If you love running as much as I, you pick up every book you see with a front cover with so much as a hint of running involved. Ever gone to pick up a book called ‘Running your own business’ just because it has the word ‘running’ in the title? Yep, me too. After reading countless books about our beautiful sport I have three to share which I believe everybody should read. If you are a keen runner, I am sure you’ve probably heard of at least one, if not all of these.
Born to run
A book written by American author Christopher McDougall, where he personally embarks on a journey to the Mexican Copper Canyons, to track down the Tarahumara tribe; a collection of so called ‘super-athletes’ who treat running as more of a religion than a sport. They are portrayed to be the worlds greatest distance runners, and McDougall fantastically demonstrates this with his tale of personal experience with them, and his own running journey. The book also demonstrates how the Tarahumara tribe integrate with the 21st century society, and a race of all ages tops off the book, with the Tarahumara tribe taking on the world’s best ultra-marathon runners, and McDougall himself.
Running with the Kenyans
In this book, former Irish International athlete, Adharanand Finn, packs up his family and moves to Iten, Kenya, the ‘home of champions’. He moves and explores to try and determine the secrets to the Kenyan’s International dominance over the distance events, and tracks it down to St. Patrick’s high school in Iten. Finn determines the Kenyans success arises from their commitment from a young age; the lack of footwear in their early years, and the coaching work of Brother Colm O’Connell who is arguably the greatest athletics coach to of ever existed.
Mo Farah’s Biography
If you are from Great Britain, this is a definite choice for you. The story behind the greatest distance runner to represent Great Britain, with countless World and Olympic medals around his neck. The book explores Farah’s childhood, growing up in Somalia, getting separated from his identical twin brother and moving to London. It highlights how he got into the sport, battled with it, and the people who influenced him along the way. If you want to know what it takes to be a world class international athlete, this book is a must read.
There are countless of books for runners to read, but I believe if you are looking for motivation, or just love what you do, these are the top three picks. If you want to see how a professional athlete can balance their lives with other passions, then Sebastian Coe’s autobiography is another excellent choice, as you see his passion for one action transcribing to another.
Do you have any book suggestions? Feel free to share.
Once a runner, always a runner.