Run Fly Smile

Looking for Running Book Recommendations? Here's some inspiration!

To me, a good way to measure the quality of a book, is the time it took to read it. I read about ten to fifteen books at the same time, so they are always competing for my time. Sometimes I finish a book in a week, others take me up to a year. And sometimes I don’t even make it to the last page. (Shame on me…) Scroll down to find a list of running books ranked by the time it took me to read them. 

8 days: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

Holding the reading time record on this list, this is clearly my all-time favorite running book and a must-read for every runner! 

9 days: Eat & Run by Scott Jurek

I loved this book not only for the vegan recipes, but also for the way Scott Jurek writes about ultra-running and life.

12 days: Run or Die by Kilian Jornet

Kilian Jornet is not only an absolutely fascinating runner, but also a very interesting person who searches for deeper meaning in running and nature.

13 days: Meb for Mortals by Meb Keflezighi

When Meb Keflezighi won the Boston marathon at the age of 38, he was the first American man in thirty-one years winning this race. In this book, he shares his training and nutrition secrets to long-term success as a marathoner. 

14 days: A LifeWithout Limits by Chrissie Wellington

I read this when I was twelve. Then read it again when I was fourteen. Could actually read it a third time.

15 days: ROAR by Dr. Stacy Sims

One of the best scientific nonfiction books I’ve read so far. Dr. Stacy Sims writes about what women can do differently in terms of nutrition and training to improve their performance.

17 days: I’m Here to Win by Chris McCormack

Also read this when I was twelve and absolutely loved the focus on the mental side of endurance sports in this autobiography.

21 days: Let Your Mind Run by Deena Kastor

This one should actually be further up in this list. It definitely holds the top spot in the list for boosting my motivation to run though!

21 days: The Way of the Runner by Adharanand Finn

At the beginning of the book, I wished running was as popular in Europe as it is in Japan… At the end of the book, Adharanand Finn convinced me that the popularity of running in Japan also has downsides.

22 days: Cross Country by Rickey Gates

After running 3,700 miles across the United States, Rickey Gates shares his experiences in short interviews with the people he meets along the way. 

28 days: Finding My Feet by Hanny Allston

Hanny Allston is thrown into a ‘perfect storm’ when her family falls apart, her father struggles with a dangerous illness, and she faces an injury that could end her athletic career. This story of finding her feet is told with inspiring honesty and you should definitely read it if you are looking for a change in perspective 🙂 

62 days: Run the World by Becky Wade

Took me a while to get through this but I loved the insights into running communities from all over the globe!

70 days: La frontière invisible by Kilian Jornet (only available in French)

Probably only took me so long to get through because it was the first ever book I read in French… In this one, Kilian Jornet talks more about alpine climbing and mountaineering than running but it’s still a very good read!

Currently reading:

  • Finding My Feet by Hanny Allston
  • Training beginnt im Gehirn by Lars Lienhard (only available in German)
  • What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
  • Endure – Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance by Alex Hutchinson 

Next on:

  • How Bad Do You Want It by Matt Fitzgerald
  • Sky Runner by Emilie Forsberg
  • North by Scott Jurek
  • Running with the Kenyans by Adharanand Finn
  • The Rise of the Ultra Runners by Adharanand Finn
  • Running with the Mind of Meditation by Sakyong Mipham
  • 10-Minute Toughness by Jason Selk
  • Above the Clouds by Kilian Jornet
  • Run the Mile You’re In by Ryan Hall
  • Natural Born Heroes by Christopher McDougall
  • Running with Sherman by Christopher McDougall
  • Finding Gobi by Dion Leonhard


Do you have anything to add to this list? I’d love to hear about your favorite running books and what you are currently reading!