Books For Endurance Athletes

Here are 5 books for endurance athletes I have read recently that will help motivate you, help you train better, and get insight into what type of athlete you are. Enjoy!

Born to Run. I loved this book! It got me back into running after may years off to focus on cycling (I also started adding lots os chia seeds to my kombucha after I read this). Collection of great race stories and tales of ultra runners ending with an epic race through Mexico’s copper canyons.  This will probably want to make you try barefoot running.

The Science of Running: How to find your limit and train to maximize your performance. From the author of one of the best blogs about running and exercise science (The science of running), comes a book that is essential for any endurance coach and athlete. This book distills down all basic science research in endurance sport and explains it simply. Magness does a good job comparing the research with what coaches see on a daily basis. The second half of the book is practical application to specifics of training athletes.

In Pursuit of Excellence – 4th Edition. It is clear that mental performance is one of the keys to the success of an athlete, yet also a widely under trained aspect at most levels. In this book, Orlick tells you how exactly to use things such as visualization and imagery to improve performance. There are also techniques to help you get a more positive outlook and eliminate distractions. Use this book to supplement all your hard physical training.

Mud, Snow, And Cyclocross: How ‘Cross Took Over U.S. Cycling. Basically a collection of stories – an oral history of cyclocross in the US. Great stories from Pros and race promoters.  One big things I was reminded of was the difference between US and European CX – The Euro roadies (in particular belgians and Dutch) needed something to stay fit in the winter and didn’t want to leave their country.  In the US, roadies can go south, and don’t have the same problem, Therefore – CX in the US grew as it’s own type of cycling as a paticipatory/party/family atmosphere, where the courses and community is open and accesible to everyone

The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance. From genes to EPO sensitivity to explaining the efficiency constraints of world class distance runners to breeding for work ethic in alaskan sled dogs to dissecting wingspan of NBA players, This book covers all the ways in which an athlete might be genetically gifted and how that relates to performance.  Next time you watch the olympics notice how different body types have filtered into different events (tiny gymnasts next to swimmers with extra long torsos, next to massive shot putters)

Question: What are your favorite sports books?  I’m always looking for recommendations!

Here are my past book recommendations on books to help you break through, and books on learning, flow, and art.

High Performance Gut Microbiome: Maintaining A Healthy Gut For Athletes

Gut Microbiome Endurance Athletes

Most athletes only think about their gut when they get a side stitch or have 'issues' on race day. The truth is that the microbes that live in the human gut have proven to be widely influential on human health. While in grad school for microbiology, … [Continue reading]