Bookends – Great Reads for Runners

How often do I find myself saying, “I could talk about/read about running all day”? Probably too much…add to that now there are blogs and websites and maybe I should hang a sign on my door reading, ‘If I’m not seen for at least 48 hours, please come in and pry my glassy-eyed bum from the perma-seat’. Check that, I know I’d at least come out to workout…

guy behind computer

Art: Cait Chock

Regardless, physiology and sports science fascinates me. Running news and runner yammerings do too; I know I’ve read some awesome running related books but I also know there are ones I’ve missed. I came across a post from Jay Johnsons’s site and have some new ones to add to my to-read list.

Some of the books I have read:

* Once a Runner – Jay listed this one, but really, if you’re a runner you have to read it. I’m sorry, during that epic 400 workout, who didn’t stop and wish they had the kahonas Quenton did? This one is a fiction work but very well done and with enough runner ‘inside’ jokes to make for a shelf book. (one you keep around even after you’ve read it)

* Running With the Buffalos – Again on the other list, and Jay is actually in it. The author followed the 1998 University of Colorado team in their prep and racing of NCAA Cross Country Championships; it is another one I think nearly all runners should read and can relate to. It is a motivational read and will make you want to get out there and grind out some serious long runs or repeats. Among the team that year was Adam Goucher.

* Fast Track – Training and Nutrition Secrets from Suzy Favor Hamilton – This was a very informative but interesting read too; it’s not just a dull ‘do this or that’ sort of book. Being a female runner and of course a Suzy fan it was especially fun to read her insights and as always what goes through a top competitor’s mind.

* Duel in the Sun – I was on the fence for how much I liked those this one, but here is why: I know Alberto Salazar and adore him and I thought that the book played him out to be the obvious bad guy in the duel. For commercial reasons I understand it’s best to have a hero and villain; now I also think the world of Dick Beardsely and know he makes for an excellent guy to root for, so I see we can’t have two heros I suppose. Still, the obvious slights on Salazar got to me; that aside the race itself is epic and crazy to read about.

* Staying the Course – A Runner’s Toughest Race – This one is an autobiography by Dick Beardsely and I encourage everyone to read it, even if you’re not a runner actually. Dick overcame so many obstacles in his life (freak accidents, drug addiction) and today is a motivational speaker…and one of the most postive people I know.

* Alberto Salazar’s Guide to Road Racing – As the title implies this one is another training book and good read. Lots of information not only about racing but core and strength work, and then of course the running tips and workouts not just from an athlete’s perspective but coach as well.
kara goucher
* Kara Goucher’s Running for Women – Awesome book and resource for women athletes; true you may think I’m biased because I’m friends with her but even with that aside I promise the book is worth it. Like Suzy’s book it is engaging in that it includes personal anecdotes and insights with the information.

* Running the Edge – This is a newer one from Adam Goucher and Tim Cantalano. I have yet to read it but plan to, it is not only about running but how running has impacted other areas of their lives and made them stronger, better people for it.

Good heavens, I planned on making this a short post because I’m pinched on time, but obviously that plan derailed. I’ve got others, but I think these are the top reads and they stick out in my mind the most. I hope you are all surviving the whirlwind of the holiday season! 🙂

1) Best running related book you’ve read or want to read?

2) Best book period you have read or the one you are currently reading?

3) Which of Santa’s reindeer are the fastest? Which one is the slowest, slacking off, and obviously making the rest of them pull extra dead weight??
I know the answers and they will be forthcoming…

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9 thoughts on “Bookends – Great Reads for Runners

  1. Cait,
    Check out my debut running novel, Chasing Ghosts. I’m sure you’ll love it! It’s available on Amazon, the Kindle and the Nook.
    And Rudolph has to be the fastest reindeer. He leads the sleigh.

  2. Oh gosh, I could read about running all day (except for while I’m running) too! 😀 I’ve read most of those..especially Once a Runner and Running With the Buffaloes, I read both on a regular basis actually – like twice a year each hahaha. I loved Kara’s book too! I wish I were friends with her too! And I have Adam’s new book on my Christmas list, if I don’t get it, guess who’s gonna be on christmas afternoon….. 😛

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