” is a profound reflection on the life of the professional athlete. Meb tells the reader about his fatigue, pain, pressure, and sacrifice that he made. Meb Keflezighi also gives training and dietary advice – which he tasted the hard way. 

Meb’s book is extremely inspiring. At times funny, even with a dose of black humor. After all, what else can you call an anecdote about losing a marathon due to choking on water?

16. “RUNNING WITH THE KENYANS”

Author: Adharanand Finn

Kenyans – are the fastest people in the world over long distances…

Among other things, it is about them that you can read in “Catching up with the Kenyans”. Through this book, you will feel their reality and training in your own skin. No longer will you say that their performance is a matter of good genes. On the other hand, the book will not reveal to you a buried treasure full of secrets, titled “How to train to be so good”. It reveals another universal truth that also works in Kenya: determination, the way to great results is hard work and a constant desire to succeed.

The book’s author lived with Kenyans for six months. He spent time with them, ate what they ate and trained the same way they do. This book will introduce you to the temporary world of the author and his fellow Kenyans. It can certainly inspire you to take your passion for running and combine it with travel.

Books about running in Polish?

Yes, we know that you probably don’t know this language, but maybe it will be a reason to learn this hard but beautiful language. If not, maybe you can use a translator to help you. It is important to be open minded to new possibilities. 

Who knows, maybe you will learn something useful that you do not find in other books in English. In this section we will show you four interesting recommendations. Open yourself for new possibilities, languages, exercises and training!

17. “SLOW JOGGING. JAPANESE WAY TO VITALITY”

Author: Maciej Kozakiewicz 

This book will introduce you to slow jogging on a higher level. Contains a lot of helpful advice and is a lot thicker than the previous book – the book has 288 pages and not only 50. You will find out what exactly “running with a smile – niko niko” is and why it can help you. This book has the power to change your attitude towards running and training. If you have no motivation to move and start changing your life for the better and healthier, this is a must-have book on your shelf. 

This book about running is not only good for beginners but also for advanced runners – both young and old. 

Therefore, you should read this book for runners not only to learn how to run but also to be able to slow down and derive many additional benefits from slow jogging. 

18. “TRAINING IN SLOW RHYTHM”

Author: Katarzyna Grządka 

If you are interested in books on running, check this out! This recommendation will help you slow down. However, it is not about the pace of your running! Katarzyna Grządka’s book will show you how to relax properly! Thanks to this you will not only focus on the result but also you will approach training freshly and with care. 

Book “Training in slow rhythm” is a perfect recommendation for people who started to approach running too seriously. Running has become their dominant activity. They are very reluctant to give up training, as even their relatives are noticing. They are getting dangerously close to running addiction.

Every runner should also reach for it – including those who are just beginning their training adventure. The right approach to training is the key to success. With this book for runners, you will stay motivated, know when to slow down, and clarify healthy training goals. 

The training goal is not just to get your pace down below 5 minutes. It is to improve your fitness, quality of life and enjoy the sport.

19. “RUNNING THROUGH LIFE”

Author: Jerzy Skarżyński 

This is one of the books for runners that you can read at any stage of development – it is for people who want to know the professional running language, as well as delve into a huge amount of knowledge about amateur running. And still, compete in competitions and achieve better and better results. Many runners refer to it as a “bible.” And this is because you will really learn a lot from it and you will come back to it more than once and more than twice. It touches on many topics:

  • how to start running so that you don’t quickly get discouraged and give up;
  • marching for beginners;
  • stretching and strength gymnastics;
  • various training measures: warm-up, accent, cool-down, trot, runs, cruising speed, or running strength.

And much, much more. This is a complete, must-have manual. So if you are serious about running and don’t intend to part with it anytime soon, you must become the owner of the “Running Through Life” item.

Jerzy Skarzynski is a legend of Polish athletics. His training method is designed for every long-distance runner who wants to stand on the podium in the future.

In his book, Skarzynski explains how to train for running, what supplementary exercises to perform, how to recover, and what to eat. He includes training plans designed for runners at different levels of training. It is a comprehensive running bible from which even an advanced runner will draw valuable information. 

In the book “Running Through Life” you will find not only valuable information to apply in training. It’s also Skarzynski’s sports story, told in an extremely accessible language. It entertains, teaches, and inspires. 

20. “HAPPY – RUN ULTRA”

Authors: Magdalena Ostrowska-Dołęgowska, Krzysztof Dołęgowski 

Any previous running books don’t appeal to you? Maybe this recommendation will reach you! Not only will you learn about funny or bloody stories of ultramarathoners, but will also put at your disposal more than one piece of advice. You will have opportunities to learn from the mistakes of other ultramarathons. 

But who is this book for? Is it for ultramarathoners specifically?

Not only for them! This book can be read by any runner who is looking for an adventure book about running with a good dose of good humor. It is something that will help you get away from your reality, and at the same time inspire you for your next training. Who knows, maybe thanks to this recommendation you will try your hand at an ultramarathon? 

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