Running Books

I’ve  never been a big reader of books, but when I do read, it’s usually a biography,  more often than not about a sportsman or woman. Ever since I have been running, I have seen many people recommend various running books. So I thought I would go out and buy the books most people were talking about which was, at the time, “Born To Run”.

Ever since reading “Born to Run”, I have probably read more books, running books in particular, in the last year than I have in the last 10.


Now that I am runner, I have been drawn to reading running books for these 3 simple reasons:

  • I can relate to a lot of what’s written
  • I use them as a source of inspiration
  • I can learn from them

The following are 3 running books that I’ve read with a brief snippet of what I took from them.

“Born to Run”

Born to Run was the very first running book which I read, possibly even before I started running, and putting it simply, it is a very well written, flowing book. It showed me that you don’t really need anything to run, just a bit of determination.  You don’t have to spend a fortune on running shoes and clothing and the latest GPS watch.

The author travelled to Mexico’s Copper Canyons to seek out the legendary Tera Humara  (a possible inspiration to Nike’s off road running shoe Terra Humara from the mid 90’s?) to find out whether what he had heard was true. He heard that this running tribe would happily run all day, virtually barefoot, across some of the worlds most barren landscape. It seemed that no distance was an issue for the Tera Humara regardless with what’s on their feet.

Born To Run by Christopher McDougall

Born to Run is Available here

“Tread Lightly”

This is the book that will bring out the inner geek in you. I think that most runners are geeks, they just don’t admit it! This is my favourite book to date as it focuses mainly on footwear and running form. Probably the most technical running book which I have read, and does take some concentration to understand what has been written, but it’s very worth reading if you have struggled with injuries through running. Just ask fellow Pavement Bound contributor, Mirka, who recommended the book to me after a conversation about footwear on Facebook. Mirka was plagued by injuries but since reading Tread Lightly, she is now clocking up the miles injury free.

Having sold running shoes for years, this book got me thinking about whether some running brands over engineer their shoes. I look at tech sheets and often wonder whether I’ve picked up one for the next Ferrari super car. Simplicity could well be the key!

Tread Lightly, Co Authored by Peter Larson and Bill Katovsky

Tread Lightly is available here


Putting it very bluntly, Steve Prefontain was an arrogant and bullish runner on the track and was rarely beaten. This book focuses on Pre’s, as he was known, sheer desire to win. He lives by the following mantra:

“To give anything less than your best is a sacrifice to the gift”

Unfortunately, Steve Prefontaine isn’t a name that is as well known as it possibly should have been, well, outside the US anyway. Pre’s life was cut short by a car crash which ended his life just  before his dream to complete for the USATF in the Olymipcs was about to become a reality.

If you need to be inspired, if you need to understand  that nothing comes easy when it comes to sports, especially running, then read this book and it will give you the kick up the backside you need!

Pre by Tom Jordan

Below is a list of other running books that I have bought but not yet got round to reading, all of these have been recommended by fellow runners.

Click the book title to buy.

What I talk about when I talk about running by Haruki Murakami Running With The Pack by Mark RowlandsEat & Run by Scott JurekWhy We Run by Robin HarvieRunning by Thor GotaasRunning With The Kenyans by Adharanand Finn

Lots of aspects to everyday life can be compared to running,obstacles will appear but with some determination these can be hurdled. Whether you’re reading the above books or out on the road, running can certainly open your eyes to how to overcome problems.

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