While I’m a technical guy, I’m completely fascinated by the human body—perhaps one of the most complex and adaptable machines we’ve ever seen. For me, learning about it and understanding the intricacies of how our bodies work–especially from a performance perspective–is pure joy. I simply can’t get enough.
Building Your Running Body by Pete Magill, Thomas Schwartz, and Melissa Breyer – This is a fantastic book. I believe in understanding the science behind training and this book goes into great depth about the science of running. Pete is a Masters runner, and brings that experience as well by discouraging overtraining, having a holistic approach, and understanding the really small details–such as connective tissue and muscle adapting at different rates. It’s definitely a great read.
Training for the Uphill Athlete by Steve House and Scott Johnson – The thing I love most about this book is that it shows how aerobic threshold changes as you progress. Other books touch on it, but seeing pictures really affects your understanding. All the details make this book an excellent resource.
Running Rewired: Reinvent Your Run for Stablity, Strength, and Speed by Jay Dicharry – It turns out that running isn’t quite as natural as we think. Or rather, it is but then we lose it due to all the modern things around us. Jay’s book helps you identify your weaknesses and strengthen the right areas to correct issues that can cause you long-term pain or damage. And it’s all surprisingly simple.
Anatomy for Runners: Unlocking You Athletic Potential for Health, Speed and Injury Prevention by Jay Dicharry – Title says it all.
Training Essentials for Ultrarunning: How to Train Smarter, Race Faster, and Maximize Your Ultramarathon Performance by Jason Koop – I must admit, I’ve never run a marathon nor an ultramarathon so I can’t speak to what that experience is like. What I can say is that Jason is a no-nonsense kind of guy who leverages science to advance ultrarunning. He’s methodical, meticulous, careful and probably the best ultrarunning coach in the nation. This book is actually good for all runners, but it’s especially useful those looking to prepare for an ultra.
80/20 Running: Run Stronger and Race Faster by Training Slower by Matt Fitzgerald – If you read the other books you’ll find that this presents a similar theme: you need to run slow to prepare to run fast. Easy read and an excellent book–though I personally prefer Training for the Uphill Athlete better.
- Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance by Alex Hutchison – This book is just a fun and informative read. I’m enthralled by the abilities of the human body and this book is full of stories about people who push the boundaries, the theories behind how they can do it, and some insight on just how much further we may be able to go. Alex is a fantastic author and journalist… you should read everything he writes.
(will add more details later)
How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman
Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health by Dr. H. Gilbert Welch
Becoming a Supple Leopard by Dr. Kelley Starrett
The question about what I use comes up from time to time, so here’s a sampling of what I have:
- Salomon Advance Skin 5 Running Pack – with a self-assembled first aid kit that I take with me everywhere
- Saucony Peregrine 7 Trail Shoes
- Hoka Speedgoat 3 Trail Shoes – I use these for road running too, especially on days where I do Basic Training
- Altra Escalante 2 Road Shoes
- Suunto 9 Baro Watch
- Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor
- Stryd Power Meter
- Training Peaks – to keep track of training stress
- DexShell Waterproof Socks – for when it’s cold and I’ll be running through streams
- AllTrails – for planning my trail runs