Try gifting a great book about running!
Buying gifts for a runner can be challenging. Really, they may have already bought all the things they need. Between new shoes and gear, free race shirts, and all the gels and salt tabs, it may seem like they need nothing!
Sometimes a great book about running or by a runner is the best gift of all! It will give the special runner in your life something to read while traveling to or tapering for the next big race!
Here are some favorites of mine that I highly recommend:
- Bravey by Alexi Pappas
One of my friends is a former Olympian for the marathon, and she literally shoved this book in my hand one day and insisted that I read it immediately! Bravey is transformative. A memoir of sorts, Alexi details her difficult childhood, how she fell in love with running, and follows her career through the Olympics. She is honest, vulnerable, and quirky, and talks a lot about mental health. I couldn’t put this book down until I was done.
- Let Your Mind Run by Deena Kastor
Another Olympian, Deena offers her story about overcoming mental challenges during her running career. Not only does she tell us her story, but she also offers suggestions about how to improve your mental fitness. Her book left me feeling inspired and definitely helped me with my training, reminding me that the marathon is mostly mental, and that positive self-talk is essential.
- Marathon Woman by Kathrine Switzer
Kathrine was the first woman who officially ran the Boston Marathon. She also officially debunked the myth that women’s uteruses would fall out from the stress of running 26.2 miles. You may recall seeing a picture of her running, surrounded by men, with someone trying to physically pull her off the Boston course. Her life was not easy, nor was her journey toward running the marathon. But endurance running as we know it would not be possible without Kathrine. I wanted to sign up for ALL the marathons after reading her book!
- Finding Ultra by Rich Roll
Rich Roll is a legend. You may know him more for his very successful podcast. Taking his life from the absolute bottom, he turned things around, seeking clarity. He transformed his life by shifting to a vegan diet and started competing in ultramarathons and triathlons. His memoir inspired me to tackle the ultra myself and positively reinforced my vegan journey.
- Good to Go by Christie Aschwanden
If your runner loves to geek out on science, they may love this book about recovery. Christie researches different modalities for recovery and debunks lots of tried and true methods we have learned to feel better after injury and exercise. I first heard about her book while listening to her interview on NPR, and she talked about lots of current research I had read and trusted as a physical therapist. I ordered her book that day.
Here are some titles on my personal wish list which have just been or are awaiting release:
- Running While Black: Finding Freedom in a Sport That Wasn’t Built for Us by Alison Mariella Désir
I just ordered this book for myself. Highly recommended by Kathrine Switzer, it details the racial disparity in the sport of endurance running. I recently wrote an article for my local run club’s magazine about inclusion in the Richmond running community, and learned just how challenging the culture can be for my Black friends. I’m looking forward to learning more.
- Choosing to Run: A Memoir by Des Linden
Set for release in April 2023 and currently available for pre-order, this memoir by Boston Marathon winner and current 50k world record holder Des Linden should be excellent! Des spoke at a local running event a few years ago, and she was very inspiring!
I hope this list inspires you to give the runner in your life something different and meaningful this holiday season!
As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.