Books To Help You Kickstart Your Love of Running

Ahhh running. Some of us love it, some of us loathe it. Some of us have never even tried it. I can relate to you all. There was a time a few years ago when running was my only exercise and I became OBSESSED with going for an evening run after a full day of studying. It gave me that moment to turn my brain off and let my legs take me on a little journey around the block. Now I think about it, running (or any type of exercise really) is a great way to save your mental health.

Some of you may have been using your 1 hour outside the house to find your love of running. Maybe some of you have never run before lockdown and now you have all the gear; the trainers, the phone armband, the watch, the tracking apps etc.

So if you are currently loving your new hobby or you perhaps need a little push to get motivated again, here are my best picks of books about running that I have thoroughly enjoyed. Jog On and Running Like A Girl have especially helped me, but hopefully there will be some books here that will help you too.

Jog On: How Running Saved My Life – Bella Mackie

Divorced and struggling with deep-rooted mental health problems, Bella Mackie explains, with hilarious honesty, how she managed to get her life back by pulling on a pair of trainers and going for a run.

What I love about this book is that Bella tells the story of someone who has never run before and it is refreshing to see how she deals with the high and lows of being a ‘runner’.

Running Like A Girl – Alexandra Heminsley

Defeated by gyms and bored of yoga, Alexandra Heminsley decided to go for a run. Six years later, she has run five marathons in two continents. But, as her dad says, you run with your head as much as with your legs. So, while this is a book about running, it’s not just about running.

This book highlights that although there may be some days when the world is against you, you can still achieve more than you ever thought possible if you have the right mindset.

Born To Run – Christopher McDougall

McDougall tells this story while asking what the secrets are to being an incredible runner. Travelling to labs at Harvard, Nike, and elsewhere, he comes across an incredible cast of characters that will demonstrate the strength of the human body.

At the heart of this book lies a story about a mysterious tribe of Mexican Indians, the Tarahumara, who live quietly in canyons and are reputed to be the best distance runners in the world. McDougall explores their secrets, as well as getting involved in a 50-mile run!

Running With Kenyans – Adharanand Finn

After years of watching Kenyan athletes win the world’s biggest long-distance races, Runner’s World contributor Adharanand Finn set out to discover what it was that made them so fast – and to see if he could keep up.

Packing up his family, he moved to the running capital of the world, and started investigating. Was it running barefoot to school, the food, the altitude, or something else? I love this book because it explores a whole different culture and way of life, in which running is a vital element.

Epic Runs of The World – Lonely Planet

This book is basically a runner’s companion. It features 50 of the world’s greatest running routes – from short city runs to must-do marathons, as well as courses around the globe for runners of all abilities.

There was a time where I would have loved to travel the world to participate in running events, and this book allows me to do so from the comfort of my own home. And the pictures inside are MINDBLOWING!

Just as an end note, most of these authors have also written additional books about running and sport, so if you read one of these and enjoy it, make sure you see what other books they have to offer too!

Happy running!

9 thoughts on “Books To Help You Kickstart Your Love of Running

  1. I really want a treadmill so I can start running…I’d do it outside but I already know I’d stop after one try because of the heat here. I do try to walk daily though!!

      1. Yes, it was 100 out when I went for my walk at 7pm, even the walk was difficult then!!

  2. I’m not a runner, and don’t think I’ll ever become one because of my asthma, but I still can enjoy reading about the topic! In fact I’ve read What I Talk About When I Talk About Running and absolutely adored it! And Running With the Kenyans sounds fascinating, so I may pick it up when I have a chance!

    1. Yeah me too! I don’t actually run that much any more to be honest but like you, I love reading about it! That book sounds interesting too! If I ever documented what I think about when running it wouldn’t be that interesting hahaha

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