There are two things I love to do in my free time – run and read.  And since I can’t run all the time, I can use the other time to read about running.  I read everything from instructional running books to those about friendships made and lessons learned from running.  So today, I’ll share with you several of the books I’ve loved and what’s on my wish list.

Books I’ve Read:

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall  This is arguably one of the most popular books in the running community.  This was an interesting journey by the author to learn the lessons of an Indian tribe and their running abilities and accomplishments.  His discoveries led to the minimalist shoe craze a few years ago – and the book explains why.

Run Less, Run Faster by Bill Pierce, Scott Murr, and Ray Moss  As you might suspect, this is a training guide.  The authors explain their method of becoming a faster and stronger runner by running less.  While many methods involve running a lot of miles, this plan advocates specifically focused runs.

Run to Overcome by Meb Keflezighi  This is the inspirational story of Meb Keflezighi, Olympic marathoner and Boston Marathon champion.  He details his life story of being moved from Eritrea at a young age to escape poverty.  His family has truly lived the American dream since moving here and he proudly represents the US.  Even if you’re not a fan of running, his story will inspire you.

Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run by Kristin Armstrong  This was a great book about the lessons learned from running, the friendships made and the struggles and victories.  Even though Armstrong is a super fast runner, her stories parallel many of the reasons that I run.

The Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life by Amby Burfoot  Amby Burfoot has an extensive running career including a Boston Marathon win.  In his book, he tells about the life lessons running has taught him as well explains his philosophy on why the winners are not the ones that cross the finish line first.

Books on my Wish List:

Running Like a Girl: Notes on Learning to Run by Alexandra Heminsley  Like many of us, this author wasn’t born a runner.  Her memoir chronicles her journey to become a runner in a real and honest way.  Because my own journey to running hasn’t been easy, I can definitely relate to the struggle to get past the brutal part.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami  This book chronicles a writer’s journey through training for a marathon.  Told as an ordinary runner that doesn’t run professionally or at the front of the pack, the author offers insights into his journey to 26.2

Run! 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss by Dean Karnazes  Dean Karnazes is the ultra marathon man.  This guy has run some crazy miles and distances that I could never dream of.  While I have no interest in running for days on end with no rest like he does, I am curious to hear his story and learns what motivates him and what goes on in his head.

Running with Joy by Ryan Hall  I’ve been fortunate enough to meet Ryan Hall before and see him qualify for the United States Olympic Marathon team.  In his book, he chronicles what it takes to train for the marathon.

Meb for Mortals: How to Run, Think and Eat Like a Champion Marathoner by Meb Keflezighi  The only author to have two books on my list.  The reason for this is that Meb is truly a champion runner.  I’ve met him several times and followed his career the past few years.  He shows a true love of running, actively engages with the non-elite running community, and exhibits a high level of sportsmanship even when he doesn’t win – something other professional athletes could learn from.

What books are you reading now (running or otherwise)?  Tell me in the comments below!

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