Summer Reading for Runners

Happy Hump Day!

I hope all of your are having a great week so far.  With summer finally here I thought I would share some of the books I have recently read or plan to read on visits to the beach or lazy afternoons sitting on my porch (recovering from runs of course :).  I love to read memoirs and personal stories, especially of runners, to learn more about how they stay inspired and motivated to work toward new goals.  Here is my Summer Reading List for Runners.

Running, A Love Story: 10 Years, 5 Marathons, and 1 Life-Changing Sport
by Jen A. Miller


I loved this personal memoir by journalist Jen Miller.  She is writer for Runner’s World and the New York Times Well columm.  Jen shares her personal journey toward becoming a middle-of-the-pack marathon runner and how the sport carried her through some of the most challenging points in her life, including several tumultuous relationships.  I really identified with her experiences and found so much inspiration in the resilience that running and training for marathons gave her.  Definitely a great read.

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


I just finished this book and really enjoyed it.  Murakami is a novelist and life-long runner, who shares his thoughts about running and writing while training for the NYC Marathon.  He writes in a very direct, stream of conscious style that is smart and honest.  Murakami lived and trained in Boston for many years, so I loved reading about his runs along the Charles and thinking about my own training.  One of my favorite lessons Murakami shares was how he learned recover from disappointments in performance and adapt his goals as he aged.  I think for those of us who want to be runners for life this is an immense challenge.  Fantastic read!

Born to Run & Natural Born Heroes
by Christopher McDougall

Born to Run was one of the first real running stories I read and is an absolutely incredible book.  McDougall tells the story of the Tarahumara people in Mexico’s Copper Canyons, a hidden tribe of super-athletes, and a great ultra-race between some of the worlds best runners.  The book is both a narrative and social commentary on the world of running in America.  If you are new to running or a long-time patron of the sport it is a must read.  I am also looking forward to reading McDougall’s other Book Natural Born Heroes about a group of endurance athletes crossing the mountains of Crete following World War II.

Meb for Mortals: How to Run, Think, and Eat like a Champion Marathoner
by Meb Keflezighi


Meb is one of my favorite elite athletes to watch and learn more about.  His personal story is really remarkable and he is an athlete who just has such a great spirit that you have to love him.  This book combines Meb’s personal story with practical advice and training tips for runners.  I really want to check this out before my fall marathons!

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
by Laura Hillenbrand


Unbroken is the story of Louis Zamperini, a talented young runner on his way to the Berlin Olympics until becoming an airman at the start of WWII.  This story shares his attempt to survive a deadly plane crash.  Sounds like a page turner!

The Inner Runner: Running to a More Successful, Creative, and Confident You
by Jason Karp


I am currently listening to an interview with Jason Karp on the Run to the Top podcast, so I want to check this book out.  This book explores how running can harness our inner strengths and bring physiological, emotional, and social benefits.

How Bad Do You Want It?:  Mastering the Psychology of Mind over Muscle
by Matt Fitzgerald


Matt Fitzgerald is a great coach and writer, known also for the 80/20 principle in running.  This book includes interviews with elites and recaps of pivotal races.  I haven’t read much in the sports psychology world, but I definitely want this one on my list.

What books are on your summer reading list?  Have you read any of these titles and what did you think?


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