Books To Get You Running

Back in March, I gave you all a list of a few books (Movies and Books That Inspire) that I had liked over the course of the last several years. The first list included books by two really inspiring runners – Dean Karnazes and Nick Butter – as well as two general books about running.

In the last few months, I’ve had the chance to read some more running books that I’ve enjoyed and would recommend others to read also.

While sometimes the stories are similar between runners or people, the perspectives are often very different and because of that the lessons that are learned are also different.

So, here are three books that I recommend if you like reading about running:

26 Marathons: What I Learned About Faith, Identity, Running and Life From My Marathon Career by Meb Keflezighi

Yes – he was an elite marathoner.

Yes – he won the Boston and New York marathons.

Yes – he won an Olympic Silver medal and was a four time U.S. Olympian.

With all these accomplishments, there is so much to learn from Meb, but even better is how much can be learned from his approach and mindset that us ‘normal’ runners can use in running and every day life.

In his professional career, he ran 26 marathons and in the book he tells the story of each marathon, from what happened while training or in the lead up to the race to what happened in the race itself. But most importantly, he explains how he got through his successes and failures and the lessons that he learned along the way.

Even though Meb is clearly on a much different level as a runner, I felt like all of the lessons he learned and talks about in this book could be applied to my running as well.

Long Road to Boston: The Pursuit of the World’s Most Coveted Marathon by Mark Sutcliffe

One man’s journey from thinking Boston wasn’t obtainable to qualifying after several attempts. Once qualified, he takes you through the build up to race day as well as race morning. But best of all he takes you through the course itself, the finish and the minutes and days after the race.

A really great step by step look at the most famous marathon in the world and one of the toughest to qualify for and get into.

If and when I qualify for the Boston Marathon in the coming years, I’ll definitely be going back to this book and using it as a resource. I’m sure there are also many other books where runners share their experiences of qualifying for and taking part in the Boston Marathon, but I really liked this one as a starting point.

After the Last PR by Dave Griffin

Beginning in high school, and through years of competitive running, Dave Griffin had a lot of great running experiences. Through all of these experiences, he learned a lot about himself and how running helped to shape the person that he has become.

In the book, he takes you through all of the characteristics or virtues that he gained from running and explains what led to him obtaining them.

This book was loaded with great, inspiring quotes – my favorite was in his chapter on Tranquility where he said “Everyone knows that running involves discomfort and that’s why most non-runners wonder why we do it. What most don’t understand is that the pain has a purpose; as we endure the suffering of our sport, we learn that we can also overcome the challenges of life.”

Every runner gets different things out of running and learns their own lessons, but it’s always fun to read other runners’ stories and see how you relate to them.

I’m always on the lookout for other inspiring books about running or just in general, so let me know if you have any recommendations!


More from RunPatRun:

  • Next Week: Grand Circle Trailfest – I’ve been talking about it for a while now. Well, next week I finally share my experiences from this great trail running event put on in Utah and Arizona!
  • With races coming up in the final weeks of October and throughout November, take a look at my post – Racing Mistakes to Avoid – to help you prepare!

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