my running adventures – barefoot or otherwise

Running-related books I’ve read and a plea for recommendations for more!

Born to Run - Just one of the books I've enjoyed reading on the subject of running over the last 12 months!

Born to Run – Just one of the books I’ve enjoyed reading on the subject of running over the last 12 months!

Since I caught the running bug just over a year ago, I’ve been immersing myself in all literature related to the subject of running!

Here’s my list of books I’ve read on the subject in the last 12 months:

  • Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
  • What I talk about when I talk about running by Haruki Murakami
  • Running with the Kenyans by Adharanand Finn
  • Barefoot Running Step by Step by Ken Bob Saxton
  • The Art of Running Faster by Julian Goater and Don Melvin (*I’m in the middle of reading this one and I’m really enjoying it!)
  • The Sky’s The Limit by Richard Moore – A book I’m about to read inspired by my watching of the Tour de France and increased cycling of late

And here’s a list of books on my ‘to read’ list in the near future!

  • 14 Minutes: A Running Legend’s Life and Death and Life by Alberto Salazar (Mo Farah’s running coach) with John Brant
  • Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek and Steve Friedman
  • World’s Ultimate Running Races: 500 races, 101 countries, Choose your adventure by Angela Mudge
  • Running My Life – The Autobiography by Seb Coe
  • Running on Empty by Marshall Ulrich

Have you read any of these books in either list? What did you think of them?

Are there any other books you would recommend for an avid bookworm on the subject of running, or sport in a wider sense?

Future posts are going to include an explanation as to why I haven’t run barefoot for over a month, and keep stopping by for what I am sure will be an inciteful interview with a fellow runner!

Enjoy your running!




7 comments on “Running-related books I’ve read and a plea for recommendations for more!

  1. t morris
    August 30, 2013

    Jurek’s Eat and Run is an inspirational read (despite his dubious ideas about nutrition and the sometimes erroneous nutritional information he quotes). Every time I rebel against running in the harsh summer conditions we face in S Texas, I remember Jurek’s account of making himself get out of bed before sunrise, to run in snow often more than a foot in depth. Those days, he admits in his book, he would rather have stayed in his warm bed until time for work. He knew that staying in bed wouldn’t win races, though, so he forced himself to get up and run in the cold, dark mountains before he put in his full day at work. I hold these passges by Jurek in my heart and mind so that I have the discipline to get out and run when I’d rather stay in the air conditioning. McDougall’s book is a fun, and helpful, read. He puts together in one place all the research and information about barefoot running that I took quite a while to compile for myself when I began barefoot running years ago, before his book was published. McDougall has a gift for story-telling that allows him to include what might be viewed by some as dry, academic information without losing his readers’ interest. Because of the wide appeal of his work, he has truly changed the world of running for the better. More people are now open to allowing for individual differences among runners: what they decide to wear on their feet, what allows them the most comfort when they run, etc. I’m looking forward to the release of McDougall’s newest book, about resistance fighters in WWII (and the way they developed the physical stamina necessary to carry out their tasks). My husband read Murakami’s book and enjoyed it; I’ve not had the chance to read it. Marshall Ulrich’s Running on Empty is definitely on my list of books to read. That man continues to be an excellent role model for all runners, but especially for aging runners. Thank you for sharing your list of books read, and yet to read. I see a couple of titles that interest me, but with which I am not familiar.

    • barefoottc
      September 1, 2013

      Thanks for your detailed response and for pointing out that McDougall has a new book out soon – I’ll keep my eye out for that one. Your comment was inspirational to me yesterday morning when I really had to force myself up for my long run at 5:00am in preparation for a half marathon at the end of the month. I’m looking forward to updating my list of ‘read’ and ‘want to read’ in a few months time!

  2. hannilou1
    September 8, 2013

    Not strictly running but I’ve recently read “Can’t swim, can’t ride, can’t run” by Andy Holgate. It’s the story of how the author went from overweight to taking up triathlon, eventually competing at Ironman distance. I found it really interesting and very inspiring. Holgate writes very genuinely and I found him very easy to relate to (even though just the thought of an Ironman makes me feel a bit sick). Despite being an Ironman competitor, he comes across as very down to earth and a “normal” guy.

    In contrast I’ve also read “A Life Without Limits” by Chrissie Wellington. Again about Ironman triathlon rather than just running but still very interesting. Having said that, I found Wellington very hard to relate to. Throughout the book she comes across as very dismissive of her abilities, which rather than making her sound humble, actually makes her seem rather arrogant at times. However as an informative read about full on elite triathlon training, it’s enjoyable and informative.

    My favourite running book so far however is “Running Like a Girl” by Alexandra Hemingsley. I’m not sure how enjoyable it would be for you as it’s very much a tale for beginners who are looking for a story they can relate to, plus I would think it’s more for the girls, however I cannot recommend it enough to people starting out on their running journey. It’s funny, well written and had me going “oh my god, that happened to me too!” in pretty much every chapter.

    Hope these help. 🙂

    • barefoottc
      September 20, 2013

      Hey hannilou1,

      Thanks so much for your reviews of the above books! I think I might end up getting the ‘Running Like a Girl’ book for my wife at some point in the future! I’m still enjoying The Art of Running Faster, and am hoping to put what I’ve learnt into practice in a week’s time at the Robin Hood half marathon (I’m a little bit excited now!)

      • hannilou1
        September 24, 2013

        Oh good luck with the Robin Hood half! Not long to go now!

      • barefoottc
        September 26, 2013

        Thank you!! Getting excited now – just hoping to avoid any colds or illness between now and race day!

  3. Greg Forma
    December 22, 2013

    “Marathon Journey, An Achilles Story” is an inspirational book about marathon running. Good story—quick read. The Afterword is written by Dick Traum who is the first person to run a marathon with a prosthetic leg.

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