The 12 Best Running Books of 2021

Learn to run the right way with these reads

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Whether you’re looking for some practical advice on how to take your running to the next level or just need some more inspiration to get in your daily miles, some high-quality running books will do the trick.

Here are the best running books on the market to give your motivation and knowledge a boost.

Run Forever: Your Complete Guide to Healthy Lifetime Running

Run Forever
Courtesy of Amazon.

Boston Marathon winner and former Runner's World editor-in-chief Amby Burfoot shares his practical advice and timeless wisdom on how runners can enjoy a lifetime of healthy running. Part training guide and part inspirational perspective, Run Forever appeals to the new runner just getting started as well as the long-timer who needs the motivation to continue their healthy habit.

The Beginning Runner’s Handbook: The Proven 13-Week RunWalk Program

The Beginning Runner's Handbook

Courtesy of Amazon

Getting started with running can feel completely overwhelming to newbies, but this easy-to-use, practical guide demystifies the process. With a blend of expert advice and testimonials from runners of all ages, The Beginning Runner's Handbook is a step-by-step road map for starting a healthy running habit.

From tips on choosing the right gear and avoiding injuries to advice on proper nutrition and building endurance, it covers everything beginners need to know.

Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory

Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory
 Courtesy of Amazon

In this insightful and captivating memoir, running legend and Olympic silver medalist Deena Kastor explains how positive thinking helped her overcome self-doubt and become more resilient. Using personal race experiences and training anecdotes, Kastor shares the mental strategies anyone can use to achieve a competitive edge and reach their potential.

Let Your Mind Run is an inspiring story of achievement as well as a helpful guide on how to make your mind your greatest asset.

Rebound: Train Your Mind to Bounce Back Stronger from Sports Injuries

Rebound: Train Your Mind to Bounce Back Stronger from Sports Injuries
 Courtesy of Amazon

Many running books focus on mental strength and training, but very few cover the emotional aspects of dealing with an injury. A practical guide to improving resilience and confidence, Rebound contains more than 45 mental skills and drills that can be used at every phase of the injury recovery process.

The book weaves together personal stories from athletes, scientific research, and the expertise of leading mental skills coach Carrie Jackson Cheadle, giving runners the tools they need to recover and use to their advantage in the future. 

 

Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide

Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide
 Courtesy of Amazon

Whether you’re thinking of running your first marathon or you already have a few under your belt, Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide is an essential tool to help you take the guesswork out of training.

This completely updated and revised edition includes best-selling author and running expert Hal Higdon’s comprehensive advice, tried-and-true methods, and effective training programs to help you avoid injuries and achieve peak performance.

The Comeback Quotient: A Get-Real Guide to Building Mental Fitness in Sport and Life

The Comeback Quotient: A Get-Real Guide to Building Mental Fitness in Sport and Life

Courtesy of Amazon

Why do some athletes triumph over seemingly impossible odds and immense challenges? Best-selling sports journalist and running coach Matt Fitzgerald examines this question, as he shares stories of athletic comebacks and speculates on what makes them so remarkable.

With a combination of fascinating stories and relevant science, The Comeback Quotient gives you the tools and motivation you need to achieve your own personal comeback, whether in running or other areas.

North: Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail



North: Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail

Courtesy of Amazon

This thrilling memoir from best-selling author and accomplished ultra-runner Scott Jurek recounts his grueling experience breaking the speed record for running the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. As he chronicles the dangerous conditions, punishing terrain, and unavoidable injuries during his arduous challenge, he also reveals the personal transformation he underwent along the way.

Even if you’re not an ultra-runner, it’s hard not to be inspired by Jurek’s extraordinary journey and ability to push himself to his physical and mental limits.

Running with Sherman: The Donkey with the Heart of a Hero

Running with Sherman: The Donkey with the Heart of a Hero

Courtesy of Amazon

Most runners already know journalist Christopher McDougall as the author of the best-seller Born to Run, and he continues to share his gift of witty and inspiring storytelling in his latest book. It’s about his experience adopting a neglected donkey, nursing it back to health, and ultimately running with it in preparation for an annual burro race.

Strong: A Runner's Guide to Boosting Confidence and Becoming the Best Version of You



Strong: A Runner's Guide to Boosting Confidence and Becoming the Best Version of You

Courtesy of Amazon

Two-time Olympian Kara Goucher shares her secrets and strategies for conquering self-doubt and improving running performance using proven tools from sports psychology.

Through tips and real-life examples, Goucher offers practical advice that runners of any level can appreciate and apply to their training and life in general. Strong also includes perspectives from experts in the field, including Kara's own sports psychologist.

Easy Running Plans: Total-Body Training for Speed, Strength, and Endurance

Easy Running Plans: Total-Body Training
 Courtesy of Amazon

New runners as well as experienced ones looking to step up their running game can all benefit from this comprehensive, practical guide. With easy-to-follow training schedules for all different abilities, you can choose one that best suits your needs and goals.

Easy Running Plans also includes fundamentals about proper running form, injury prevention, and recovery, as well as stretches, exercises, and drills to help boost your performance.

Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance

Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance
 Courtesy of Amazon

Runners who are looking for insight into how their mental strength affects their physical performance will appreciate the best-seller Endure. Award-winning sports journalist and former elite distance runner Alex Hutchinson deftly analyzes the latest research about running and fitness to help runners understand how the human body reacts to various conditions.

With riveting stories about athletes who have pushed their own limits, Hutchinson inspires readers to think about their mind’s influence on their ability to push themselves, in running and beyond.

Run Fast: How to Beat Your Best Time Every Time

Run Fast: How to Beat Your Best Time Every Time
 Courtesy of Amazon

Another comprehensive running guide from best-selling author Hal Higdon, Run Fast can help runners of all abilities improve their speed and achieve running goals. It includes training plans for novice runners to help them get started and challenging workouts for more experienced runners.

Filled with advice and techniques from coaches, elites, and average runners, this book can help you stay motivated and have fun while reaching new running milestones.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Running coach and avid runner Christine Luff has been collecting running books for years and currently has almost 100 of them on her bookshelves. 

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