These running books made me want to run! They were filled with inspirational stories and amazing adventures. They made me want to lace up my shoes and get out there and make my own adventures happen. Hopefully, they will do the same for you.
Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
This is the book that started it all for me. I was already running before I read it but once I read it, it opened my mind up to what running could be for me. It made me think about how far I could go and how I wanted to get there. I think if I hadn't read this book, I might have never have run my first marathon. Who knows? I might not even be running anymore!
My Life On The Run by Bart Yasso
I loved Bart's stories. He was very honest about his life and to see where he came from is inspiring. Bart has had some truly great adventures, from cross country bike rides to running with burros. I hope my running life has as many adventures as he's had!
Running The Edge by Adam Goucher & Tim Catalano
This isn't your typical running book. It's more about changing your life for the better and by doing so, becoming a better runner and person. But it does have some great stories about running by the authors and tidbits from Kara Goucher, Chris Solinsky, Galen Rupp and others.
50/50 by Dean Karnazes
This book chronicled Dean's quest to run 50 Marathons in 50 states in 50 days. It had a lot of fun stories and it was interesting to see the tidbits he shared about what he learned and what he went through. One thing about Dean...you can tell he loves to run and he wants to share that with everyone and get them MOVING!
Running Through The Wall: Personal Encounters With The Ultramarathon by Neal Jamison
There are a lot of great stories in this book from some incredible ultramarathoners. I loved seeing how they battled their demons out on the trail and what they went through to finish. If you want to know how they do it or why they do it, read this book.
Run to Overcome by Meb Keflezighi
This is Meb's story and he talks about everything from his family's journey to the US, the start of his running career, and his on-going racing. It's a great read about what you can do when you have the drive to follow your dreams, despite setbacks and people telling you that you can't do it.
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Runners by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hanser, Amy Newmark with Dean Karnzes
Another book with inspirational stories and anecdotes. It has contributions from everyday people like you and me and then some from great runners like Dean, Josh Cox, and Lisa Smith-Batchen. Even a story from Matt Fitzgerald! ;)
The Running Life by Donald Buraglio and Michael Dove
This is a compilation of articles written by the two authors. They are funny and informative and about a wide range of topics from motivational to philosophical to the benefits of running to even how to be a good spectator You can tell they love to run but don't take it too seriously. Their "Compatibility Test" for choosing a running partner is a great example of that.
Long May You Run by Chris Cooper
This book has lots of tidbits about training, races to do, advice, and motivation. It has a lot of answers about things you didn't even know you had questions about! And it includes contributions from runners like Bart Yasso, Jeff Galloway, and Colleen De Reuck and profiles of runners like Joan Benoit Samuelson, Frank Shorter, and Steve Prefontaine. He gives you lots of ideas about how to add spice to your running like running in the rain, doing a bridge run, or just "running" an errand. He also has some fun lists like Best Running Movies, Best Race Names, and 10 Memorable Marathon Moments.