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The 13 best running books



Even the most obsessed runners can run at most a few hours a day, leaving plenty of time to fill up. Sure, you could “work” and occasionally “sleep” and “eat”, but there is still plenty of free time to do something that is not going. So why not take one of these excellent books in hand and use this time to read about running?

Two hours: The search for the impossible marathon

Even if you have only a temporary interest in running, you may have heard of Eliud Kipchoge’s (ultimately unsuccessful) attempt to run a two-hour marathon as part of Nike’s Breaking2 project in 2017. The journalist and amateur runner Ed Caesar had a unique approach. For the athletes and experts behind the attempt, his book gives an unprecedented insight into the elite marathon and the history of the sport.

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Running with the Buffaloes: One season with Mark Wetmore, Adam Goucher and the men̵
7;s cross-country team from the University of Colorado

You would probably be fair enough to assume that the heroism of the University of Colorado cross-country team of 1998 was of little interest to you – but you would be very wrong. Unfortunately, the team meets at every turn, but they continue to gather and excel in a heroic way. Immerse yourself in the world of American university sports. You will not be disappointed.

“I read[[[[Run with the buffalo]five or six times, ”says professional ultra marathon runner and Hoka One One athlete Hayden Hawks. “It reminds me of my days at an American college in Cross Country and helped me make my dreams come true. I always wanted to be an all-American and maybe win a national title, and although I never won a national title, I was an all-American [selected by a national body of coaches and experts as one of the best college athletes in the US]. It always brings me back and reminds me of where my love for running came from. “

The tradition of running

If you want to delve deeply into every aspect of mileage, this is the book for you. The author Tim Noakes deals with forensic details about training, racing, injuries, physiology, the secrets of world-class athletes and pretty much everything else that has to do with the sport.

“This is a slightly technical logbook that details how performance can be improved,” said professional ultramarathon runner and Hoka One One athlete Tom Evans. “It’s really interesting, pretty deep – I’d say you have to have a coffee before you start, and you could end up reading each page twice!”

Feet in the clouds: a story of fur running and obsession

If you have only walked in cities so far, we strongly recommend that you broaden your horizons by reading Feet in the cloudswho plunges deep into the world of falling – an obsessive passion in areas of Britain like the Lake District. The author Richard Askwith falls in love with the sport so much that he deals with the infamous Bob Graham Round – an attempt to climb 42 of the highest peaks in the Lake District in 24 hours.

Don’t stop me now: 26.2 Stories about a runner’s obsession

Running has a way to hook yourself into a person no matter how skeptical you are about the sport before you start. This book not only follows Vassos Alexander’s journey from reluctant runner to ultra marathon runner and Ironman triathlete, but explores in depth how running can become an obsession for everyone. Have a pair of sneakers ready as you want to run after reading.

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The path of the runner: a journey into the legendary world of Japanese running

Six Japanese runners completed the 2018 Tokyo Marathon in less than 2 hours and 9 minutes. That may not mean much to you, but to put it in context: In the history of British races, only five men ran under this brand, and only eight Americans did it. This depth strength is the result of Japan being one of the most race-obsessed nations in the world, especially endurance races. In this fascinating book, journalist Adharanand Finn examines the unique running culture in Japan.

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What I’m talking about when I talk about running

The most bizarre things pop up in your head as you run, and it’s fair to say that most of us would struggle to explain them clearly later. Fortunately, Haruki Murakami is one of the world’s greatest living writers and an avid runner. This book perfectly captures the stream of consciousness that many experience while walking. If you are a Murakami fan and run, this will be the one for you.

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Running with the Kenyans: Discover the secrets of the fastest people in the world

in the Way of the runnerAdharanand Finn explored a largely unknown running culture in Japan, but the world is aware of the skills of Kenyan runners who have seen them triumph at Olympic events and major marathons for many years. Write Run with the KenyansFinn moved to Kenya and trained with the country’s elites to discover the secrets of their speed – but the book is also an inspiring account of his travels and training for his first marathon.

“I loved Adharanand Finns Run with the Kenyans“Evans says.” I spent a year in Kenya reading the book when I was out there. I went to Iten [the mountain town used by many Kenyan runners as a base] and ran up there with the boys and ran the Lewa marathon, that’s the big race he did [Finn] did out there. I actually drove against Adharanand and we’ve been enemies ever since – he didn’t like it when I hit him. “

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How to Lose a Marathon: A Beginner’s Guide to Ending in 26.2 Chapters

If cheering stories from elite or at least very good runners who enjoy the joys of sport don’t match your own running experience, try this book. The author Joel Cohen is happy to wallow in the misery that can result from trying to run a marathon, and in an amusing way. If you’ve just signed up for a marathon and find that the legendary “Runner’s High” never happens during or after your own runs, How to lose … will be an invaluable guide to getting through the race.

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Born to run: the hidden tribe, the ultra runners and the biggest race the world has never seen

It is the book that has sent thousands out on the streets without shoes (or very low shoes) to try barefoot walking. We recommend you not to do this – at least not without a long and careful plan to prepare your body for it – but it’s still worth reading Christopher McDougall’s inspiration Born to run, which focuses on the Tarahamura tribe in northern Mexico, known for its long-distance ability.

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Today we die a little: Emil Zátopek, Olympic legend of the hero of the Cold War

With his wild interval sessions, Emil Zátopek, one of the greatest Olympic athletes of all time, redefined what it took to be the best. He trained in all conditions, sometimes in army boots, and left his rivals behind – Zátopek is the only one to win the 5,000m, 10,000m and marathon at an Olympiad. This great biography by Richard Askwith covers both Zátopek’s amazing accomplishments and his life outside of running.

Rise of the Ultra Runner: A journey to the edge of human endurance

After his extensive books on running in Japan and Kenya, Adharanand Finn has drawn his attention to the growing popularity of ultramarathons. As always, Finn does not only provide observations about the sport – he immerses himself and becomes an ultra-runner who climbs the fearsome 169 km Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc and runs in the Rocky Mountains and the deserts of Oman.

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Epic runs of the world

If you are putting together a bucket list of places and races that you want to do as soon as you can travel again, this book is an invaluable companion. It offers details and photos of 50 of the world’s best running routes and whets the appetite to get out on two legs and explore if possible. Some of the runs are epic races like the Comrades Ultramarathon in South Africa, while others are simply incredible routes that you can do at any time, such as climbing a temple in Pokhara, Nepal. There are four that you can enjoy in the UK while international travel is still not advisable, including a half marathon in Pembrokeshire, which is described in this exclusive excerpt.


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