The 7 Best Running Books for Beginner Runners to Buy in 2020

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If you're new to running and looking for a book geared toward beginner runners, you may be overwhelmed by all the choices. Here are some great options for running books for beginners:

Our Top Picks

The Beginning Runner's Handbook, by Ian MacNeill

The Beginning Runner's Handbook: The Proven 13-Week RunWalk Program
Courtesy of Amazon

This guide details a 13-week walk/run plan designed to get people off the couch and on the roads and treadmills. Originally developed by sports medicine physicians and refined through three years of clinics and feedback from runners, the book explains how beginners should train every day for 13 weeks and how to stay injury-free. Every part of the process is covered, from gear to staying motivated. Other topics include training to run faster and farther; maintaining fitness on vacation; training for a half or full marathon; running during and after pregnancy; nutrition and running, and much more.

Run Your Butt Off! by Leslie Bonci, Sarah Butler and Budd Coates

Run Your Butt Off!: A Breakthrough Plan to Lose Weight and Start Running (No Experience Necessary!)
Courtesy of Amazon

If you want to start running in order to lose weight, this is the book for you.

program is based on the simple concept that in order to lose weight, calories burned must exceed calories consumed. With this program, you'll learn to how to lose weight by changing your calories in and out, and establishing sustainable, healthy exercise and eating habits. The program will make you fitter, stronger and leaner -- and, hopefully, you'll learn to love running in the process.

Running for Mortals, by John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield

Running for Mortals, by John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield
Courtesy of Amazon

John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield, authors of the popular

and other running books, explain how beginning-level runners can make running a part of their lives. This book covers topics such as how to start running, proper nutrition and hydration, and improving your speed and endurance.

Galloway's 5K And 10K Running, by Jeff Galloway

Galloway's 5K and 10K Running
Courtesy of Amazon

Many people say they'd love to run a 5K or a 10K but aren't sure where to start. This practical guide offers an easy and time-efficient system to train for and complete a 5K or 10K race, using former Olympian Galloway's well-known run/walk strategy, which has kept him injury-free for more than 25 years. Whether you're looking to complete your first race or run a specific time, this book has a section for you. Galloway also includes advice on sports nutrition, weight loss, injury prevention and treatment, getting the right running gear, staying motivated and much more.

The Runner's Handbook, by Bob Glover and Shelly-lynn F. Glover

The Competitive Runner's Handbook: The Bestselling Guide to Running 5Ks through Marathons
Courtesy of Amazon

If you're new to distance running, this is one of the most comprehensive guides out there. From training programs and injury prevention to running gear and sports nutrition, the Glovers answer beginner runner's questions in an easy-to-understand manner, without getting overly scientific.

Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running

Runner's World Complete Book of Women's Running
Courtesy of Amazon

Obviously this book wouldn't appeal to at least half the running population, but for female runners, it offers a great, comprehensive wealth of running information. It's written specifically for women runners who are looking for advice about the special challenges and issues faced by women, from running clothes and gear, injuries, safety and nutrition, to running during pregnancy, menopause and post-menopause. It also includes expert advice on sports nutrition, weight loss, body image issues and lots more for women of all fitness levels.

The Accidental Athlete, by John Bingham

An Accidental Athlete: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Middle Age
Courtesy of Amazon

In this humorous memoir, running writer John Bingham, explores his unlikely transformation from an unhealthy, sedentary middle-aged non-runner into a beloved hero and running evangelist for back-of-the-packers. Whether they're new to running or have been at it for years, recreational runners everywhere are sure to recognize themselves somewhere in the book and be inspired to stick with running.


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