10 Books: On Running, Adventure, Endurance Sports, & Others

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Chyrel, that biker chick, tagged me in this “10 books.” And, I’m just to happy to be overdoing it and break the rules. So I did take time to make this list. Here are top 10 running/endurance sports-related books, that “I read and like” so this is very subjective. 1. “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougal. This book can be judged as hyped and overrated. But it’s probably the book about running that even people not into running will enjoy, and that can never fail to inspire you. The book can also give us a glimpse of the “deeper” side of running, which is what really can make people stick with it longer or for life. Following is a favorite quote from the book. More quotes from Born to Run, read here >>.

“Ask nothing from your running, and you’ll get more than you ever imagined.” – Born to Run

9. “Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons” by Bryon Powell. This is a fun-to-read book about different topics of ultramarathon running from hydration to barefoot running, and any thing between. But what makes it more interesting is that different topics / chapters are written by real ultramarathoners, and some of the celebrity runners like Krissy Moehl, Geoff Roes, and many others. A favorite quote from the book:

“How often do we have the opportunity to inspire ourselves? Often we look outward, to other

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individuals and teams, to fill that need for inspiration whether it be in our work, sport, or daily living. Pushing your physical limits, putting yourself to an unknown challenge is personally inspiring.” – Krissy Moehl

8. The Duel by Hal Higdon. This is a very short novel which depicted the “greatest duel race,” if not in the world, in the history of Boston Marathon. It will take you to the insides of the mind of the 2 of the best old-time American Runners: Alberto Salazar (now Nike’s coach) and Dick Beardsley who was neck-to-neck racing to the finish line with just a difference of 2 seconds. It was said that the 2 runners were never the same after this race. Below is an interview of them after 30 years. Quote from the book:

“In my experience, you’re better off worrying about yourself than others.” – Alberto Salazar

7. “Outliers: The Story of Success” by Malcolm Gladwell. This is not about running. But since it’s a book about successful individual, it has parts that talked about sports. The gist is what make successful people successful (which is applicable to running or whatever endeavor you are in); is it innate talent, genes, hardwork, luck or what? But I included this in the list because the author was a talented runner during his younger days with a sub 4min miler. There’s a book “The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance” which tackles solely on successful sports athlete. But I suggest that you read Outliers first.

Photo from gladwell.typepad.com

Quoted from the book:

“To become a chess grandmaster also seems to take about ten years. (Only the legendary Bobby Fisher got to that elite level in less than that amount of time: it took him nine years.) And what’s ten years? Well, it’s roughly how long it takes to put in ten thousand hours of hard practice. Ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness.” – Malcolm Gladwell

6. In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan. This is about food, which means that it’s related to running. I believe it’s easier to run, than stop eating junk foods. But it will not hurt to know more about food. I love this book because it’s not “preachy,” and is actually humorous in tackling the matter. Most of all, it relates the topic in a layman’s term that we can easily grasp. Quote from the book: “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.” – Michael Pollan 5. Be Brave, Be Strong: A Journey Across the Great Divide by Jill Homer. Jill can be more popularly known in the biking world, who is into adventure racing. But you might find her also in ultramarathon foot races too. This book is about her joining the Tour Divide, a 2,740 miles MTB Adventure Race from Canada to Mexico along the Continental Divide. This book gave me the new definition of sexy! (You can check her awesome blogs: Jill Outside on biking, Half Past Done on Ultramarathon / Endurance Races. She also has other books about adventure bike racing.) A favorite quote from the book:

“The fact that something’s impossible has never been a good reason not to try.” – Jill Homer

4. Ultramarathon Man Confessions of an All-Night Runner by Dean Karnazes. This was the first book published by Dean Karnazes. Among all his books, I enjoyed this one the most because of how he talked about his beginnings and his first-time funny experiences. And, this book is probably the most quoted by runners.

“If you’re not pushing yourself beyond the comfort zone, if you’re not constantly demanding more from yourself–expanding and learning as you go–you’re choosing a numb existence. You’re denying yourself an extraordinary trip.” – Dean Karnazes

3. A Life Without Limits: A World Champion’s Journey by Chrissie Wellington. What is good about this book is that Chrissie will take you to her life before and a bit of after her triathlon career. I liked her philosophy about social works, and her stories of travel and adventures outside triathlon. From Chrissie Wellington’s former coach Brett Sutton:

“I’ve seen too many world champions not adjust for the pressure. They fret about their performances. They train and race with the crown on their head. It’s too fucking heavy. Take my tip. Take it off, put it in a box and place it in the cupboard. It’ll be there when you’re finished. Don’t let it kill you or stop you from putting few more in there to go with it.” – Brett Sutton

2. Running with the Kenyans: Passion, Adventure, and the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth by Adharanand Finn. Read on our previous post about this book here >>. Quote from the book:

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” – Mahatma Gandhi

(Bonus) What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. I have a lot of friends who swoon over Murakami, but this is the only book I read from him. So reading this book is like having a conversation with him, or maybe hearing him being in a conversation with his self that sometimes it just trails away without any closure. More about this book from Paolo Lim here >>.

Most favorite quote from the book: “Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest.” – Haruki Murakami

This is the most I can shortened my list to. I have more in my “Books Read” list in goodreads, let’s be friends there >>. Now, it’s your turn. Please share with us your Top 10 running / sports / endurance / adventure books! ———————————————————————————- Posted by: rosebuen Rose Buenconsejo. A runner who runs after runners, and their stories, and her dream to become a NEDBANK. Promo Girl, runroo.com View her aktib race calendar >>   Let’s get connected, check us at: facebook.com/runroo, twitter.com/gorunroo, instagram.com/runroo, aktib.ph/runfest.

2 Responses to 10 Books: On Running, Adventure, Endurance Sports, & Others

  1. Torvz 21 January, 2014 at 9:10 am #

    nice one……


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