Needing a new read for fall? Or inspiration in your running journey? There are so many books, podcasts, blogs, and videos from running stars and medical professionals on every subject imaginable when it comes to living an active lifestyle. As an avid reader, I have managed to work my way through a few informational and inspiring works that I have found myself referring back to regularly. Some of them are more scientific in nature, while others follow more of a traditional storyline. Whether you are looking for tips on injury prevention or are intrigued by the way our bodies function at the microscopic level, there is something in this list for you!
- Endure by Alex Hutchinson:
As someone who is not a scientist by any means, I appreciate authors who can break down very complex processes into manageable pieces that I can understand. In his book, Hutchinson touches on the many parts that make up the whole of the performance. This book discusses the intimate ties between the mind and body, the limits that each person will inevitably face, and strategies on how to best overcome the ones that can be changed while learning to accept those that are inevitable.
- The Champion’s Mind by Jim Afremow:
While this book was not written specifically for runners, many of the principles discussed can be beneficial for any athletic endeavor. Afremow, a licensed sport psychologist, provides the reader with insight on how to make every moment mindful while moving in pursuit of one’s goals. There are many athlete spotlights throughout the book from a variety of sports that provide personal setbacks and revelations as a way to connect to each reader individually. Like Endure (mentioned above), this book is easy to read despite some of the concepts it discusses. I now apply many of Afrenow’s ideas to the way I train and schedule my time, and I hope you find this book as resourceful as I do.
- Sky Runner by Emilie Forsberg:
This is one of the most thoughtfully written and beautifully put together books I’ve ever read. Emilie Forberg is not only an incredible mountain athlete, but she also runs her farm while taking care of her family as well. This book not only touches on her training but also on her mindset in regards to running and the injuries that she has experienced. Her heart for the sport is apparent in every word she writes, and her journey is inspirational on many accounts. This book provides recipes, Forberg’s favorite yoga postures, and training ideas for any level of athlete. This is a book I return to often, especially when working to change my mindset from seeing competition as all-encompassing and stressful to something that promotes growth and cultivates happiness.
- Training for the Uphill Athlete by Steve House, Scott Johnston & Kílian Jornet:
This book provides a lot of information regarding training for those who are more into mountain sports, whether it be a variation of skiing or running. The authors break down complex physiological processes and explain various approaches to training through their personal experiences and the stories of other professional athletes. Fairly structured training plans are also featured in this book, which can significantly assist those who are looking to get started with or to increase there training in regards to mountain sports. While this book is more detailed than many others mentioned here, it is still an excellent resource for those who are interested in coaching, training or competing in a variety of mountain sports.
- Rebound by Carrie Jackson Cheadle & Cindy Kuzma:
I have struggled with my share of running-related injuries, but this book gave me insight that I had never noticed before. This book speaks less to the physical manifestation of injuries and more on how much of an impact an injury can have on the mind. Arguably, more people tend to struggle with the side effect of mental inconsistency that injury often brings than the actual injury itself. This book was eye-opening for me as it taught me strategies for overcoming trauma and bouncing back stronger than I was when I was on the sidelines. By learning to acknowledge emotions that are related to injury, having creative and stress-relieving outlets that are not running related to your sport, and moving healthily back into the sport after healing, the return to sport can be made much smoother. For those who have struggled with injury in the past or are currently going through a setback, this book is informative and written just for you!
- Good To Go by Christie Aschwanden:
This book was incredibly interesting due to the number of recovery strategies that are discussed. Recovery is arguably as important as the training itself, yet many strategies have been questioned as to their actual ability to help the body recover. Aschwanden does a great job of researching each recovery strategy and presenting her responses to all of them while also encouraging the reader to try them and form their own opinions. She touches on infrared saunas, inflatable compression boots, recovery lotion, ice baths, and more as methods of recovery that may or may not be as effective as many would think. Having a breakdown of a variety of options while also utilizing the research that has been done on each item can be a valuable resource for those who have questions about recovery or are looking to improve their game.
- Broken Open by David Clark:
This is the most recent book I have finished, and I couldn’t put it down. Author David Clark lets the reader inside his mind and past as he explains his long-fought battle with alcohol abuse and obesity. He discusses his training regimen, how he fuels his body, and the ultra-style races that he’s competed in. Clark also links his views on spirituality to how he lives his life, whether he’s running or interacting with his community. His writing style is engaging and draws the reader into his mind as he shares exact thoughts and struggles from his numerous races. Clark’s story is heartening regardless of where one is at in life and presents a nudge of encouragement for those looking to hurdle past their obstacles.
Feel free to let me know what you thought about these books if you’ve had the opportunity to read them, and please give me suggestions if you have other book titles that are not mentioned here! I am always looking to expand my library!