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Manchester Marathon Prep: Running Books for Motivation

This blog is going to get a tiny bit inception on you, as it was actually one of the running books I read that made me think to read more books for running motivation… and now I’m talking about reading that book to keep motivation levels high too! Still following me?

So, to take it back a step, one of the things I’m trying to prepare for in marathon training is the inevitable peaks and troughs of motivation and, through reading The Runner’s Brain, a Runner’s World book by Dr Jeff Brown, I’ve come up with a few strategies to keep running in the forefront of my thoughts. I’ll share a few of these little nuggets over time on my Instagram, but this blog will focus on books for running motivation!

Books I’ve read

The Runner’s Brain

It had to be first up, because it’s the reason I’m planning on reading even more running books throughout this marathon cycle! This book focuses on psychological strategies for motivation, performance, dealing with injury, and more. It’s written by the psychologist who works at the Boston Marathon each year (he goes into details of what his role is within the event at the start of the book) and gives valuable information on anything and everything you could think of needing guidance on from a sports psychology standpoint. With nuggets of information from well-known athletes, a fresh take on goal setting and more, this book is full of practical advice on how to run better and happier.

Buy it now:

Running with the Kenyans

Runner’s World contributor and journalist Adharanand Finn took it upon himself to discover just what it is that makes the Kenyan runners so fast. In doing so, he moved to Iten to train with the locals and see if he could keep up! He fully immerses himself in the Kenyan life and details it all in this inspiring book. It’s full of surprises, fun to read, and definitely on my list to re-read, having first read it years ago when it was bought for me as a Christmas present. The latest edition includes a chapter on the 2012 Olympics, which sadly my copy doesn’t have, but I’m not buying it again just for that!

Buy it now:

Books on my reading list

Born to Run

I don’t think I could have written this post without including this book – it’s probably one of the most famous running books around. Written by ultra-runner, Christopher McDougall, the book focuses on a “mysterious tribe of Mexican Indians” who are considered to be the best distance runners in the world. The book caused a huge barefoot running movement, something I’m not necessarily jumping at the chance to follow, but I’m hoping it will at least spark some desire to pound the pavements when I’m feeling less than enthused!

Buy it now:

Hanson’s Marathon Method

The book behind the plan I’m following. It may seem odd that I’ve chosen the plan without reading the book, but I actually found a lot of valuable information on the Luke Humphrey website, his podcast, and other runner’s blogs. The reason for the book is to learn as much as I can about the plan: the purpose of each run, how to adapt it around my schedule and LIFE, more detail about how and why it works… knowledge is power, right?! So when the plan gets hard, hopefully I’ll have enough background behind it to really understand what I need to do to succeed. I have to admit, what I’ve learned so far makes for really interesting reading, so I’m looking forward to getting really stuck into the book.

Buy it now:

Books on my shopping list

Lore of Running

Another cult classic in the running books world… this book goes into scientific detail on everything running. With advice on prevention and treatment of injuries, how to work on strength and flexibility, nutrition, performance, etc. this book seems to be a one-stop-shop for everything you could need to know. I haven’t ordered my copy yet, and I’m going to see how far I get with the ones I’ve got so far, but it’s up there in the list mostly because it’s so well known! The new version is updated too, which is great to hear as science moves on so much from year to year.

Buy it now:

Eat & Run

I think a lot of people have watched the Netflix documentary Game Changers recently, and it seems to have sparked a bigger movement to vegan/vegetarian eating than anything else of its kind. I’m not going to comment too much on the documentary, as I haven’t had a chance to look into the research, but some big names in running swear by a vegan diet… heard of Rich Roll?! Anyway, this book by Scott Jurek, another incredible ultra-runner, is another leader in running books and covers how he believes the vegan diet to be the key to his success. Not only that, but it has plenty of inspiring stories about endurance too. I’m kind of excited about this one.

Buy it now:

What’s on your bookshelf?

So those are the running books I’ve read/am reading/plan to read. Have you read any of these before? Do you have any on your bookshelf waiting to be page-turned? Let me know in the comments!

Bonus book… Cook, Eat, Run

I couldn’t write this post without putting in a little plug for my friend Charlie’s new recipe book Cook, Eat, Run – which came out just after Christmas. It has 70+ recipes for runners, including plenty of vegetarian ones, as well as homemade on-the-run fuel and guest recipes from elite runners. I pre-ordered myself a copy to give me ideas for marathon training fuel. You can order it now:

What do you think?