Because running is about more than just putting one foot in front of the other, we’ve compiled a list of the books that every runner should read.
Scott Jurek is something of a superhuman ultra runner who for many years was untouchable over races and FKT (fastest known times) in the United States. Eat and Run weaves together Jurek’s crazy racing experiences including racing in such extreme temperatures that he was forced to take occasional breaks in a chest freezer, and his personal recipes for wholesome, energy-packed food. Spoiler alert: he did all of this following a completely vegan diet, long before it was on-trend.
British journalist and runner Finn has written a trilogy of great running books with this being the first. Running with the Kenyans tells Finn’s story of searching for the truth about what makes Kenyans the greatest athletes of our generation. The search leads Finn to a fascinating adventure as he moves to Kenya with his family to train with the very best. His relatable experience is made tantalising by cameos throughout the book including a certain Mary Kietany and Wilson Kipsang.
It doesn’t matter which order you read Finn’s offerings in, but ‘Kenyans’ is a great place to start.
Mimi Anderson’s story starts with something many runners will relate to. She wanted to change something about her body. Following that came a desire for a challenge that most of us wouldn’t contemplate. Anderson’s experiences ranging from small-fry Half Marathon events to chasing a world record across the Arctic make Beyond Impossible something of an un-put-downable read. What’s great about this is that despite her successes, Mimi remains down to earth, relatable and incredibly emotive throughout.
Running tells the story of British multiple World Champion O’Sullivan’s incredible successes on the snooker table, something of a hedonistic lifestyle, and the wrapping together of those elements with a common thread: running. And he’s pretty good at it too. Ronnie shares running experiences that we can all identify within a life of sporting success we can’t imagine. It’s a raw and confessional text that makes you feel like you’ve gained a new friend.
Everyone who reads this book immediately adds it to their top five. Kastor was one of the greatest marathon runners the United States ever produced, and the gutsy attacking way she ran made her easy to admire. Let Your Mind Run goes deeper into her performances, telling the story of her most powerful asset through years of injury, training, and competition: her mind. It’s by no means an instructional text, but her beautiful storytelling gives you instant takeaways you are able to add to your running repertoire.