June 6, earlier this week, marked Global Running Day!
Here are our 25 favorite running books…
Divided into these four genres…
A New York Times bestseller for 14 weeks in 1978, Running & Being became known as the philosophical bible for runners around the world. More than thirty years after its initial publication, it remains every bit as relevant today.
Written by the late, beloved Dr. George Sheehan, Running & Being tells of the author’s midlife return to the world of exercise, play, and competition, in which he found “a world beyond sweat” that proved to be a source of great revelation and personal growth. But Running & Being focuses more on life than it does, specifically, on running. It provides an outline for a lifetime program of fitness and joy, showing how the body helps determine our mental and spiritual energies.
We run for exercise, relaxation and sometimes to indulge our competitive spirit. Now Warren A. Kay takes you on an exploration of an often-overlooked facet of the sport: running as an intentional spiritual practice.
Kay’s approach is more than just “blissing out” on a run. He combines penetrating reflections on God, creation and the role of Spirit in our lives with practical, concise tips for starting your own spiritual running journal. He helps turn your ordinary runs into extraordinary opportunities for spiritual growth. Whether you’ve logged thousands of miles or are new to the sport, you’ll find the guidance and inspiration you need in this unique book.
As a Tibetan lama and leader of Shambhala (an international community of 165 meditation centers), Sakyong Mipham has found physical activity to be essential for spiritual well-being. He’s been trained in horsemanship and martial arts but has a special love for running. Here he incorporates his spiritual practice with running, presenting basic meditation instruction and fundamental principles he has developed. Even though both activities can be complicated, the lessons here are simple and designed to show how the melding of internal practice with physical movement can be used by anyone – regardless of age, spiritual background, or ability – to benefit body and soul.
The inspiring, hilarious memoir of a “Bridget Jones-like writer” (The Washington Post) who transforms her life by learning to run, with stories of miserable defeat, complete victory, and learning to choose the right shoes.
When Alexandra Heminsley decided to take up running, she had hopes for a blissful runner’s high and immediate physical transformation. After eating three slices of toast with honey and spending ninety minutes creating the perfect playlist, she hit the streets—and failed spectacularly. The stories of her first runs turn on its head the common notion that we are all “born to run”—and exposes the truth about starting to run: it can be brutal. Running Like a Girl tells the story of getting beyond the brutal part, how Alexandra makes running a part of her life, and reaps the rewards
Peter Sagal, the host of NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! and a popular columnist for Runner’s World, shares lessons, stories, advice, and warnings gleaned from running the equivalent of once around the earth.
At the verge of turning forty, Peter Sagal—brainiac Harvard grad, short bald Jew with a disposition towards heft, and a sedentary star of public radio—started running seriously. And much to his own surprise, he kept going, faster and further, running fourteen marathons and logging tens of thousands of miles on roads, sidewalks, paths, and trails all over the United States and the world, including the 2013 Boston Marathon, where he crossed the finish line moments before the bombings.