Running Books: Memoirs & History

Insights into individual runners and cultures that support running.

Updated September 20, 2023
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Choosing to run : a memoir
Linden, Des
Featuring both the story of an historic, unforgettable win and insight into the life of an indelible champion, Choosing to Run is a truly inspirational memoir from Boston Marathon winner and Olympian Des Linden, sharing her personal story and what motivates her to keep showing up. <...
Good for a girl : a woman running in a man's world
Fleshman, Lauren
* A New York Times Bestseller * Winner of the William Hill Sports Book Of The Year Award * A Financial Times Best Sports Book of 2023 Fueled by her years as an elite runner and advocate for women in sports, Lauren Fleshman offers her inspiring personal...
The incomplete book of running
Sagal, Peter
"Sagal has created a new genre--the five-minute-mile memoir. Combining commentary and reflection about running with a deeply felt personal story, this book is winning, smart, honest, and affecting. Whether you are a runner or not, it will move you." --Susan Orlean In the...
Let your mind run : a memoir of thinking my way to victory
Kastor, Deena
Deena Kastor was a star youth runner with tremendous promise, but her career almost ended after college. Her competitive method-run as hard as possible, all the time-had brought her to the brink of burnout and fostered a frustration and negativity that threatened to obscure her success. On the verge...
The longest race : inside the secret world of abuse, doping, and deception on Nike's elite running team
Goucher, Kara
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER In "one of the most important athlete memoirs of its generation" (Kate Fagan, #1 New York Times bestselling author), Olympian Kara Goucher reveals her experience of living through and speaking out about one of the biggest...
Out of thin air : running wisdom and magic from above the clouds in Ethiopia
Crawley, Michael
'Full of wonderful insights and lessons from a world where the ability to run is viewed as something almost mysterious and magical.' Adharanand Finn, author of Running with the Kenyans 'Ethiopia is a place where I have been told that energy is controlled by angels and demons and where...
The perfect mile : three athletes, one goal, and less than four minutes to achieve it
Bascomb, Neal.
There was a time when running the mile in four minutes was believed to be entirely beyond the limits of human foot speed. And in all of sport it was the elusive holy grail. In 1952, after suffering defeat at the Helsinki Olympics, three world-class runners set out individually to break this...
A runner's high : my life in motion
Karnazes, Dean
"A Runner's High wakes up the appetite to run long distances. Dean takes us on a lifelong journey of ultramarathons, through the ups and downs, the friendships and lonely moments, and the struggles and rewards of each race. Dean writes in a direct and intimate way that keeps us reading like he...
Running while Black : finding freedom in a sport that wasn't built for us
Désir, Alison Mariella
A searing expose on the whiteness of running, a supposedly egalitarian sport, and a call to reimagine the industry "Runners know that running brings us to ourselves. But for Black people, the simple act of running has never been so simple. It is a declaration of the right to...
Running with the Kenyans : passion, adventure, and the secrets of the fastest people on earth
Finn, Adharanand.
"A dusty road stretches into the distance like a pencil line across the arid landscape. Lions, rhino, and buffalo roam the plains on either side. But I haven't come to Kenya to spot wildlife. I've come to run."   Whether running is your recreation, your religion, or just a...
Tigerbelle : the Wyomia Tyus story
Tyus, Wyomia
Finalist for the Track and Field Writers of America's 2018 Armory Foundation Book Award "Tyus proves as winning a storyteller as she was a runner...The 'a' in Wyomia is silent, but thankfully, the woman who owns that name is not." --New York Times Book Review ...
The way of the runner : a journey into the fabled world of Japanese running
Finn, Adharanand
Welcome to Japan, the most running-obsessed nation on Earth and home to a unique running culture unlike anything Adharanand Finn, author of Running with the Kenyans, has even experienced. It may come as a surprise to many people, but Japan is the most running-obsessed...
We share the sun : the incredible journey of Kenya's legendary running coach Patrick Sang and the fastest runners on earth
Gearhart, Sarah
An enlightening biography and gripping sports narrative that takes us behind the scenes into the lives of some of the world's most elite runners in Kenya and their coach, Patrick Sang. "I highly recommend this book." --Meb Keflezighi At a secluded training...

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