Running Book Reviews with Alan and Liz

Running Book Reviews with Alan and Liz

All types of running related books are reviewed by two non-elite track, road and trail runners. Observation and description of running books intended to inform, help and inspire anyone involved or related to running at any level. Whenever possible we chat with the author about the book, but if not then we try to do it justice. If you have been enjoying the podcast and want more, you can follow us on Facebook and Instagram. You can also go to our Buy Me A Coffee website where we have a few more posts:


September 15, 2023 57 mins

On The Run is a hard cover coffee table style book featuring a collection of runs and stories about running from around the world. Each run is its own story so you don’t need to read the book cover to cover and each run features large photos of spectacular scenery. The book has an introduction to running in the first section, and the remainder is divided into 6 sections:
Distances and Terrains
City runs
Mountain Runs

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Get to the Line in the Best Shape Possible is a collection of articles written by the author and assembled into a book under one of 4 categories:

  1. Lifestyle
  2. Training
  3. Supplemental training
  4. Injury and Health

The book is available in both PDF and audiobook format.

 Eoin Everard is a sub 4-minute miler, Sub 14 minute 5K and sub 30 minute 10K Runner. He is the current European over-35 3000m indoor champion and has represented Ireland ...

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Personal Best Running is a two-part training manual outlining Coach Coogan’s coaching practice and training plans. Part 1 includes 5 chapters about the theory:
1. Coach Coogan’s training principles
2. Building a good training environment
3. Staying strong and healthy
4. Using your mind to run faster
5. Being a student of the sport
Part 2 includes 9 chapters starting with a chapter about mastering the skill o...

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With a name like Born to Run 2 you might be expecting that this is part 2 of Chris McDougall’s story from 2009; there's a little of that, but also so much more. This is the training manual to accompany Born to Run and also features returns of some of the athletes who ran Caballo Blanco’s race organized with the Tarahumara in the Copper Canyons. The book is divided into 3 parts:
Part I - Born to Run – Where the authors remi...

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July 15, 2023 75 mins

In this episode Alan and Liz chat about Steve Magness' book, Do Hard Things. This book talks about toughness and how we all probably think of toughness wrong. Toughness has long been defined as an absence of weakness, but this book challenges that with research to back up the authors claims. In addition, the author proposes 4 pillars for all of us to become more resilient:
Pillar 1 - Ditch the Facade, Embrace Reality

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July 1, 2023 74 mins

You (Only Faster) puts a new spin on the training book. In this book you get some good training principles but Greg uses them to guide you through a 6 step process to modifying a training plan, that you may have gotten online or from a book, to better suite you as a runner. So if the plan follows good training principles, why would you need to modify it, right? Well, you’re an individual who responds and recovers differently to dif...

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The Humiliation Tour is a running themed fiction novel that could’ve probably been 2 novels. There are 2 separate stories, one starting in 1933 during the great depression and the other starting in 1993, that are related in an unexpected way towards the end of the book. Both stories feature a young man that discovers running and this changes his life in some way. Both stories are centered around running and both involve some humili...

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Already 10 books since the last recap episode and also another marathon under our belts. This marathon didn’t go well for either of us but we’ll have another chance in October.

Here are the books we chat about in this episode:

The Mock Olympian, by Michael Long
You can get a copy here:

Fast 5k, by Pete Magill
You can get a copy here:

Out And Back, by Hillary Al...

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In this episode, Alan and Liz chat about Kara Goucher’s recently released book, The Longest Race. They’ll tell you what they learned, what they thought, and why they wanted to read the book in the first place.

Kara Goucher grew up with Olympic dreams. She excelled at running from a young age and was offered a Nike sponsorship deal when she graduated from college. Then in 2004, she was invited to join a secretive, lavishly ...

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A Beautiful Work in Progress is Mirna’s memoir and the story of how she got into ultrarunning and subsequently finishing her first 100k race. Although the book starts with her running, she goes back to her childhood and talks about her family, how she grew up surrounded by cousins, and the time she spent outside with them. Mirna grew up in a body positive environment where all the women who surrounded her were curvy, and where she ...

