Whether you're looking for a gift for a beloved running friend or some inspiration for yourself, we give you the top recommendations for interesting and insightful books about running from the people who know best: runners.
1. "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running" – Haruki Murakami
Haruki Murakami is best known as a fiction writer and novelist who is very popular in his home country of Japan as well as internationally. His book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is self-described as a 'kind of memoir' and explores his distance running experiences. He has run a total of 25 marathons to date as well as a 62-mile (100km) ultra marathon. This book is about him, his explorations and discoveries, as well as vivid descriptions of the emotions and experiences of distance runners.
2. "Feet in the Clouds" – Richard Askwith
Feet In The Clouds is 'a tale of fell-running and obsessions' and is about mountain running in the Lake District and Snowdonia in the United Kingdom. "Great things are done when men and mountains meet" says author Richard Askwith as the book follows several fell-runners and explores what it means to be a lover and participant of this raw, unadulterated sport.
3. "Once a Runner" – John L. Parker
Once A Runner is a fictional novel by American writer John L. Parker which follows the story of track runner Quenton Cassidy and his journey to competing in the track mile, cracking the 4-minute mile, dropping out of college, training in the woods, and reflections on life as a track athlete.
4. "The Rise of the Ultra Runners" – Adharanand Finn
One runner said of this book, "This really captures some of the joys of distance running and is an insightful look into ultra running and its runners. Made me sign up for one next year."
5. "Run Gently Out There: Trials, Trails, and Tribulations of Running Ultramarathons" – John Morelock
If, on leaving a trail head, you only glance at your watch to have an idea of when you need to be back, parts of this book will be for you. If, when crossing a desert valley, you wonder what it is like to run in the silence and solitude way out there, parts of this book will be for you.