100 Must-Read Books About Running

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If you’re into running, have been into it, or think you might like to try it in the future, you’ve probably had a hankering to read about it. Whether you’re looking for inspiration, training methods, or even a novel about running, there is plenty to choose from. Sadly, the cross section of books I was able to find in research and through my own reading, is not representative of the diversity of athletes within the sport.

  1. born-to-runBorn to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall
  2. Running & Being: The Total Experience by Dr. George Sheehan
  3. Running on Empty: An Ultramarathoner’s Story of Love, Loss, and a Record-Setting Run Across America by Marshall Ulrich
  4. Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run by Kristin Armstrong
  5. Once A Runner: A Novel  by John L. Parker, Jr.
  6. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: A Memoir by Haruki Murakami
  7. Marathon Man: My 26.2-Mile Journey from Unknown Grad Student to the Top of the Running World by Bill Rodgers
  8. Running Like a Girl: Notes on Learning to Run by Alexandra Heminsley
  9. Racing the Antelope: What Animals Can Teach Us About Running and Life by Bernd Heinrich
  10. Swoosh: The Unauthorized Story of Nike and the Men Who Played There by Julie Strasser and Laurie Becklund
  11. run-like-a-motherRun Like a Mother: How to Get Moving–and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea
  12. Running with the Kenyans: Discovering the Secrets of the Fastest People On Earth by Adharanand Finn
  13. A Race Like No Other: 26.2 Miles Through the Streets of New York by Liz Robbins
  14. Why We Run: A Natural History by Bernd Heinrich
  15. Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek
  16. The Accidental Athlete: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Middle A by John “The Penguin” Bingham
  17. The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances by Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal
  18. Running with the Mind of Meditation: Lessons for Training Body and Mind by Sakyong Mipham
  19. The Silence of the Great Distance: Women Running Long by Frank Murphy
  20. Feet in the Clouds: A Tale of Fell-Running and Obsession by Richard Askwith
  21. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner by Alan Stillitoe
  22. pre-the-story-of-americas-greatest-running-legendPRE: The Story of America’s Greatest Running Legend by Tom Jordan
  23. The Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It by Neal Bascomb
  24. Lore of Running by Tim Noakes
  25. Running the Rift: A Novel by Naomi Benaron
  26. Running With the Legends: Training and Racing Insights From 21 Great Runners by Michael Sandrock
  27. Bowerman and the Men of Oregon: The Story of Oregon’s Legendary Coach and Nike’s Cofounder by Kenny Moore
  28. Duel in the Sun: Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley and America’s Greatest Marathon by John Brant
  29. Running With the Buffaloes by Chris Lear
  30. Full Tilt Boogie: A Journey Into Autism, Fatherhood, and an Epic Test of Man and Beast by Hal Walter
  31. the-ultra-mindsetThe Ultra Mindset: An Endurance Champion’s 8 Core Principles for Success in Business, Sports, and Life by Travis Macy
  32. Build Your Running Body: A Total-Body Fitness Plan for All Distance Runners, from Milers to Ultramarathoners―Run Farther, Faster, and Injury-Free by Pete Magill, Thomas Schwartz, and Melissa Breyer
  33. Hal Koerner’s Field Guide to Ultrarunning: Training for an Ultramarathon, from 50K to 100 Miles and Beyond by Hal Keoner
  34. 1:59: The Sub-Two-Hour Marathon is Within Reach by Dr. Phil Maffetone
  35. Unbreakable Runner: Unleash the Power of Strength & Conditioning for a Lifetime of Running Strong by T.J. Murphy and Brian Mackenzie
  36. Believe Training Journal by Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas
  37. Faster, Higher, Stronger: How Sports Science is Creating a New Generation of Superathletes and What We Can Learn From Them by Mark McClusky
  38. Life Outside the Oval Office: The Track Less Traveled by Nick Symmonds
  39. Running Away: A Memoir by Robert Andrew Powell
  40. see-mom-runSee Mom Run: Every Mother’s Guide to Getting Fit and Running Her First 5K by Megan Searfoss
  41. Run Fast. Eat Slow: Nourishing Recipes for Athletes by Shalane Flanagan
  42. ChiRunning: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running by Danny Dreyer
  43. Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons by Bryon Powell and Erin Grossman
  44. Running Your First Ultra: Customizable Training Plans for Your First 50K to 100-Mile Race by Krissy Moehl
  45. Running for Women: Ditch the Excuses and Start Loving Your Run by Danica Newton
  46. Confessions of an Unlikely Runner: A Guide to Racing and Obstacle Courses for the Averagely Fit and Halfway Dedicated by Dana L. Ayers
  47. Boston Bound: A 7-Year Journey to Overcome Mental Barriers and Qualify for the Boston Marathon by Elizabeth Clor
  48. Run the World: My 3,500-Mile Journey Through Running Cultures Around the Globe by Becky Wade
