The Best Running Books that Every Runner Should Read

Some people prefer to get their education online, reading through various courses and listening to audio lectures, not to mention watching videos. A large part of learning, still, to this day, comes from books. Books are important because more often than not, they present a coherent collection of thoughts, meant to tell a story or convey a message, which the reader will hopefully understand, or at least enjoy. 

Runners often do not have time to do much else, because they spend most of their time running. Well, this is not specifically true, but many people would think that long distance runners are always running. Most professionals and serious hobbyists know a thing or two about running, yet they still have time to enjoy a good book. Running books are especially interesting. Here are the best running books for runners.

Range – David Epstein

This book is quite interesting in the sense that it is advocating a more general approach to everything. It is also a book which makes for an excellent parenting guide, among other things. Not everyone should be a specialist and know only a single thing, but perfectly. Generalized, balanced approaches to everything, like running and even life, can make people happier and a lot more successful. In this book, Epstein explores the world of successful people, athletes and scientists alike, finding that a more general approach helps people in an unpredictable world.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running – Haruki Murakami

A man with many novels and many of them very successful, Murakami is a writer as well as an avid runner. As such, he talks of his experiences as a runner, making very clear connections with spirituality, or rather, getting to know oneself through running. Running makes for great exercise, but also opens a pathway to meditation and exploration, of both the outside and inside world. This book can help many runners start again or dedicate more of their attention to running, if not time.

Born to Run – Christopher McDougall

The book has more to its name but to get to the gist of it, McDougall, a frequent runner with even more injuries, decided to change his life a lot. He traveled to Mexico to find the Tarahumara, people who often run either barefoot, or with a very thin layer of protection, nothing close to modern day running shoes, which are by comparison, soft pillows. They are powered by their native plant, and they eat its seeds for energy, chia seeds. This sparked a chia craze and barefoot running craze, which has taken many people. Chia is healthy but barefoot running in urban areas can have serious consequences. 

Once a Runner – John L. Parker, Jr.

Released in 1978, this novel tackles a runner obsessed with breaking under 4 minutes in a mile and trying to remain successful in their academic and personal life. Oh, protesting the Vietnam War got the protagonist kicked from their running team. Things are complicated in the mind and life of a professional runner with huge goals.

These are the best running books every runner should read.