Whether you’re looking for inspiration or just a little entertainment when you can’t get outdoors, these 11 running and cycling movies currently on Netflix should do the trick.
“BIKES VS. CARS”
Can bicycles really change the world? This documentary explores this idea while highlighting the conflict in cities across the world between bikes, cars and the infrastructure that’s needed for true change to take place.
One of the most interesting documentaries in recent memory, Icarus follows amateur cyclist Bryan Fogel as he uses a supervised doping protocol to win a cycling race. What this story turns into is an international scandal with wide ramifications for the entire Russian anti-doping program.
“STOP AT NOTHING”
Get the inside story from friends and former teammates of Lance Armstrong as this BBC documentary details one of the biggest frauds in sport’s history. Beginning with Armstrong’s early years as he recovered from cancer, director Alex Holmes explains how Armstrong was able to successfully outpace the lies until the truth finally caught up at the end of his legendary career.
“INSPIRED TO RIDE”
If inspirational tales are more your thing, this epic 4,223-mile journey across the TransAmerica Trail will do the trick. Without any support, prize money or crowds to cheer them on, you’ll get a backseat view of the 45 cyclists as they attempt to tackle this epic adventure and learn just what it takes to get to the finish.
“THE ARMSTRONG LIE”
While it is yet another Armstrong documentary, this well-reviewed film focuses on Armstrong’s jump back into professional cycling after his 4-year retirement and how this decision may have been what ultimately lead to his lifetime ban from the sport.
“I AM BOLT”
Chances are you’ve seen Usain Bolt fly down the track. This documentary shows you is what it takes to become the world’s fastest human with rare all-access, behind-the-scenes footage. You’ll also get archival video of Bolt’s rise to the top and present-day interviews with Bolt and those closest to him in Jamaica.
Ultra-marathoner Nikki Kimball seeks to break Vermont’s 273-mile Long Trail record in this inspirational documentary. Kimball’s sacrifices, personal hardships and amazing courage are all on display and sure to motivate you whether you call yourself a runner or not.
Two notorious Kenyan soldiers trade their rifles for running shoes in attempt to reshape their lives in this documentary. Narrated by the men themselves, their rise to glory provides a unique look at the country’s poverty, modernization, war, tradition and the hardships that must be endured to achieve a better life.
Starring Richard Jenkins, Kelly Blatz and Kim Basinger, this fictional drama chronicles a troubled inner-city teen who forms a bond with a reclusive neighbor who agrees to train him. Using running as his outlet, he discovers his true talents and uses the sport to face his own personal demons.
With a course originally designed around the historic prison break in Tennessee, this documentary chronicles the legendary ultramarathon race held each spring in Frozen Head State Park. In the first 25 years of the event, only 10 people finished. This film follows the competitors as they put themselves to the ultimate test of physical and mental endurance as they try to complete the course in 60 hours or less.
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Though it’s not strictly about running, this documentary series, narrated by sprinting gold medalist Michael Johnson, takes a look at several different sports and the athletes pushing the boundaries of what the human body is capable of. This inside look at the elite of the elite is as interesting as it is inspiring.