  49. First Ladies of Running: 22 Inspiring Profiles of the Rebels, Rule Breakers, and Visionaries Who Changed the Sport Forever by Amby Burfoot
  50. Running: A Love Story: 10 Years, 5 Marathons, and 1 Life Changing Sport by Jen A. Miller
  51. Older, Faster, Stronger: What Women Runners Can Teach Us All About Living Younger, Longer by Margaret Webb
  52. what-makes-olga-runWhat Makes Olga Run?: The Mystery of the 90-Something Track Star and What She Can Teach Us About Living Longer, Happier Lives by Bruce Grierson
  53. The Grace to Race: The Wisdom and Inspiration of the 80-Year-Old World Champion Triathlete Known as the Iron Nun by Sister Madonna Buder with Karin Evans
  54. A Life Without Limits: A World Champion’s Journey by Chrissie Wellington
  55. How Bad Do You Want It?: Mastering the Psychology of Mind Over Muscle by Matt Fitzgerald
  56. 80/20 Running: Run Stronger and Race Faster by Training Slower by Matt Fitzgerald
  57. Kara Goucher’s Running for Women: From First Steps to Marathons by Kara Goucher and Adam Bean
  58. Marathon Woman: Running the Race to Revolutionize Women’s Sports by Kathrine Switzer
  59. Paula: My Story So Far by Paula Radcliffe
  60. Women Who Run by Shanti Sosienski
  61. sole-sistersSole Sisters: Stories of Women and Running
    by Jennifer Lin and Susan Warner
  62. Run Like a Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy Lives by Mina Samuels
  63. The Extra Mile: One Woman’s Personal Journey to Ultrarunning Greatness by Pam Reed and Mitch Sisskind
  64. Women Who Win: Female Athletes on Being the Best by Lisa Taggart
  65. Tales From Another Mother Runner: Triumphs, Trials, Tips, and Tricks from the Road by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea
  66. Barefoot Runner: The Life of Marathon Champion Abebe Bikila by Paul Rambali
  67. The Science of Running: How to Find Your Limit and Train to Maximize Your Performance by Steve Magness
  68. My Life On the Run: The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon by Burt Yasso, Kathleen Parrish, and Amby Burfoot
  69. The Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life: What 35 Years of Running Has Taught Me About Winning, Losing, Happiness, Humility, and the Human Hear by Amby Burfoot
  70. The Long Run: A New York City Firefighter’s Triumphant Comeback from Crash Victim to Elite Athlete by Matt Long and Charles Butler
  71. spitting-in-the-soupSpitting in the Soup: Inside the Dirty Game of Doping in Sports by Mark Johnson
  72. Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner by Dean Karnazes
  73. Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself by Liberty
  74. Running with Joy: My Daily Journey to the Marathon by Ryan Hall
  75. Going Long: Legends, Oddballs, Comebacks and Adventures Editors of Runner’s World
  76. 14 Minutes: A Running Legend’s Life and Death and Life by Alberto Salazar and John Brant
  77. Run or Die by Kilian Jornet
  78. Run!: 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss by Dean Karnazes
  79. Run to Overcome: The Inspiring Story of an American Champion’s Long-Distance Quest to Achieve a Big Dream by Meb Keflezighi, Joan Benoit Samuelson, and Dick Patrick
  80. Running Ransom Road: Confronting the Past, One Marathon at a Time by Caleb Daniloff
  81. Personal Record: A Love Affair with Running by Rachel Toor
  82. On the Road to Find Out by Rachel Toor
  83. Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics by Jeremy Schaap
  84. Running by Jean Echenoz
  85. the-runners-literary-companionThe Runner’s Literary Companion: Great Stories and Poems About Running by Garth Battista
  86. Brewster by Mark Slouka
  87. Running in Literature: A Guide for Scholars, Readers, Runners, Joggers and Dreamers by Roger Robinson
  88. The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen
  89. Running for My Life: One Lost Boy’s Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games by Lopez Lomong and Mark Tabb
  90. Running For Dummies by Florence Griffith Joyner and John Hanc
  91. The Champion Maker by Kevin Joseph
  92. Hansons Marathon Method: Run Your Fastest Marathon the Hansons Way by Luke Humphrey and Kevin Hanson
  93. Runner’s World Complete Book of Women’s Running : The Best Advice to Get Started, Stay Motivated, Lose Weight, Run Injury-Free, Be Safe, and Train for Any Distance by Dagny Scott Barrios
  94. My Year of Running Dangerously: A Dad, a Daughter, and a Ridiculous Plan by Tom Foreman
  95. The Complete Book of Running for Women by Claire Kowalchik
  96. The NonRunner’s Marathon Guide for Women: Get Off Your Butt and On with Your Training by Dawn Dais
  97. Ready to Run: Unlocking Your Potential to Run Naturally by Kelly Starret and T.J. Murphy
  98. faster-than-lightning-usain-boltFaster than Lightning: My Autobiography by Usain Bolt
  99. Dr. Jordan Metzl’s Running Strong: The Sports Doctor’s Complete Guide to Staying Healthy and Injury-Free for Life by Jordan Metzl and Claire Kowalchik
  100. A Kind of Grace: The Autobiography of the World’s Greatest Female Athlete by Jackie Joyner-Kersee