so can anyone recommend any good ultra orientated running books, be they full of witty anecdotes (not about kebabs) (Notting Hill joke), or more serious ones full of advice and insane ideas.



  • Forgot to say finger is hovering over but now on relentless forward progress. Any good?

  • Hovering over buy it now... Even

  • theres only the obvious ones i can think of - stuff by dean kanazes, born to run, scott jureks' Eat to Run is so boring though IMO, feet in the clouds, i much prefer training type stuff - Advanced Marathoning - is good but not exacly ultra but the science translates all the same, if you swim and/or bike Joe Friel - Going Long is great for periodisation principles and how to formulate a training plan, theres so much quality/peer reviewed stuff on the net i dont really buy books.

  • and kebabs arent to be joked about - well a little, maybeimage


  • Hehe!

  • I have only read a couple running based book but enjoyed them all.

    Feet in the clouds, born to run and although not an ultra book have just read Roger Bannister's book 'The First 4 Minutes' which i thought was good.

  • DazDaz ✭✭✭

    Out of all the books I enjoyed the Ghost Runner the best, inspirational.  Going Long best for training/racing.

    Endurance Coach @
    Elite Ironman, Ultra Trail Runner
  • DazDaz ✭✭✭

    Oh I forgot Ultramarathon by James Shapiro.  Old school ultra running, makes you realise the british guys back then were as fit if not fitter than the best in the world today!

    Endurance Coach @
    Elite Ironman, Ultra Trail Runner
  • Being a avid book reader, two of my favourites are running through the wall by Neal Jamison and relentless forward progress by Byron Powell. It's this book training plan that I am using to hopefully get me to my first ultra.

  • Some good calls so far. 

    Not just about ultra running but “Running a Global History” by Thor Gotaas, has some chapters that every ultra runner should read. 

  • The most recent one I've read is 'Finding Ultra'. I also enjoyed Paula Radcliffe's biography. 

  • I really enjoyed "Feet in the Clouds"(Richard Askwith), "Born to Run" (Christopher McDougall), "Eat and Run" (Scott Jurek) and, like WiB says, "The First Four Minutes" (Roger Bannister). Relentless Forward Progress is useful, and "The Ultomate Guide to Trail Running (Adam Chase & Nancy Hobbs0 isn't bad. I recently bought "The Cool Impossible" and I'm intending to use the exercises in there to improve my balance and coordination to reduce the risk of future ankle injuries. Quie enjoyed "Running with the Kenyans" (Adharanand Finn)  and "The London Marathon (John Bryant). Didn't think much of "Why we Run" (Robin Harvie) - or rather, I quite enjoyed some of the bits when he was talking about other runners, but thought that despite getting Rory Coleman to coach him what on earth was he doing entering the Spartathlon when his longest previous race was a 100K?

    I recently picked up a copy of "World's Ultimate Running Races" subtitle "500 Races, 101 Countries, Choose your adventure" (published by Collins) which is fun to browse through - so many races, so little time... Compiled by Angela Mudge and others. Published 2011 so doesn't contain any of the Centurion races, for example.

  • Good point. Not read running with the Kenyans but had it recommended a few times.

  • I can second Ben on the Thor Gotaas one - fascinating book. Feet in the Clouds is a lovely read, Born to Run goes without saying. Read Andy Mouncey's book on British ultras which is probably not going to win him the Nobel Prize for Literature any time soon, but is nevertheless about as honest and "real" feeling as books about running get, and distinctively British too.which is good if the Born to Run stuff feels a bit stylish and American for you.

  • Thanks everyone. 

    Please keep the suggestions rolling in.  Got my eye on the Thor Gotaas and Magic, Madness and Ultrarunning, ( by the british bloke) it sounds quite fun.

  • Feet in the Clouds is a must-read - really enjoyable.  Also liked Running with the Kenyans.  I've just ordered Andy Mouncey's book, which I'm really looking forward to reading.  Not ultra related, but really enjoyed Ironholg's book - made me laugh lots!!

  • Second most of the above of which my favourites are Feet in the Clouds, Born to Run & Eat and Run.

    One that hasn't been mentioned is Marshal Ulrich's Running on Empty which I really enjoyed.

    Obviously non-utra but still running is The Dirtiest Race in History: Ben Johnson, Carl Lewis and the 1988 Olympic 100m Final. I still remember staying up late to watch this live with my brothers and seeing Johnson's staggereing run. Good book


  • Recommend "Out on Your Feet" by Julie Welch.  About the LDWA hundreds, so based aroud endurance walking rather than running, but at times laugh out loud hilarious.  

  • Thanks to this thread, I just picked up three of these books off amazon: Relentless Forward Progress, which had been on my wishlist for a while anyway, along with Running: A Global History and Running Through the Wall. I seem to have developed a bit of a running book habit of late, hope it's me who takes delivery and not my wife!

  • Lots of good books mentioned above, read a few of them and nearly all got me excited to keep reading. Stand out books I have read are probably (predictably) 'Feet in the Clouds', but also 'The Ghost Runner'. I've added a few from above to my wishlist and can see I'll be trying to hunt down a copy of 'Ultramarathon' by James Shapiro.

    Next for me will probably be 'Its a hill, get over it'.

    And - don't shoot...... - for those with a general endurance interest who may not have read books about long distance cycling I can recommend the two books on subject I've read -
    'In Search of Robert Millar' and 'A race for Madmen: a History of the Tour de France'

  • JeremyGJeremyG ✭✭✭

    All good books mentioned, I would add from first to last - Charlie spedding

  • RedjeepRedjeep ✭✭✭

    Great thread.

    I enjoyed Relentless Forward Progress and am looking at buying 'Mud, Sweat and Tears' and 'Never Wipe Your Ass With a Squirel'.

    I've also just read 'The Wall Ultramarathon' which is a £2 download onto your Kindle and it's pretty good as a first person account from a guy who comes across as somebody you'd willingly have a pint with. Very short book (you'll read it in 30 minutes), and not incredibly well written (quite a lot of typos etc)  but good for what it is. 

    There's some good discussion in Lore Of Running about the Comrades but you'll need a touch of OCD to enjoy it (for the record I love it and think it's the best/ most thorough book on anything I've ever read).

  • I got a copy of running a global history in hardback off amazon for £7image looking forward to that arrivingimage

  • Just received my physical copy of it's a hill,get over it. Lovely looking book with some great photos. Well worth the extra quid than the kindle edition. Looking forward to starting it  tonight. Another book is the king of the peds which explores the mid 19thcentury  long distance walkers/ runners. Fascinating what these guys got upto!Bargain on kindle,as the physical book is quite big and cumbersome.

  • More of a coffee table picture book than a sit down read but still a lovely present for someone (yourself):

  • ohh hello gav @ godalming I'm originally from down the road in Milford image cheers for the selections as well. 

  • Small world! I have actually moved to Milford/Witley now image

    Perfect area for trail running. Did you move out of the area all together?

    To keep my post relevant Run or die is a good book by none other than Killian himself.
  • Gav@Godalming: Now up in t' midlands Loughborough, live close to a canal so run beside that for most of my runs

    Parents n lots of family still in and around Milford / Witley image

    To stay relevent following recommendations I got a few books on kindle, but my hardback of Running a Global History arrived today image

  • So, what you get?  And are they any good?

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