Running Reading

First of all I want to mention the Mud and Adventure link on the blog. Mud and Adventure is everywhere! They have one of the best, most comprehensive lists of races, along with discounts, training articles, and race and gear reviews. Click the link to the right to check out their site! 

I just read an article on about the top 5 running books that are must read this summer. I must say that I was a little disappointed, but maybe that's because I'm a reader. Of the books listed, I've read two-- and they are really good. But I really feel that they've left off some really good ones. So, call me a copycat if you must, but here are some of my favorite running related books:

  1. Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. Ok, I completely agree with them on this book. It will make you want to find some trails, kick off your shoes and run barefoot for as long and as hard as you can. It's a book about the author's personal discovery of the Tarahumara Indians and his own love of running. 
  2. Eat & Run by Scott Jurek. This book will make you want to go vegetarian and run an ultramarathon. I love this book. And I am most definitely NOT a vegetarian. Jurek is an ultramarathon phenom and just an interesting human being. Eat & Run is packed with links to other books and websited that Jurek himself had used on his quest to fine tune himself into a healthier athlete. Jurek is not just a great ultramarathoner, he is an educated athlete.
  3. Run! 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss by Dean Karnazes. I continue to be completely fascinated by Dean Karnazes. The man has taken heat from critics who say that he is nothing more than a glory hound, taking on crazy feats to just win popularity. I really just think he's a guy who constantly seeks new and different challenges. Karnazes has been featured on the t.v. show Stan Lee's Superhumans for his body's astounding ability to endure fatigue and exhaustion. Run! is a personal, behind the scenes look into the real "Karno." Reading this will make you feel as if you could call Karno up and invite him for a run.
  4. My Life on the Run: The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon by Bart Yasso. Yasso is the "Chief Running Officer" of Runner's World magazine. Similar in nature to Karnazes' book, Yasso provides adventures about life as a runner and writer. His stories are funny and interesting, varying from tales of running a naked 5k to running the Comrades Marathon. He also provides insight into his method for predicting marathon race pace, the Yasso 800s. 
  5. Finding Ultra by Rich Roll. I read this book and Jurek's book back to back. Roll, like Jurek is a vegetarian but he competes in triathlons. And not just tri's-- Ironman distance. As a matter of fact, he's complete the Epic 5-- 5 Ironman distance tri's, on 5 different Hawaiian Islands within a week's time. The book details Roll's journey from competitive swimmer, to alcoholic, to overweight and unhealthy 40 year old, to ultra athlete who inspires others to change their lives. And *bonus* this book just came out in paperback.
  6. Train Like a Mother: How to Get Across An Finish Line-- and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea. Not a memoir like the rest of the books on this list, this book is more of a "how to." The ladies entertain with musings about their and other mother runners' experiences in training. The authors provide training plans for all levels of runners and distances, as well as injury prevention and recovery advice. 
  7. Marathon: the Ultimate Training Guide by Hal Higdon. Again, a "how to." This was the book that I used to prepare for my first marathon, so it has a special place in my heart. All the ins and outs for preparing for and successfully completing a marathon are contained in this one book. Love it! And what I really love-- his plans are published for free on his website. Gotta love that generosity... and for that reason, I would buy the book.
  8. 50/50: Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days-- And How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance! by Dean Karnazes. Ok, another one by Karnazes. This was one of the first books on running I read, which is also why it's one of my favorites. I'm not sure that I agree with the "how you too can achieve super endurance" part, but after reading the book, I really wanted to go run marathons. Multiple marathons.
  9. The Extra Mile: One Woman's Personal Journey to Ultrarunning Greatness by Pam Reed. Ok, I really have mixed thoughts on this one. Reed is very open and honest about her life and career as an ultrarunner. And in that honesty the reader gets the good, the bad and the ugly. She struggled (she writes in past tense) with anorexia, but I found that in reading the book, she continues to struggle with the disease and possibly is in a bit of denial. The book provides what most other books on ultrarunners don't-- a peek inside the woman ultramarathoner. 
  10. Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Ok, I lied. This book is not at all about running. Wild is such a beautifully and powerfully written story of Strayed's emotional and physical journey, that I had to include it on this list. And after reading it, you will start making plans to run/hike/wander your way through miles of mountainous trails somewhere. 
That's it. My top 10 list of must read inspirational, educational and entertaining running reads. 

Now, it's your turn-- which book did I miss?


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