If you want to be a better runner, the first step is to run. No amount of reading can replace the experience of hitting the pavement and putting in the miles. As a running coach, I read a lot of books to expand my knowledge so I can better serve my clients. I dug deep into my own bookshelf to review which books had the biggest impact on my own running and coaching.
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Daniels' Running Formula
Often considered the bible of running, this book was given to me with the other texts and learning materials at my run coaching certification course. Learn to train for any race distance and to optimize results. I often adapt the training plans in this book with my own training and client's programs.
If you want to work on improving your running form and efficiency, this book breaks down the mechanics of optimal running with poses, drills and workouts.
This is one of my favorite running books because it speaks my language of building yourself up as a well-rounded athlete, not just a runner. The problem with running is if we run with poor running mechanics, alignment or form we reinforce those patterns every time we run. Our body compensates with poor movement patterns and this eventually can lead to injuries. This book helps you discover potential weakness and imbalances and clearly lays out the solution to strength and correct. It is a must read for any runner who understands that to be a great runner, you have to pay attention strength and mobility.
Anatomy for Runners
If you want to dig a little deeper into the science of running, this book lays it out as clearly as I've ever seen. It's more interesting than your high school anatomy class and provides the foundation of injury prevention. It's solution-oriented book that has assessments (self-tests) and corrections for common imbalances, weaknesses, and tightness in runners.
Run Fast Eat Slow
No list of book for runners would be complete without a cookbook. Nutrition for runners is so important but often misunderstood. No, you don't need to carb-load with a heaping plate of spaghetti before your next 5K (sorry!). This book has a lot of fresh ideas for delicious fueling recipes for optimal running performance. If it's good enough for Shalane Flanagan, it's good enough for us mere mortals.
Have you read any of these? Did I miss anything? What are you reading right now?
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