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Best running books of all time: Inspiring running reads

Reading is fun if it reads your passion. And if you are passionate about running, then there is quite a possibility that you have read or at least heard some of the best-written running books.

But, in case you have missed a few and are looking for a good read, let me ease your search here.

I will be covering some of my best reads on running books in the next two posts, including this one. This post will be dedicated to the inspiring running journeys of common people on their way to becoming a legend.

Born to Run

Author: Christopher McDougall (International Bestseller)

Born to Run
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The book in brief

  • One of the best books on running which you can lay your hands on. A pure fun of reading. There are many takeaways from this book.
  • The book features the tribe Tarahumara known for their superhuman running talent. The author was able to not only to uncover the secrets of Tarahumara but also to find his own inner ultra-athlete.
  • A pure fun of reading, the book will help you to understand the humans had enjoyed running in the most primal way. If you want to transition into barefoot running, this is the one.

Ultra-Marathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner

Author: Dean Karnazes (Ultra-marathon Legend)

ultra marathon man
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The book in brief

  • This guy is an Ultra-running legend. And he is one of the guys who has inspired me to run Ultra-marathon. A very inspiring and motivational book.
  • It’s a biography that has inspired thousands of non-runner and runners alike to push themselves beyond their comfort zones.
  • The running journey starts from his 30th birthday celebration in a pub, where suddenly he realized the unhealthy lifestyle he was leading. And then, he went for a 30-mile run on the night of his birthday.
  • An amazing book narrating the story about ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultra-marathon Greatness

Author: Scoot Jurek (Veteran Ultra-marathoner and Coach)

Eat and Run
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The book in brief

  • Another beautiful biography by the ultra-running legend, where he opens about his life and career as a champion athlete with a plant-based diet and inspires runners at every level.
  • The story covers the journey from his Midwestern childhood hunting and cooking for his meat and potatoes family to his slow transition to ultra-running and veganism and how he went on to win a number of major races in the United States of America.
  • Highly recommend reading this.
  • Bonus: After every chapter, he has given a vegan recipe which is very useful.

Dare to Run

Author: Amit Sheth (Entrepreneur, Athlete, Motivational Speaker)

dare to run
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The book in brief

  • One of my favorites, the book describes how ordinary people push the limits of their ability to achieve their goals, passions, and dreams and it will inspire the reader to do the same.
  • The book narrates the inspiring story of Amit and Neepa Sheth, a husband-wife duo who took up running as a sport in their late 30s.
  • From his first, almost fatal, 200 meter jog on a beach in Mumbai, to the finish line of The Ultimate Human Race: the 89 km Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa, the author has shared the incredible journey of determination, discovery, courage, self-awareness, and self-belief.
  • This is a book not just about running but about the need to persistently follow your dreams and passions, no matter what they may be.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Author: Haruki Murakami (Renowned Novelist)

what i talk about when i talk about running
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The book in brief

  • In 1982, having sold his Jazz bar to devote himself to writing, Murakami began running to keep fit.
  • A splendid compilation of the author’s thoughts, emotions, and personality.
  • The book is a collection of essays. A more of a personal journal/training logs of the author where he has shared his experiences on running.
  • A popular writer, Murakami is the bestselling author of the number of books.
  • The book is a beautiful read and all runners should read this at least once.


Whether you’re a repeat marathoner looking to increase your understanding of the science behind optimum racing, or just getting started and looking for some basic plans and recipes to help you stay injury-free, there is a book on everything.

The above-shared books offer a collection of inspiration, humor, and experience, to keep you on the road. In the next post, I will be mentioning running books dedicated to training and technical aspects of running.

Thank You

Thank You for reading it through. I always believe, if you are passionate about something, you should know the in and out of that sport or whatever you are into. And what can be a better way than reading your passion!

Reading is a habit, which not only helps you increase your knowledge base but also acts as a relaxing stimulant.

So, grab a copy of yours, and express your reviews on the same. And, if you have any book suggestions to add to our library, do let us know in our comment section.

Also, please don’t forget to show us your love by sharing the post.


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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Ravi

    Thanks for the list.

    Have read dare to run; it’s inspiring especially as he begins his run post 35; something which I wish to relate now…

    1. therunningmonk

      Thanks a lot Ravi. Indeed, there is no age limit to start Running. Even the oldest runner Mr. Fauja Singh started running at the age of 89. Hope, this post motivates you to start your Run.

      Keep Running. Keep Inspiring. Cheers!!!

  2. Pavan Kola

    Keep it up Dude.. ! Cool Knowledge share…definetly the reads changes person…

    1. therunningmonk

      Thanks a lot Pavan. Indeed reading these books motivates us to Run.

      Keep Running. Keep Inspiring. Cheers!!!