Summer holidays are a wonderful time away from work and the demands of daily life, often opening the perfect occasion to while away a few hours with a good read. Instead of picking up one of the latest summer bestsellers why not use this opportunity to discover more about the world of endurance. Whether it is a bit of light running entertainment or a more in-depth scientific training manual there is something out there for every endurance enthusiast.

Below I share my top five book recommendations. These books have all inspired and enlightened me to not only train harder, but more importantly, to train smarter!

Summer Reading books for endurance athletes

The Easy Read

BORN TO RUN: The hidden tribe, the ultra-runners and the greatest race the world has ever seen by CHRISTOPHER MCDOUGALL

Quick Overview: This is one of my all time favourite books on running! It is a captivating and inspiring read and leaves you wanting to head out for a play in nature. The basic story is about a tribe of Mexican Indians who are believed to be some of the best long-distance runners in the world, and the author’s journey to learn their running secrets.

Who is it for: Anyone and everyone with even a slight interest in running or those who just want a gripping and inspiring summer read.


Injury Prevention

READY TO RUN: Unlocking Your Potential to Run Naturally by DR. KELLY STARRETT with T.J. MURPHY

Quick Overview: Ready to Run should be on every runners’ bookshelf. It is an easy accessible guide to injury prevention and pain free running. If you have ever suffered from (or keen to never suffer from) ITband syndrome, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis or other common running injuries this is the book for you. Filled with easy to follow mobilisations and self-massage techniques that will make you feel looser and lighter.  

Who is it for: Anyone who has ever had a stubborn running based injury or who is simply looking to maximise his or her running efficiency and potential.


The Training Manual


Quick Overview: This is the go-to manual for any athlete that wants to train themselves to greater endurance goals. With chapters focused on the methodologies of endurance training, programme design, strength training & avoiding overtraining, this book is a comprehensive scientific guide into the world of endurance training programmes. But don’t worry about it being a heavy read, as the science is wonderfully broken up with fascinating stories from some of the worlds best endurance athletes such as Luke Nelson, Krissy Moehl & John Kelly, making it an interesting and informative read.

Who is it for: Anyone who wants to delve deeper into the science of endurance.


Mind Over Matter

ENDURANCE PERFORMANCE IN SPORT: Psychological Theory and Interventions by CARLA MEIJEN

Quick Overview: Endurance performance in sport is an academic introduction into the cognitive strategies that can help the endurance athlete master the psychological factors that can negatively impact performance. Presenting techniques such as imagery, mindfulness, goal setting, and self-talk, this book provides tactics to help the endurance athlete overcome anxiety, self-doubt and, exercise induced pain. Admittedly this is not a rip-roaring read as it is very academic in nature. But it does provide some  excellent practical strategies, so is well-worth dipping in and out of.

Who is it for: Anyone interested in how the mind can impact endurance performance.


Achieving Peak Health

PEAK: The New Science of Athlete Performance That is Revolutionizing Sports by DR. MARC BUBBS

Quick Overview: This new release is filled with a broad range of practical gems on how to optimise health and athletic performance. With great practical takeaways backed up by scientific references, Bubbs makes Peak an easy and enjoyable read. Whether you are interested in general health, sports nutrition, recovery, sleep, immunity or the athletic mind set there is something for every athletic enthusiast to take away.

Who is it for: Anyone interested in delving deeper into the fundamentals of maximising athletic performance.

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