Your Discount Ticket to Anywhere…

When I was heading into 5th grade, I entered a summer reading contest to see how many pages I could read before school began.

Before you laugh about how nerdy I was, let’s consider the prize for winning: a sleepover with five friends in the school’s library.

My real goal? To invite my girlfriend and get around that pesky “no girls at sleepovers” rule.

Following the rules was never one of my strong areas…

But I’m telling you this because that summer sparked a lifelong love of reading.

Now I buy more books than I can read. Just look at the stack of books in my office:

A photo posted by Jason Fitzgerald (@jasonfitz1) on

As the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mary Schmich once said:

Books are a discount ticket to anywhere.

And on the podcast, I ask my guests what they’re reading. Do runners only read running books? What other topics are they drawn to?

Books offer a unique window into the topics, ideas, and subjects that are important to people. Steve Kamb and I talked a lot about this in Episode 5 of the podcast.

And that’s the entire subject of today’s new podcast episode.

My Recommended Running Books

Today I want to present the books that I recommend for all runners. These are classics that shouldn’t be avoided for flashier titles.

They give you the foundation that’s necessary to inform your training, make better planning decisions, and understand how running works. There’s simply no better investment in your training (other than, perhaps, a coach!).

Episode 7 is a short one. Enjoy it.

Show Notes:

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  1. That’s a healthy reading list … I have to start doing that again!

  2. Thanks for the recs, Jason. I’ll bump the Dicharry and the Hudson up my list–I’ve been meaning to get to them. You probably haven’t been sitting on Steve’s book quite that long: it came out late in 2014. There’s a lot of good stuff in it but the organization (and formatting, and proofreading) is a mess; I really hope he does a second edition.

    Two to throw on the pile:

    Greg McMillan’s “You: Only Faster” is a very nice, clear, straightforward mapping from principles to plans. It’s probably the best option for somebody who’s starting to put together their own plan, or who wants a better understanding of what their coach is writing up.

    The other is Joe Friel’s “Triathlete’s Training Bible”. I haven’t read the 4th edition yet, but the previous has one of the best treatments of intensity I’ve seen, really working on training by feel combined with the feedback from pace, heart rate, and other signals. Good for heart rate based training without just setting the autopilot. It’s also, of course, useful for runners who want to go heavy on the cross-training and need to fit it all together.