While I was training for my Ultramarathon, my girlfriend bought me “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall. It was a brilliant book which I thoroughly enjoyed. Since then, it got me into reading more running books, so with the long winter evenings upon us, here is my top 5 list of running books you should read this December:
- Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher 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 greatest distance runners and learn their secrets, and in the process shows us that everything we thought we knew about running is wrong.
- Run Fat Bitch Run by Ruth Field
Ruth, a 36 year-old mum of twins, thinks this makes her your very best friend, and the title of her best-selling book, Run Fat Bitch Run, is the tough-love mantra she is urging women to repeat to themselves to get jogging and lose those carb pounds and stodge-induced rolls.
- Why We Run: A Natural History by Bernd Heinrich
Originally released with the title of “Racing the Antelope: What Animals Can Teach Us About Running and Life,” this book explores the idea that human evolution was made possible by the ultra-distance running capabilities of human beings. Author Bernd Heinrich, a biologist and award-winning nature writer, investigates the physical, spiritual and primal desires and instincts to compete in a blend of anthropology, psychology, philosophy and his own personal passion for running long distances
- The Accidental Athlete: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Middle Age by John Bingham
Known by fans as “The Penguin” for his back-of-the-pack speed, John Bingham is one of the unlikely heroes of the modern running boom. In this warm, witty memoir, the best-selling author and magazine columnist recalls his childhood dreams of athletic glory, sedentary years of unhealthy excess and a life-changing transformation from couch potato to “adult-onset athlete.” It’s a must-read for new fitness-oriented runners or lifelong runners who have kept running despite slowing down through the years. What Bingham proves is that if he can become a marathoner and a healthy runner, anyone can
- Running Full Circle by Frank Greally
Athletics stars past and present – as well as many members of the Irish running community – gathered in Dublin recently for the launch of Frank Greally’s autobiography, ‘Running Full Circle’.
The former champion distance runner and long-time managing editor of Irish Runner magazine has had, by his own admission, many ups and downs, and that is reflected in the book’s subtitle, ‘Footprints on a Rocky Road to Redemption.’
The book traces Greally’s emergence in the 1960s as a prodigious talent in his native Mayo, his turbulent years as a homesick scholarship athlete in East Tennessee — where he majored in English Literature and journalism as well as ‘music and moonshine’ — and his subsequent struggles with depression and alcohol.