My Top Five Books for Women Runners

5 years ago

Fall is in the air and if you are a runner the racing season has begun! I consider this the most wonderful time of the year because I travel near and far to get my running fix. This year I am running my very first full marathon in Washington, DC, I’m traveling to Savannah for a fast flat course for a half-marathon the following week, and in November I’m sure I’ll be running the Atlanta Thanksgiving Day half-marathon. I am looking forward to ending the year with a bang by running my first international race in Negril, Jamaica the Reggae Half-Marathon. Although it is sure to be hot, humid and slow having the beach by my side and jumping in the water at the finish is priceless!

During my downtime from running, I have plans to dig in to some running books written by and for women. If you are not a runner you will be inspired to run/jog/trot/walk (hopefully) by one or more of these books and if you are an experienced runner there is great motivation for you to keep going! Here are my top five books for women about running.

Train like a Mother by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea

Train Like A Mother is the follow-up book to the widely popular Run Like A Mother. It provides both humor and practical advice for training to run races ranging from 5ks to full-marathons. For each distance two plans are provided: finish it and own it. I don’t know about you but I like having options! In addition to training plans it is sprinkled with anecdotes from “mother runners” who are part of this dynamic duo's online community. They are always available to answer questions and even if you aren’t a mother, this book should be on your list!

Kara Goucher’s Running For Women by Kara Goucher

Olympic medalist Kara Goucher wrote this book covering topics ranging from getting started running to completing a full marathon. It contains advice regarding nutrition, pregnancy and also incorporates training plans. She also discusses the dynamics of women’s bodies as runners. Even thought I am not running for a Gold (although every time I cross a finish line I feel like an Olympian), Running for Women is full of advice that I look forward to digging into.

Marathon Woman Running The Race to Revolutionize Women’s Sports by Katherine Switzer

If you are not familiar with Katherine Switzer, get thee to Wiki with a quickness! Katherine Switzer is a pioneer in women’s running and paved the way for women in sports. You may be familiar with the iconic photo from 1967 of Katherine running the Boston Marathon and being chased by the race director who wanted to prevent her from running this formerly all-male race. Marathon Woman is full of inspiration for both runners and non-runners alike.

The Complete Book of Running for Women by Claire Kowalchik

The Complete Book of Running for Women is written by the former managing editor of Runners World, who has run eight marathons and countless races. In this book she provides readers with a comprehensive guide to running for women. It is perfect for both seasoned and new runners, providing guidance on everything from running shoes, to bras and treadmill running. She also addresses topics like menopause, nutrition, weight training and also includes training plans for races. A one stop shop for women runners!

The NonRunner’s Marathon Guide for Women: Get Off Your Butt and On with Your Training by Dawn Dais

This book is geared toward beginning runners and is written from the perspective of a complete couch potato turned runner. It is a highly entertaining read but I would caution you NOT to follow her training plan if you are a beginner. In The NonRunner’s Marathon Guide for Women Dais highlights her experience of having only four months to train for a marathon with no prior running experience. If you are looking for laughs and inspiration this book is for you!

It is my hope that one or more of these books ends up on your bookshelf (or kindle) I am looking forward to some great reads during this race season!

Renee J. Ross My Life in Motion

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