Best Running (non-instructional) Books

Top 10 Best Running (non-instructional) Books : Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, Once a Runner, Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption, Bowerman and the Men of Oregon: The Story of Oregon's Legendary Coach and Nike's Co-founder, Running & Being: The Total Experience, Resolve, Duel in the Sun: Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley, and America's Greatest Marathon, Pre: The Story of America's Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine, Chariots of Fire

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
AuthorChristopher McDougall
Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt? In search of an answer, Christopher McDougall sets off to find a tribe of the world’s...
Once a Runner
AuthorJohn L. Parker Jr.
Once a Runner captures the essence of what it means to be a competitive runner; to devote your entire existence to a single-minded pursuit of excellence. It has become one of the most beloved sports novels ever written. Originally self-published in 1978 and sold at road races out of the trunk of the author’s...
Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness
AuthorScott Jurek
For nearly two decades, Scott Jurek has been a dominant force—and darling—in the grueling and growing sport of ultrarunning. Until recently he held the American 24-hour record and he was one of the elite runners profiled in the runaway bestseller Born to Run.

In Eat and Run, Jurek opens...
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption
AuthorLaura Hillenbrand
In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man's journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit. On a May afternoon in 1943,...
AuthorKenny Moore
The first biography of the legendary track coach, and founder of Nike, who had an unparalleled impact on the sport of running

During his tenure as track coach at the University of Oregon from 1949 through 1972, Bill Bowerman won 4 national team titles, trained dozens of milers to break the 4-minute...
AuthorGeorge Sheehan
The book that helped get the world running is back. This New York Times bestseller written by the late runner, doctor, philosopher, Dr. George Sheehan is a timeless classic. It tells of Dr. Sheehan's midlife return to the world of exercise, play, and competition. Focusing on the importance of "play",...
AuthorJ.J. Hensley
In the Pittsburgh Marathon, 18,000 people from all over the world will participate. Over 9,500 will run the half marathon, 4,000 will run brief stretches as part of a relay. 4,500 people will attempt to cover the full 26.2 miles. Over 200 of the participants will quit, realizing it just wasn't their day....
AuthorJohn Brant
John Brant re-creates the tense drama of the 1982 Boston Marathon—and the powerful forces of fate that drove these two athletes in the years afterwards
"One was a humble farm boy from Minnesota. The other was the most electrifying distance runner of his time. In 1982, they battled stride for stride...
Pre: The Story of America's Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine
AuthorTom Jordan
For five years, no American runner could beat him at any distance over a mile. But at the age of 24, with his best years still ahead, long-distance runner Steve Prefontaine finally lost. Driving alone at night after a party, Prefontaine crashed his sports car, putting a tragic, shocking end to the life...
AuthorWilliam J. Weatherby
The story of two men—Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell—who run not to run but to prove something to the world. They will sacrifice anything to achieve their goals, except their honor.

Two men, Abrahams and Liddell, one a Jew who runs to triumph over bigotry, the other a Scots missionary who...
AuthorJohn L. Parker Jr.
John L. Parker, Jr.’s first novel, Once a Runner, is the cult novel for runners. Self-published in the late 1970s, and for years sold out of the trunk of the author’s car at running events, it went on to sell over 100,000 copies and achieve legendary status among runners.

It perfectly captured...
A Race Like No Other: 26.2 Miles Through the Streets of New York
AuthorLiz Robbins
"A Race Like No Other" is a narrative based on the November 4, 2007 race, but it is timeless in its themes. Acclaimed "New York Times" sportswriter Liz Robbins captures the enormity of the New York City Marathon through the prism of five representative athletes and the experiences that brought them to...
AuthorJeremy Schaap
From the ESPN national correspondent and author of the New York Times bestseller Cinderella Man comes the remarkable behind-the-scenes story of a defining moment in sports and world history.

In 1936, against a backdrop of swastikas flying and a storm troopers goose-stepping, an African-American...
Lore of Running
AuthorTim Noakes
Lore of Running gives you incomparable detail on physiology, training, racing, injuries, world-class athletes, and races.

Author Tim Noakes blends the expertise of a physician and research scientist with the passion of a dedicated runner to answer the most pressing questions for those...
Feet in the Clouds: A Tale of Fell-Running and Obsession
AuthorRichard Askwith
Exploring the world of fell-running—to run the ancient, wild landscape and stay a hero within one’s own valley—this portrait of one of the few sports to have remained implacably amateur and utterly true to its roots details the passionate ambitions of those who participate in one of the oldest...
The Long Walk
AuthorRichard Bachman
If this book does not make you feel physical pain, I don't know what will.

