9 Best Running Books for Beginners: Train Smarter, Run Faster, and Avoid Injuries

Are you looking to improve your running game? Here’s a list of the best running books for beginners to guide you on your journey. Let’s dive in!

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1. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall

Best Running Books for Beginners 1

In “Born to Run,” author Christopher McDougall takes us on an enthralling journey to Mexico’s Copper Canyons, where he unveils the secrets of the superathletes from the reclusive Tarahumara Indian tribe, known for their ability to run ultra distances effortlessly.

Why Run Aficionados Will Love This Book

This book not only unravels the mysteries behind the enduring running capacities of the Tarahumara tribe but also ignites a passion for running in its readers. It’s a captivating narrative that provides a fresh perspective on running, making it a source of joy rather than a chore.

2. 80/20 Running: Run Stronger and Race Faster By Training Slower by Matt Fitzgerald

80 20 Running

This groundbreaking book introduces the 80/20 principle to running, suggesting that doing 80% of runs at a lower intensity and 20% at a higher intensity is the key to improving performance.

Why Running Devotees Will Adore This Book

Matt Fitzgerald lays down a scientifically backed training program that challenges conventional wisdom and encourages runners to slow down to improve their performance. It’s a must-read for those looking to shatter their personal records while keeping burnout at bay. I think this is one of the best running books for beginners available!

3. Runner’s World Complete Book of Women’s Running: The Best Advice to Get Started, Stay Motivated, Lose Weight, Run Injury-Free, Be Safe, and Train for Any Distance

Complete book of Women's Running

Catered to women, this book is a comprehensive guide that covers various aspects of running. Whether you are starting out or aiming to improve your performance, it provides useful advice on training, staying motivated, and running safely.

Why Running Fans Will Find This Book Appealing

With its wide array of topics, this book serves as a one-stop resource for women runners. It not only provides training plans but also offers motivational strategies to keep you moving forward on your running journey. A great starting point for beginners!

4. Personal Best Running: Coach Coogan’s Strategies for the Mile to the Marathon by Mark Coogan and Scott Douglas

Personal Best Running

Covering a spectrum of distances, this book lays down effective strategies to improve your performance from the mile to the marathon.

Why Runners Will Find This Book Useful

With seasoned insights from Coach Coogan, readers can tailor their training regimes to achieve personal bests across different running distances. It’s a comprehensive guide that caters to a broad spectrum of running goals.

5. Run Your Best Marathon: Your Trusted Guide to Training and Racing Better

Run your best marathon

This is a timeless manual that encapsulates the essence of marathon training and racing, helping you to run your best marathon.

Why Marathon Aspirants Will Value This Book

Drawing on decades of running and coaching experience, this book provides a robust framework for marathon preparation and execution. It’s a companion that will see you through the rigorous marathon training and help you cross the finish line with a triumphant stride.

6. Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance by Alex Hutchinson and Malcolm Gladwell


“Endure” delves into the fascinating realm of human endurance, exploring how far one can push the boundaries of physical and mental performance.

Why Endurance Enthusiasts Will Hold This Book Dear

This book is a deep dive into the science of endurance, shedding light on how one can train the mind and body to achieve remarkable running feats. It’s a riveting read that will leave endurance runners both enlightened and inspired.

7. Dr. Jordan Metzl’s Running Strong: The Sports Doctor’s Complete Guide to Staying Healthy and Injury-Free for Life by Jordan Metzl and Claire Kowalchik

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Dr. Jordan Metzl provides a thorough guide on how to stay healthy and injury-free while pursuing your running goals.

Why Health-Conscious Runners Will Treasure This Book

With a focus on injury prevention and overall health, this book is a gem for runners looking to sustain a long and healthy running journey. It’s a blend of expert medical advice and practical running tips that make it a staple for health-conscious runners.

8. Run Like a Pro (Even If You’re Slow): Elite Tools and Tips by Matt Fitzgerald

Even if you're slow

Cutting-edge advice is at the heart of this book, making professional running insights accessible to runners of all levels.

Why Running Buffs Will Appreciate This Book

Fitzgerald’s pragmatic approach breaks down complex training strategies into digestible advice, empowering everyday runners to reach their full potential. It’s a treasure chest of elite running insights tailored for the masses.

9. The Art of Running Faster by Julian Goater and Don Melvin

Art of Running

“The Art of Running Faster” provides a fresh perspective on running, challenging conventional wisdom and encouraging runners to think differently to improve their performance. It covers various aspects including the way you move, structuring your training, preparing for races, and picking running tactics.

Why Runners Keen on Honing Their Technique Will Value This Book

This book goes beyond the basics and delves into the artistry of running, helping runners to understand their bodies, refine their technique, and train more effectively. With a focus on running smarter, not harder, it’s a valuable resource for those keen on optimizing their technique to run faster and more efficiently.

I hope you’ve found this list of best running books for beginners useful! Each book offers a unique perspective and a wealth of knowledge that promises to redefine your running experience. Happy reading and happier running!

Check out our other lists of non-fiction books!