Running is something that is enjoyed universally. The joy of speed, freedom and the open air is a part of being human. The way that we run, and especially the way that we train varies from culture to culture however. This is particularly true when it comes to long distance running. These five running books look at running from the view of different cultures and by looking at the way that running is approached throughout the world we can find ways that help us improve our own running, and training and help us reach higher goals and improve our running endurance.
Running with the Kenyans: Discovering the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth
It is no secret that Kenyans are some of the greatest distance runners there are. Many of the fastest times for numerous marathons are held by men and women from this country. It is for this reason that Adharanand Finn moved himself and his family to Iten, Kenya to train, learn, and research the Kenyan way of running. This fascinating book outlines his adventure and give details about what he learned and how he put it into practice.
The Road to Sparta
The story of Pheidippides running from the battle of Marathon to Athens to announce the Greek Victory is a fairly well know story. However, that is only the end of the story, what is less commonly know is that when the Pearsain invaded Pheidippides ran nearly 150 miles from Athens to Sparta to request the support of the Spartans in the upcoming battle. In his book Karnaze take a look at these events and relives the run by training using the methods foods and dress of the ancient Greeks.
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
After suffering from numerous running injuries Christopher McDougall searches out the Tarahumara a reclusive Native Mexican tribe whose runners regularly cover long distances without injury. As well as learning the techniques of the Tarahumara and researching their running history, in his book McDougall looks at how and why humans as compared to other primates have developed the ability to be truly great endurance runners.
The Way of the Runner: A Journey into the Fabled World of Japanese Running
This is the second book by Adharanand Finn on this list and is the follow up to his previous book Running with the Kenyans. After returning from Kenya, Finn set several personal records and was making great times, but after a couple of years he found that he had plateaued and decided to turn to another running culture for inspiration. This time he makes the journey to Japan where the Hakone Ekiden, a Japanese race, is the most watched program of the year, akin to the Superbowl in the US. Immersing himself in this unique running culture for 6 months learning Japanese running and training techniques, Finn learns the benefits of metal strength, and persistence.
Run the World: My 3,500-Mile Journey Through Running Cultures Around the Globe
In this book elite marathon runner Becky Wade spends a year exploring unique running cultures from around the world. She visits 9 countries, stays with 72 families, and runs over 3500 miles. During this journey she experienced many different approaches and techniques that runners across the world use. Following her return the US she incorporated many of these training styles and running techniques into her own regime and was able to win her marathon debut race in 2:30 making her the 3rd fastest woman marathon runner under 25 in US history.
We hope that these running books will help you in your journey to becoming a better runner.