This isn't a book about killer clowns or haunted hotels. It's not a Hunger Games type of book, despite the "game show" element of the Long Walk, nor is it a world attached to any tower, Dark or not. This book is in-your-face...
My Life on the Run: The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon
AuthorBart Yasso
Dubbed the "Mayor of Running," Bart Yasso is one of the best-known figures in the sport, but few people know why he started running competitively, how it changed his life, or how his brush with a crippling illness nearly ended his career a decade ago. With insight and humor, My Life on the Run chronicles...
I Run, Therefore I Am--Nuts!
AuthorBob Schwartz

I Run, Therefore I Am--Nuts! takes a funny look at the peculiarities, quirks, and obsessions of runners of all abilities. Whether you fall in the middle of the pack, up near the front of the pack, or so far from any semblance of a pack that you're wondering if everyone went home already, you'll find...
To Be a Runner: How Racing Up Mountains, Running with the Bulls, or Just Taking On a 5-K Makes You a Better Person (and the World a Better Place)
AuthorMartin Dugard
Now with a new introduction and additional stories accumulated in the eight years since its original publication, To Be a Runner is a fresh and exciting update on a running classic. With an exuberant mix of passion, insight, instruction, and humor, bestselling author and lifelong runner Martin Dugard...
AuthorDavid McCasland
Eric Liddell inspired the classic movie Chariots of Fire. But he was much more than the Olympic champion who ran for the gold at the Paris Olympics in 1924. Liddell dedicated his life to God’s service on the mission field and died in a Japanese internment camp during WWII. By his example, Eric Liddell...
Racing the Rain
AuthorJohn L. Parker Jr.
From the author of the New York Times bestselling Once a Runner—“The best novel ever written about running” (Runner’s World)—comes that novel’s prequel, the story of a world-class athlete coming of age in the 1950s and 60s on Florida’s Gold Coast.

Quenton Cassidy’s first...
Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
AuthorClarissa Pinkola Estés
Within every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D., Jungian analyst and cantadora storyteller shows how women's...
Going Long: Legends, Oddballs, Comebacks & Adventures
AuthorDavid Willey
For more than 40 years, Runner's World magazine has been the world's leading authority on running—bringing its readers the latest running advice and some of the most compelling sports narratives ever told. From inspirational stories such as "A Second Life"(the story of Matt Long, the FDNY firefighter...
The Incomplete Book of Running
AuthorPeter Sagal
UPDATE: I ran the half-marathon today, with a time of 2 hours and five minutes—probably the best run I've ever done. And all thanks to Peter Sagal!

And here is my write-up of the experience:
Of all the people on the face...
AuthorCarl Deuker
But the weather-beaten sailboat Chance Taylor and his father call home is thirty years old and hasn’t sailed in years. One step from both homelessness and hunger, Chance worries about things other kids his age never give a thought: Where will the money come for the electricity bill, grocery...
AuthorJeremy Jackson
In eighth grade Kevin Schuler is a popular kid with a decent, if not stellar, record on the track. Yet after fate takes him off a bus that crashes and kills his fellow students, including his girlfriend, Kevin inexplicably becomes a track phenomenon. Separated from his memory and distanced from his own...
Slow Fat Triathlete: Live Your Athletic Dreams in the Body You Have Now
AuthorJayne Williams
The idea of participating in a triathlon may sound out of the realm of possibility for those without a typical jock-athlete's honed build, intense focus, and competitive mindset. But now Slow Fat Triathlete opens the door to those who may not come quite so equipped. After years of obesity, poor health,...
The Running Dream
AuthorWendelin Van Draanen
An award-winning and inspiring novel.  When Jessica's dreams are shattered, she puts herself back together—and learns to dream bigger than ever before.

Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She's not comforted by the news that she'll be able to walk with...
Running with the Pack
AuthorMark Rowlands
'Most of the serious thinking I have done over the past twenty years has been done while running.' Mark Rowlands has run for most of his life. He has also been a professional philosopher. And for him the two - running and philosophising - are inextricably connected.

In Running with the Pack he...
AuthorChris Crutcher
[Note: Spoilers ahead.]

Louie Banks's senior year of high school looks like it's going to be amazing. His love life hasn't been so stellar in the past, but now he has an amazing girlfriend, Becky, who loves him for who he is--much to his amazement. He's spent the past summer working out and is now...
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