Until a few years ago, I hadn’t read many books that I’d even bother to recommend about running. That all changed when I found and fell in love with, Born to Run, which opened my eyes to a new view about running, in general, and an affinity for minimalist shoes (I drew the line at the ugly ones with the built in toes), which, unfortunately, eventually led to a foot injury (still miss those NB minimus wt10s), which landed me back in thicker-soled shoes. But I digress. One of the few I’d read prior that I actually liked was The Perfect Mile, about Roger Bannister’s successful attempt to break the four-minute mile. More recently, and only after I started trail running, my friend Nina recommended UltraMarathonMan, in which Dean Karnazes shares his becoming-an-ultra-athlete journey. As a huge fan of the super quirky novelist Haruki Murakami, I was thrilled to see a different side of him in What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, especially because because of its super important to me too subject. A few months ago, I laughed at loud while reading The Oatmeal’s DOs and DO NOTs of Running your First Marathon, an excerpt of his book, The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances, which I raced through in its entirety (it only took about 25 minutes), just last week. The title says it all and I’d bet that most recreational long distance runners will relate to the content.
The list goes on. I also enjoyed: Scott Jurek’s Eat and Run (informative), Kristin Armstrong’s Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run (relatable), Matt Long’s The Long Run (inspirational), Runner’s World’s Run Less Run Faster (informative) and Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken (inspirational). I wasn’t as big of a fan of the ultramarathon man’s other book, Run! 26.2 Stories about Blisters and Bliss (ho hum), Martin Dugard’s To Be A Runner (arrogant), nor did I like Alberto Salazar’s super braggy memoir, 14 Minutes, or John L. Parker’s (somehow super popular) Once a Runner. My advice, if you can, get out there and RUN, but while you’re waiting (icing, rolling, or resting), read about about it. It just may motivate you to get back out there.