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22 Terrific Non-Fiction Running Books

What better way to relax after a run than curling up with a good running book? Well, except for maybe beer and a good running book.

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3. "Duel in the Sun: The Story of Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley, and America's Greatest Marathon" by John Brant

The story of the 1982 Boston Marathon, and the almost stride-for-stride race for first between Salazar and Beardsley. Lots of great background information on both runners, including what they've done since the '82 marathon.

5. "The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition: A Cutting-Edge Plan to Fuel Your Body Beyond 'the Wall'" by Matt Fitzgerald

The strength of Fitzgerald's book is taking the science of sports nutrition and presenting it in an understandable and practical way to runners of any experience or fitness level.

6. "Complete Book of Running" by Jim Fixx

The book that, along with Bowerman's "Jogging," started the running boom of the 70s. Considered by many to still be the Bible of running. Easily available from libraries and used booksellers.

7. "Running Like a Girl: Notes on Learning to Run" by Alexandra Heminsley

Heminsley's book is relatively new to running bookshelves, but her journey from barstool potato to marathoner is one many of us can relate to. It's not always chia fresca and runner's high.

8. "4:09:43: Boston 2013 Through the Eyes of the Runners" by Hal Higdon

Where were you when the bombs exploded in Boston on April 15, 2013? How many of you think of that day every time you cross a finish line? Running icon Hal Higdon has put together a wonderful book that celebrates the quiet heroes of that day, and shows how the running community's worst day brought out the best in many people.

9. "Unbroken" by Lauren Hillenbrand

Louis Zamperini's story of evolving from a troublemaking kid into an Olympian is inspirational enough, but his story doesn't end at the Berlin Summer Games. As a WWII Airman, Zamperini survived a crash landing at sea, over a month adrift in the ocean, and then over two years as a POW at a brutal Japanese camp outside Nagano. On his 81st birthday, he was asked by the people of Nagano to run a leg in the Olympic torch relay.

14. "Bowerman and the Men of Oregon" by Kenny Moore

An insider's look at legendary coach Bowerman's life, both on and off the Oregon track. Along the way, Moore shows us the rise of Pre, the start of Nike, and Bowerman's later battles with Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.

18. "Swoosh: Unauthorized Story of Nike and the Men Who Played There" by J.B. Strasser

Phil Knight started Nike with little more than a car trunk, drive, and his old Oregon teammates and Coach, Bill Bowerman. A bit dated, but still an entertaining read.

19. "Marathon Woman" by Kathrine Switzer

Switzer was the first female to ever run Boston as a registered runner, although the RD didn't realize she was a woman until after the marathon started and she was almost physically removed from the race. Switzer finished Boston that day, and became a literal trailblazer for women runners. She was instrumental in women's marathon becoming an Olympic event.

20. "Feed Zone Portables: A Cookbook of On-the-Go Food for Athletes" by Biju Thomas and Allen Lim

Written by two of the founders of Skratch Labs, "Feed Zone Portables" gives runners an alternative to gels or bars for on-the-run fueling. Try the Sea Salt and Chocolate Sticky Bites.

22. "My Life On the Run" by Bart Yasso

The man who invented Yassos also wrote this terrific memoir. Along with running advice, he shares some of his favorite races and running moments with us, as well as his struggles with Lyme Disease.

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