Stocking Fillers: Running Books

Looking for some ideas for a stocking filler for the running addict in your life?

Want to treat yourself to something to read in front of the fire during the Christmas break?We have compiled a list of some of our favourite running books.

Feet in the Clouds: A Tale of Fell-Running and Obsession
Richard Askwith

Billed as ‘The Classic Tale of Fell-Running and Obsession’, this book doesn’t disappoint. Richard Askwith effortlessly weaves the history of Fell Running with the story of his own journey into the sport culminating with his attempt to complete the Bob Graham round in under 24 hours. Guaranteed to make you want to put on the trail runners and head for the hills!

Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
Christopher McDougall

Another book that came highly recommended to us, this is another classic that should be on every runner’s bookshelf. Combining scientific findings with some gripping tales, this is another book that will make you think differently about running and will inspire you on those cold winter night runs.

Running with the Kenyans: Discovering the secrets of the fastest people on earth
Adharanand Finn

Shortlisted for the Daily Telegraph Sports Book Of The Year award, this is a fascinating account of the author’s quest to find out what makes Kenyans such great distance athletes. He decided to find out using the best method possible, by living and training with them. A riveting read from start to finish

Mud, Sweat and Tears: An Irish Woman’s Journey of Self-Discovery
Moire O’Sullivan

This book shares a lot in common with “Feet In The Clouds” in that it charts the authors journey from her initial hesitant introduction to the hill running scene in Ireland through to her attempt at the Wicklow Round, a punishing 26 mountain circuit . This is a very honest account and makes for a riveting read. It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be straight onto the Irish Mountain Running Association website once you’ve read it!

Running Free: A Runner’s Journey Back to Nature (Vintage Classics)
Richard Askwith

In a market full of books handing out tips and advice on how to train, eat, sleep, stretch and pretty much anything else designed to improve your time, this book really is refreshingly different. In it, Richard Askwith gives an evocative account of his lifelong passion for running.  The author strips running down to its’ simplest form, a form in which stopwatches and PBs are dumped in favour of running purely for enjoyment and as an escape from the inevitable stresses of modern living.

The Rise of the Ultra Runners: A Journey to the Edge of Human Endurance
Adharanand Finn

Another book from Adharanand Finn and, like “Running with the Kenyans”, the author really goes all-in on the experience. In this book, Finn explores the ultra-running scene by tackling a number of ultras of varying levels of difficulty over a period of two years. In doing so, he leaves no stone unturned! This is a really great read, covering not only the world of ultra-running and its’ iconic races but also giving a fascinating insight into the mind-set needed and the struggles to overcome when tackling these races.

If there’s a book you think deserves to be included in this list, let us know in the comments section below.