Books About Running

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Towards the end of the twentieth century, the trend of taking up running as a regular form of exercise has caught on. More and more average citizens are participating in marathons, half marathons and even ultra marathons. Listed below are ten books on the sport.

  1. Running and Being: The Total Experience by Dr. George Sheehan The late Dr. Sheehan was a cardiologist. He excelled in track events when he was in college, and was a naval doctor in World War II. He returned to competitive running later in life, and outlines his philosophy of fitness and joy.
  2. Build Your Running Body by Pete Magill, Thomas Schwarz, Melissa Breyer                                                                                                   This book is packed with photographs. The authors believe that whole body training can minimise injury and increase speed and endurance. They have put together a workout which involves all parts of the body used for running, including the brain.
  3. 1: 59: The Sub-Two Hour Marathon is Within Reach by Dr. Phil Maffetone                                                                                           About 100 years ago the official distance for the marathon was set at 26.2 miles, and since then the completion time has dropped to a little over two hours. The author asserts that this time barrier can be smashed and details the inputs needed to make this possible.
  4. Marathon Man: My 26.2- Mile Journey from Unknown Grad Student to the Top of the Running World by Bill Rodgers and Matthew Shepatin                                                                                                     Bill Rodgers has won the Boston Marathon and the New York Marathon four times each. He became a legend when he won the Boston Marathon in 1975. In this book, he talks about how he got to that historic moment. He has inspired thousands of ordinary people to follow their dream.
  1. Running on Empty: An Ultramarathoner’s Story of Love, Loss and a Record-Setting Run Across America by Marshall Ulrich This long distance runner started running when his first wife died. He went on to become an ultramarathon runner, and broke many records. This is the story of his amazing run from California to New York. He recounts his difficulties and also the encouragement he received on the way.
  2. Once a Runner by John L Parker Jr.                                                    This novel has been written by a champion runner. The story is set against the backdrop of the protests against the Vietnam War. It is one of the most popular sports novels, and gives an inside view of the world of competitive running.
  3. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall                                            The author asserts that running was a survival skill in ancient times. He spent time with the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico who run long distances without tiring. They are considered to be the best long distance runners in the world. They are also free of the injuries that plague runners. He theorises that cushioned running shoes do more harm than good.
  4. Running With the Buffaloes by Chris Lear                                             The University of Colorado’s cross country team puts its members through a gruelling training program. The author provides an in-depth look at this highly competitive world. The experiences of the team have been tracked right through the season of 1998.
  5. Dead Man Running: From Alcohol to Atacama by Billy Isherwood This inspirational book tells of the author’s struggle with alcohol and drug abuse, and how he used running to overcome these issues. He participated in the Atacama Desert marathon.
  6. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami                                                                                            This acclaimed Japanese novelist has also participated in the 62 mile ultramarathon. This book gives readers an insight into the author’s mind along with the experience of the training and the run.

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