Books

What better to do on a recovery day than pick up a good book and turn a few pages! Over half of my running knowledge comes from the books below. If you don’t feel like reading my words or want the info straight from the source, read the words in these books.

Disclaimer: This page does contain affiliate links. Gasp! Purchasing the books through the links does not mean you pay more. It just means that the Bezos gets a tiny bit less money and I get that tiny bit instead.

Running performance

The Complete Book of Running for Women

The gist

I read this book when I first started running, and it’s been my go-to running book ever since. It taught me the importance of:

  • Running form
  • Stride length and rate
  • Not focusing on pace during every run
  • Rhythmic breathing
  • Safely increasing weekly mileage
  • Hydration and fueling
  • Strength and cross training

Yes, this book is tailored to women, but if you’re a dude, just ignore the stuff about menstruating and whatnot. It also includes training plans for getting back into running, 5k/10k, half marathon and marathon, complete with interval workouts.

Bottom line

There are some sections I skip past these days, like Body Weight, Pregnancy, and others, but overall, I think this is a fantastic book for those who want to start running. Especially women.

Ready to Run

The gist

Dr. Starrett outlines his 12 standards that he believes runners should dedicate at least 10 minutes a day to. Not a single one involves physically running, but they all support being a healthy runner. He claims that by adhering to his standards a runner can improve their performance and run injury-free.

I’m still early in my 12 standards journey, so I can’t support his claims just yet. What I do know is that my body does a feel a lot better when I run now. Also, I am able to promptly clear up any niggles that arise during a run, keeping them from bothering me in a subsequent run.

Bottom line

If you don’t want to go to physical therapy or your insurance won’t approve you (like mine!), then this book and his mobilizations are the next best thing.

Paleo Diet for Athletes

The gist

Way back in the day I followed the Paleo Diet for Athletes to a tee, and I felt fantastic. I was also a lot younger, so maybe that’s why I felt fantastic. Who knows. These days I’m older, and although I’m no longer vegan, I do try to avoid animal products for digestive reasons. So, the paleo diet isn’t exactly for me. Then why do I still read and recommend this book?

Because of their hydration and nutrition guidelines. They break it down to pre-exercise, during exercise and post-exercise. The guidelines for hydration and nutrition during exercise are further broken down by how long you’re exercising. They have served me well so far, and I hope they’ll serve me well for my first ultra.

Bottom line

The paleo diet isn’t for everybody, but this book provide excellent hydration and nutrition guidelines that can be used during training and races. And if you’re into paleo, it tailors the paleo diet specifically to athletes.

Endure

Endurance. What is it? What limits endurance? Can we increase endurance? Alex Hutchinson mixes athlete stories in with research results to address these questions. Although I haven’t finished it yet, it is a great read for any endurance athlete or anyone curious about the what limits the human body.

Born to Run

If you’re a runner, this book is probably not new to you. Folks either love it or hate it. Obviously, I’m one of the folks who loved it. I found all the evidence that humans were born to run absolutely fascinating. And learning about the Tarahumara tribe was equally fantastic.

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