• Kelly Tietjen

Best Running Books

Running is one of the best stress relievers. That was the draw for me, at least. It's the ultimate adrenaline rush. The best long work out. The greatest way to work out your frustrations. Yes, this is all in my opinion, but don't knock it till you tried it.

While all this is true, it can still be really difficult to instill constant motivation within ourselves to run. There were several days during my marathon journey where I did not at all want to lace up my shoes and run out the door. In times like that, I turned to my two biggest sources of motivation...YouTube channels...and books.

Here is a short list of my absolute favorite books about running. They are all different and special in their own way. These books will inspire you, they will move you deeply inside and they'll get your legs moving too. If you're looking to get into running or looking for that spark of motivation, these books will get you where you need to be.

Eat & Run

This is by far my favorite book on running. Ultramarathoner Scott Jureck takes you through his life from his scrappy childhood in Minnesota to his adulthood running insane 100 mile races in the California, Mexico and beyond. Not only has Scott run some of the toughest races in the world but he's done almost all of these runs and training on a vegan diet. A lot of his book talks about nutrition and how that effects stamina. What I love most about this book is his down to earth attitude towards endurance sports. He's arguably the best in the world at what he does, but he speaks to you like you can do the same. I often turn to this book when I need a little extra oomf to get out the door. If you want to learn about running, nutrition and ultramarathon endurance training, buy this book and treat it as your bible.

Born to Run

Be still my beating heart, I absolutely adored this book. Christopher McDougall is a journalist, writer and of course, a runner who along with our friend Scott (above) and many other skilled endurance runners traveled to the heart of Mexico to run with the Tarahumara tribe. Lucky for us, he brings us along for the journey in this absolutely beautifully written book about friendship, inspiration and of course, running. The Tarahumara Indians are a tribe of the world’s greatest distance runners from Mexico's Copper Canyons. They are reclusive, mysterious and insanely amazing at long distance running, all while wearing sandals as this as a paper plate. This is a true story that all started when Chris was experiencing numerous running injuries and was looking for answers as to why. He, along with his buddies, went in search for the Tarahumara to learn their ways. What they got out of the experience was far more sacred than the secrets behind their injuries. They learned that the power to become a good runner doesn't come from the Nike store or the best coach or the hundreds of milligrams of caffeine you take before you head out the door... it comes from within. You were born with 2 feet. You were born with the child like nature to be free. You were born to run.

Jog On

This is one of the more contemporary books on running that I really like. Bella Macke was going through the absolute worst time in her life. She was getting divorced, her self esteem was at an all time low and her anxiety was at an all time high. She tried everything to drag herself out of rock bottom, everything until she laced up her shoes and tried... you guessed it, running. It was only a little at a time. Back and forth in an ally way...until she got the courage, little by little, to run farther, to run the streets, to run the trails, to eventually run herself out of the ditch that had crippled her for so long. What I truly loved about this book personally, was how much I could relate to it. I suffer from anxiety myself which, if you've read my blog for a while now you already know. I too run to stave off anxiety. It's one of the very little options I have to get out of my head, feel free in my body and relax. I so empathized with Bella's pain, her agony to turn her life around and to find something, ANYTHING that would work. What's even better is that she does it just for fun. No 5k's or marathons for her. She doesn't put the pressure on herself nor does she put pressure on her running. That doesn't make running any less a part of who she is. If you're suffering from mental illness, even if you're not a runner or not interested in it, I would still recommend this book. It is an excellent example of how important it is to find that thing that will help you escape from darkness and stay away.

Whether you are looking to become a runner or not, any of these books would still be a great read. They're all quick page turners that I have no doubt will spark something inside of you to be your very best self.

Seeing that I only have 3 books to choose from, I'm now realizing...I better get some more running books!

Self care, self flare.



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