Reading and running are my two favorite things! Here’s the remainder of my highly-recommended books to read about running:
8. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
This book is a powerful reminder of how resilient and strong the buman body and mind truly is. The main character, Louis Zamperini was a U.S. Olympic track star in the 1930’s (back when track was tough: pre-synthetic tracks!) His account of WWII– floating in the Pacific Ocean for 40+ days and then enduring inhumane treatment in Japanese internment camps–will leave you awed at the ability of the human spirit to endure in even the harshest of conditions. It is important to remember that we are much stronger than we think, and Louis’ story serves as a powerful reminder. As well as a testament of the importance of courage, human connection, resourcefulness and faith.
It’s coming out on December 25th! I am so excited!
Read a little more about Zamperini here, but definitely read the book!
Berkow, Ira. The New York Times “Louis Zamperini, Olympian and ‘Unbroken’ War Survivor, Dies at 97“, July 3, 2014.
9. Finding Ultra by Rich Roll
Rich Roll is another favorite vegan endurance athlete of mine!
His story is a modern day transformation/Cinderella story. This is his story of how he finally woke up and took responsibility for his health. He details his insecurities and events in life that led him from collegiate swimmer to full-blown alcoholic. He talks about the dark place of addiction and how he finally managed to free himself, only to fall into the more acceptable addictions of junky fast food and laziness. He succumbed to sub-par health until one night he gets a wake-up call and decides to do something about his health.
With the help of his wife he overhauls his diet and goes beyond, the healthier he became the more he wanted to push his limits and evolve. He writes about completing the Epic 5 challenge (5 Ironmans in 5 days on 5 islands of Hawaii). He’s not done yet, now he does a weekly free podcast: The Rich Roll Podcast available for free on iTunes. He seeks out and interviews paradigm busting minds in the field of health and nutrition. Check him out 🙂
10. Marathon Man by Bill Rodgers
My mom and I actually got to meet Bill Rodgers at the Portland Marathon expo in 2013. It was definitely the highlight of our marathon experiences that year! The effects of meeting him the day before the marathon was probably what spurred me through the race last year!
His book reflects his real-life humbleness. He was down-to-earth and approachable, a true example of what all runners should hope to be, no matter how successful they become! His book takes you back to the running boom of the late 50’s and 60’s. He writes about running and racing in a time when running wasn’t a career and when there were no sponsorships, prize money or elite treatment. His story is funny and full of humble anecdotes of what it was like to to make running history in a time of political tumult in the U.S.
*Bill Rodgers made the U.S. Olympic team in 1976 and 1980, unfortunately in 1980 the U.S. boycotted the Olympics.
11. The Perfect Mile by Neal Bascomb
In my opinion this book is the non-fiction, historical version of Once a Runner. Even if you think you know who broke the 4 minute mile barrier, you won’t truly understand it’s significance until you read this book!
Even though most people know who the winner ultimately is, Roger Bannister, few people know about the race between countrymen to be the first to break the barrier. Defiantly, the book manages to keep you guessing until the end…and possibly even hoping that another man will win the race. Again, we are exposed to what it really takes– discipline, grit, self-determination, focus– to achieve your very best!
We are also reminded, that no athlete succeeds without the help of a trusted and knowledgeable coach as well as a few supportive friends. This book is gripping, inspiring, and leaves you with the solid knowledge of what really transpired!
Go on, you history buff 🙂
12. Run to Overcome by Meb Keflezighi
This was my most recent read, about the life of one of my modern-day heroes, Meb Keflezighi. His name is synonymous with greatness in distance running, and he will be remembered in history for being the first American to win Boston in 31 years, at the race one year after the tragic Boston Marathon bombing.
His book details his American dream story as well as the obstacles he has overcome to achieve what he has. He is humble, and hard working…his work ethic and attention to detail, as well as love of learning is incredible.
He doesn’t take things for granted, and reminds us that his journey would not have been possible without the help of many close friends and family members, as well as faith in a high power.
Would you ever have guessed that marathon Meb began his running career as a miler?
Want to read: