Manchester Marathon Prep: Running Books for Motivation

This blog is going to get a tiny bit inception on you, as it was actually one of the running books I read that made me think to read more books for running motivation… and now I’m talking about reading that book to keep motivation levels high too! Still following me?

So, to take it back a step, one of the things I’m trying to prepare for in marathon training is the inevitable peaks and troughs of motivation and, through reading The Runner’s Brain, a Runner’s World book by Dr Jeff Brown, I’ve come up with a few strategies to keep running in the forefront of my thoughts. I’ll share a few of these little nuggets over time on my Instagram, but this blog will focus on books for running motivation!

Books I’ve read

The Runner’s Brain

It had to be first up, because it’s the reason I’m planning
on reading even more running books throughout this marathon cycle! This book
focuses on psychological strategies for motivation, performance, dealing with
injury, and more. It’s written by the psychologist who works at the Boston
Marathon each year (he goes into details of what his role is within the event at
the start of the book) and gives valuable information on anything and everything
you could think of needing guidance on from a sports psychology standpoint. With
nuggets of information from well-known athletes, a fresh take on goal setting
and more, this book is full of practical advice on how to run better and happier.

Buy it now:

Running with the Kenyans

Runner’s World contributor and journalist Adharanand Finn
took it upon himself to discover just what it is that makes the Kenyan runners
so fast. In doing so, he moved to Iten to train with the locals and see if he
could keep up! He fully immerses himself in the Kenyan life and details it all
in this inspiring book. It’s full of surprises, fun to read, and definitely on
my list to re-read, having first read it years ago when it was bought for me as
a Christmas present. The latest edition includes a chapter on the 2012 Olympics,
which sadly my copy doesn’t have, but I’m not buying it again just for that!

Buy it now:


Books on my reading list

Born to Run

I don’t think I could have written this post without including
this book – it’s probably one of the most famous running books around. Written
by ultra-runner, Christopher McDougall, the book focuses on a “mysterious tribe
of Mexican Indians” who are considered to be the best distance runners in the
world. The book caused a huge barefoot running movement, something I’m not necessarily
jumping at the chance to follow, but I’m hoping it will at least spark some desire
to pound the pavements when I’m feeling less than enthused!

Buy it now:

Hanson’s Marathon Method

The book behind the plan I’m following. It may seem odd that
I’ve chosen the plan without reading the book, but I actually found a lot of valuable
information on the Luke Humphrey
website
, his podcast, and other runner’s blogs. The reason for the book is
to learn as much as I can about the plan: the purpose of each run, how to adapt
it around my schedule and LIFE, more detail about how and why it works…
knowledge is power, right?! So when the plan gets hard, hopefully I’ll have
enough background behind it to really understand what I need to do to succeed.
I have to admit, what I’ve learned so far makes for really interesting reading,
so I’m looking forward to getting really stuck into the book.

Buy it now:


Books on my shopping list

Lore of Running

Another cult classic in the running books world… this book goes into scientific detail on everything running. With advice on prevention and treatment of injuries, how to work on strength and flexibility, nutrition, performance, etc. this book seems to be a one-stop-shop for everything you could need to know. I haven’t ordered my copy yet, and I’m going to see how far I get with the ones I’ve got so far, but it’s up there in the list mostly because it’s so well known! The new version is updated too, which is great to hear as science moves on so much from year to year.

Buy it now:

Eat & Run

I think a lot of people have watched the Netflix documentary
Game Changers recently, and it seems to have sparked a bigger movement to
vegan/vegetarian eating than anything else of its kind. I’m not going to
comment too much on the documentary, as I haven’t had a chance to look into the
research, but some big names in running swear by a vegan diet… heard of Rich
Roll?! Anyway, this book by Scott Jurek, another incredible ultra-runner, is another
leader in running books and covers how he believes the vegan diet to be the key
to his success. Not only that, but it has plenty of inspiring stories about endurance
too. I’m kind of excited about this one.

Buy it now:


What’s on your bookshelf?

So those are the running books I’ve read/am reading/plan to read. Have you read any of these before? Do you have any on your bookshelf waiting to be page-turned? Let me know in the comments!

Bonus book… Cook, Eat, Run

I couldn’t write this post without putting in a little plug for my friend Charlie’s new recipe book Cook, Eat, Run – which came out just after Christmas. It has 70+ recipes for runners, including plenty of vegetarian ones, as well as homemade on-the-run fuel and guest recipes from elite runners. I pre-ordered myself a copy to give me ideas for marathon training fuel. You can order it now:

Georgina Spenceley

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