7 Inspirational Running Books

Even the most accomplished athlete needs a little motivation sometimes, not to mention there are some days that the weather just isn’t cooperating. We get it – it’s tough to lace up and head out in a torrential downpour. So we put together a list of inspiring books to read when you’re feeling sluggish, or when you’re stuck inside. We have a feeling that lack of motivation won’t last very long!

Running Through the Wall: Personal Encounters with the Ultramarathon
Neal Jamison

You don’t have to be an ultrarunner to appreciate this book. Jamison interviewed 35 runners about everything from training tips, to pain tolerance, to what is going through your mind at mile 93 of a 100 mile race. Most of the runners aren’t pros, either, so this one might make you feel a little better about your upcoming long run.

Duel in the Sun: Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley, and America’s Greatest Marathon
John Brant

In this book, Brant chronicles the story of the men behind one of the greatest U.S. races of all time – the 1982 Boston Marathon. Not just about the race, but what happened to both men afterwards, this well-written story reads almost like fiction.

Running with the Buffaloes: A Season Inside With Mark Wetmore, Adam Goucher, And The University Of Colorado Men’s Cross Country Team
Chris Lear

Many beginner runners don’t know the reputation that the University of Colorado Boulder Cross Country Team has (I know I didn’t). This inspirational story follows the team in their 1998 season while the team was chasing their first national title and Olympic hopeful Adam Goucher (yes, the future Mr. Kara Goucher) was going for his first NCAA cross country title. This book goes inside the mind of the amazing, yet controversial coach Mark Wetmore, and gives readers a glimpse of what life and training is like for some of the best.
 
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
Haruki Murakami

When Murakami decided to train for the New York City marathon, he also decided to write about the journey. This memoir about the intersection of his obsession with running and writing, and everything that comes up along the way. He shares his philosophy on running and on life, and is more about the mental process of training for a race instead of the actual training advice.

Sole Sisters: Stories of Women and Running
Jennifer Lin and Susan Warner

This book is a collection of inspiring stories from women from all over the United States. It’s about women who for friendship, for grief, for health, and for everything in between.

The Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life
Amby Burfoot

After running for 35 years, and winning the Boston Marathon, you pick up a few tips. Burfoot shares the 15 life lessons he’s learned, essential traits for a runner, and inspirational quotes that have kept him going along the way. This is a wonderful read for any runner, whether you’re a newbie or have been at it for decades.

Pre: The Story of America’s Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine
Tom Jordan

Just about everyone has at least heard of Steve Prefontaine, the running phenom who tragically died in a car accident at the age of 24. He was destined for greatness and continues to influence the sport today, even though it’s been 40 years since his death.