The list below is my list of the 5 best books I read on running this last year. I found that these, out of the many I tried, had the most to offer in their mix of advice and encouragement, whether it be biographical or more informational. They are listed in no particular order. I think a theme among them was presenting a balance in life while still running with zest and hope for progress that inspires. The last link is to a blog article that I wrote almost exactly a year ago listing 3 other books of interest.
Both of the books listed above are by Matt Fiztgerald. In his own personal research to sift through so much differing advice on running, he ended up writing some books. Not only is his writing engaging, but it is not officious or presuming, while still showing reason for confidence in the approaches he recommends. If you read through his books, you will be well equipped to cut through a lot of fad diet hype and poor training concepts that have been taken for granted among all levels of runners.
If aging has you discouraged or worried, this book will not give you unverifiable hope in long life, so much as reasons to hope that excellence at any age is quite possible with the right attitude for every average person. There is no excuse to curl up into a rocking chair after age… 40? 50? 60?… you name it. Everyone seems to have a “magic” age at which they might as well turn into a bowl of jelly. If that makes you happy, I suppose that’s fine, but I have a hard time thinking it really does. Take odd solace in the fact that no one really understands aging, but many people make assumptions about it that are based on questionable correlations.
Mr. Yasso might be called an “accidental” runner. His journey to becoming a runner, and the adventures he ended up with as he also rather accidentally fell into a path professionally representing running to the world, is both beyond most of us and yet something we can relate to all at the same time. I came away from this book both terrified of Death Valley and yet somehow interested in running to extremes that sounded impossible before.
On one hand, there was a lot of advice in this book that was put into better perspective in Matt Fiztgerald’s books. Still, it is so very much for ordinary people and so very comically honest that I came away much less intimidated by the idea of my first marathon, which I did end up running in October 2013.
The books you will find in the my article: 3 Books for Triathlon and Running Workout Perspective are also very good. I just happened to read them over a year ago. If you read even just a couple of this total of 8 books, I would be very shocked if you are not newly energized in whatever your running, triathlon, or other activity goals are for 2015!