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April 15, 2023 84 mins

 Run Faster Marathons is dedicated to providing advice that you can incorporate onto your marathon training, to make you faster. The information is divided into 3 sections:

  1. Essential Concepts for Marathon Success – Which talks about knowing your “why?”, some running rules, the right way to increase mileage, improving running form, and the importance of a good warm-up.
  2. The Six Phases of Marathon Training – Which explains each of t...
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April 1, 2023 102 mins

Run Your Best Marathon is a guide to training and racing the marathon distance. The marathon has many challenges if you are trying to run at your full potential; you need to run at a hard effort while managing fuel stores and try to stay focussed for several hours. This book uses science as a base, for concrete tips and recommendations for approaching everything from training, to race day execution and many other topics in between....

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The Villanova Track Story is the story of Villanova University’s dominance in the DMR, distance medley relay, at the Penn Relays from 1966 to 1981. The book features this piece of running history, the athletes involved, and the circumstances that brought it all together. The author, Jerry Bouma, was himself a scholarship athlete from 1970 to 1974, but he tells the story by piecing together information gathered from many people who ...

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Taking Life in Stride is Harvey’s memoire divided into short stories. The stories are divided into themes, and each theme section has an introduction story. There are 6 themes:
Fun on the run
Life’s Little Difficulties
The stories can be read independently but some characters are featured in multiple stories throughout the book, like Harvey’s first dog Chachka.


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February 15, 2023 65 mins

A Runner’s High; My Life in Motion is the story of Dean Karnazes’ return to Western States 100 in his 50’s, at a time when he is also wondering about the future of his running career. He is waitlisted, so doesn’t feel the motivation to train. As he gets to within only a few months of race day, Dean enters a 100k race to kick off his training. Throughout the book Dean reminisces about the past, talks about his family and how they ha...

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February 2, 2023 57 mins

Out and Back; A Runner’s Story of Survival Against All Odds is about Hillary Allen’s miraculous survival and recovery after she fell off a ridge in Tromso Norway during the 2017 Tromso Skyrace 57k. Hillary’s survival and recovery was not only due to her perseverance and desire to live, but also because she had the right help at exactly the right time. During the race there was another competitor, Manu, that was tracking Hillary les...

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January 18, 2023 114 mins

Fast 5k; 25 Crucial Keys and 4 Training Plans is about two-thirds reading and one-third training plans. The reading consists of 25 short chapters, each one about a key to running a fast 5k. There are 15 training keys, 5 lifestyle, diet and gear keys, 5 race day keys, and a bonus key for masters athletes with age-related adjustments and advice. There are various charts and tables throughout the book to demonstrate the principles vis...

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January 1, 2023 77 mins

The Mock Olympian is the story of author Michael Long’s journey to run in every Olympic city, 23 in total, between the 2012 and 2016 Olympic games. Although he tried to combine trips if he was in a particular corner of the world, this goal required a lot of travel and even a month off once it was time to run in North America, which luckily, Michael’s employer approved. The book is divided into 25 short chapters. The first 2 chapter...

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What do you mean we have read another 10 books? Already?! Well then we are due for another reflection on the things we remember, and how all this reading helped us.
Here are the books we chat about in this episode:

Breakthrough Women’s Running, by Neely Spence Gracey and Cindy Kuzma
Running The Orient, by Gavin Boyter
Running Throughout Time, by Roger Robinson
Chase That Smile, by Harold Cabrera

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How She Did It is a compilation of stories from 50 legendary female distance runners spanning 6 decades! The book starts with a short introductory section called “Part 1: The Experts”, that addresses some key factors you need to pay attention to if you want to perform to your full potential. These are physical health, hormonal health, sound nutrition and mental health. “Part 2: The Athletes”,  is where you find the 50 female athlet...

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