4 Running Health Books Guaranteed To Make You a Better Runner

Having read a boat load of inspirational running books I decided to try something new. Like many I prioritise running over anything yet paid little attention to diet, strength and general health, that is until recently when I found some truly inspiring, running health books. Each in their own way have transformed not only my diet and lifestyle, but more so my running development and recovery.

Inspirational Running Health Books

Running for a few years now I will try anything to improve and accelerate my development. But like so many the simple things such as good nutrition, general health and strength take a backseat. For me it was a lack of knowledge and will to try something new, like a plant based diet or giving up alcohol. Every session which left me fatigued, every race ending in a long, painful recovery edged me closer to breaking point.

Eventually my want to improve led to some research and from all that reading you have the list of my top four running health books below. Each and every book has changed my life and transformed how I feel day to day, my recovery rate and directly boosted my performance. Hopefully they can help you too.

For maximum effect I suggest reading each book in the order I did, it will help nurture your knowledge and increase will power to change your lifestyle forever.

Finding Ultra – Rich Roll

Rich Roll blundered a promising swimming career through alcohol addiction, then found middle age sobriety leading to a plant based diet and obsession with Ultra distance Sports. Finding Ultra, a biography of sorts shows the journey from rock bottom to one of the worlds fittest men and one of many plant fuelled success stories.

Why I Love Finding Ultra

  • Raw honesty about mistakes and regrets, a fascinating, edge of your seat rollercoaster to Ultra distance success.
  • Rich inspired me to try plant based foods and convinced me general health can make a huge difference to performance. He does so through simple facts and studies.
  • Once the story is finished this becomes a nutrition running book with plenty of helpful advice

The No Meat Athlete Cookbook – Das Kochbuch

I sought out this nutrition running book because of Rich Roll. I realised plant based foods could be cleaner burning and help make me a better runner. The No Meat Athlete Cookbook is packed with meal plans from morning to night including deserts and snacks. I have already replaced more than half my normal meals with recipes from this cookbook and they’re delicious.

What I Gained From This Running Nutrition Book

  • Clear recipes with readily available ingredients. No need to find that Vegan shop, most produce are available from large supermarkets.
  • Less meat means feeling light and none of that plodgy, tired after meal feeling.
  • Great nutritional values, every meal is tailor made for Athletes and supports a heavy training regime.

The Worlds Fittest Book – Ross Edgley

A life dedicated to fitness Ross searches the World for ‘experts’ in every corner of Sport, to understand how the very best train. From weight lifting in Ukraine, to Ironman carrying a log and climbing the equivalent of Everest, none stop, up a rope Ross lays out how to master any Sport.

The book features a dedicated running section, but I gained the most from other areas. The Worlds Fittest Book demonstrates how seeing a foundation of functional movement and strength is vital before specialising in your Sport. Ie, before you run, there is a bunch of work to do in the form of simple S&C. Comprehensive, informative and above all bloody interesting I found Ross’ stories of travel very entertaining.

What I Gained From This Running Fitness Book

  • I learned how to set foundations and the importance of functional movement to running. This is backed up by Science.
  • I now practise breathing exercises and ice therapy thanks to a section on Wim Hoff’s endurance techniques.
  • A great granola bar recipe packed with nutrition.
  • Lots of strength and conditioning exercises to implement into my day to day training.

This Naked Mind, Control Alcohol – Annie Grace

Alcohol and the real reasons we drink are widely misunderstood. I have known for some time alcohol was holding me back, effecting my running and yet I refused to stop. I would indulge in two glasses of wine on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, my most important training days. This Naked Mind showed me why I drink and why so many struggle to give up.

The answers lie in our sub conscious and programming from a young age. Once you rewire your understanding of alcohol, giving up no longer feels like losing a friend. The author, Annie, was a successful business women with a loving family, yet she drank 3 bottles of wine on a Saturday night, no questions asked. Despite numerous attempts to quit, her feeling deprived led straight back to the bottle. Annie carried out research over many years and not only quit drink but wrote this book, explaining how she did it with such ease.

How Giving Up Alcohol Helped My Running

  • I have noticed a difference in my recovery, specifically around the days I would usually drink.
  • My mind is clear and focussed.
  • I have no problem with early morning weekend runs and no longer suffer the consequences of dehydration.
  • I have reinvested the the wine fund into produce which aid my running development.

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Darren Smith

Training with purpose since October 2016 Darren has gone from trailing the pack to winning local races and the times keep on falling. A true believer in hard work over natural talent he writes to help others realise their true potential. Darren's race schedule for 2018 includes the Hardmoors Wainstones marathon (1st place), Keswick Mountain Festival (10th place), Scafell Skyrace and Salomon Ring Of Steall (World Championship race.)

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