It’s widely accepted that running isn’t just a sport of endurance, but also a sport of mental strength, as well. Why not exercise your brain along with all the other muscles needed while you train? ShokzStar Sandy Stiner shares a list of 5 books every runner should read for inspiration, motivation, and real talk. Check out these top books for runners and hit a new stride.
One minute I was out running in the sun complaining about how hot it was. The next, I’m pulling on a sweatshirt and breaking out the pumpkin-spiced everything. Fall is here and there’s no better time to curl up on the sofa with some hot tea and a good book. If you’re searching for something good to read, here are some of my favourite books about running.
"Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner" by Dean Karnazes
This book is how I found out about ultramarathons. Author and ultrarunner Dean was an ordinary man, who became extraordinary by challenging his mind and body. In this book, you will learn how one man started running one night and really never stopped pushing his limits ever since. This book helped push myself out of my own comfort zone and complete distances that I had before thought would have never been possible.
"26 Marathons: What I Learned About Faith, Identity, Running and Life From My Marathon Career" by Meb Keflezighi
Olympic runner Meb Keflezighi pours his heart and soul into this book. He tells many stories of success and failure both in his life and racing. I especially love the way he inspires the reader to challenge themselves and to have goals that sometimes seem out of reach.
Meb never gave up and achieved some pretty awesome feats. It was fun to take a peek at the life of an elite runner with every turn of the page. I think even a beginner runner would enjoy this book. It’s very inspiring!
"To The Edge: A Man, Death Valley and the Mystery of Endurance" by Kirk Johnson
Author Kirk Johnson begins running to deal with the death of his brother. He is also a journalist and writes about his experience running the Badwater 135, the world’s toughest footrace across Death Valley. It’s so hot that the participants have to run on the white painted line on the road to keep the soles of their shoes from melting.
Even more amazing, Kirk had never even run a marathon prior to running Badwater. Read this book to discover the fascinating story of perseverance, healing, and transformation for yourself.
"Running Through the Wall: Personal Encounters with the Ultramarathon" by Neal Jamison
I bought this book while training for my first ultramarathon, and I recommend it to others who are in the same boat. I’ll admit these stories scared the pants off me, but they also offered realistic accounts that were eye-opening. This book is a collection of stories by both ordinary and elite runners. It’s filled with tales of endurance, inspiration, hard-won victories, and the joy that comes by competing in a sport of running distances few choose to attempt. Consider it a portable pep talk.
"A Beautiful Work In Progress" by Mirna Valerio
I’ll preface this by saying that runner Mirna Valerio is a friend of mine. That said, if you’ve met her she is a friend to everyone. She’s a beautiful, plus-sized runner that has drive and determination far beyond the scope of many, and has completed countless races including ultramarathons.
They say not to judge a book by its cover and the same goes for Mirna. This book shatters running stereotypes and is full of body positivity, self-love, grit, extraordinary courage, and the celebration of running for everyone.
A common theme in each of these books is the physical and mental toughness involved with distance running. Through your own determination, you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to, regardless of your running experience level or personal goals. There are no limits on where your running can take you, and these books for runners are proof. I hope you’ve enjoyed my list. Now go create your own story!
Follow ShokzStar Sandy’s running journey on Instagram and Twitter.