6 Books on Running For Your Off-Season Training

Molly Hurford
by Molly Hurford
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6 Books on Running For Your Off-Season Training

The offseason is coming, but don’t let those gray days ruin your running motivation. Instead, use this offseason as a time to get re-invigorated for the 2019 season by catching up on the latest releases on the mental and physical aspects of running from PhDs and runners alike.

Running Is My Therapy
By Scott Douglas

If you’ve ever struggled with a period of depression or simply struggle with stress and anxiety, this book shows you there is absolutely a light at the end of the tunnel, and if you run fast or far enough, you’ll get there. Scott Douglas is a longtime runner and writer, and it’s a great book for anyone who wants to use — or is using — running as part of therapy to promote solid mental health. With a forward by Alison Desir, there’s no other book like it.

Let Your Mind Run
By Deena Kastor

If you’re looking for a book that combines a beautifully written memoir with practical running advice — and invaluable sports psych with an almost philosophical slant — this is your book. Kastor’s memoir runs from her first memories of racing cross-country as a child up to the present day, as mom, Olympian, coach and author. In this book, she ruminates on where she’s been, how she’s handled challenges throughout her career and why she still loves running more than anything. Most of all, this book offers a peek into the sometimes ugly truth of what it takes to be one of the best runners in the world.

The Brave Athlete
By Simon Marshall, PhD, and Lesley Paterson

Released in 2016, this book quickly became one of the top must-reads in sports psychology. It’s a comprehensive look at how our brains work (for and against us) in sport. Written by Simon Marshall, who holds a PhD in the field of sports psych and co-owns Braveheart Coaching with his wife, Lesley Paterson, former Xterra World Champion, the book combines all the current research plus what the couple has learned through Paterson’s racing career. There are dozens of exercises for readers to try to help gain confidence, determine what’s holding them back, eliminate (or at least tone down) pre-race anxiety and make it through every single workout. It’s a dense read, but it’s worth your time if you struggle more with the mental side of sport versus the physical.

By Kara Goucher

If you prefer a dose of sports psychology you can crush into one or two sittings, and want less of the ‘why’ and more of the ‘but how do I make this happen?’ then this is the book to read. Pro runner Goucher talks candidly about her struggles with confidence and explains how she eventually found a way to become more self-assured by creating a confidence journal. The book is composed of three sections: her six steps to being confident at running and racing, essays from other strong female runners and a confidence journal component that you can write in.

By Scott Jurek

Hiking the Appalachian Trail is hard enough; running it with the intention of setting the fastest known time is even harder. One of the country’s top ultrarunners depicts his epic adventure as he goes for the fastest known time.

Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.
By Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky

Pro runner Flanagan just launched this cookbook, and it’s created a huge buzz in the running scene thanks to fun, tasty, healthy and easy-to-follow recipes. It’s a great compilation for any healthy household and helps solve the question of what to make for dinner this week.

About the Author

Molly Hurford
Molly Hurford

Molly is an outdoor adventurer and professional nomad obsessed with all things running, nutrition, cycling and movement-related. When not outside, she’s writing and podcasting about being outside, training and health. You can follow along with her adventures on Instagram at @mollyjhurford.


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