Christmas Gifts for a Running Coach aka Running Books

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Running books are the perfect gifts for your favorite running coach or runner! We should all be lifelong students, right?

If you have been reading the blog for any amount of time, you know a few things: a) that I am a Running Coach b) I’m a running nerd and c) I like penguins. And if you have been reading for the past two months (has it really been only 2 months?), you also know that I am a running coach who can’t run, initially cleared to continue exercise but for the past month on forced rest since discovering I have a sacral stress fracture. Sooooo… It would be kind of a cruel joke to give me running gear, as I received last year and the year before.

Well, you appeal to the one part of my body that I CAN devote to training: my brain, and you help me further develop myself as a coach!

Running Books for Running Coaches

The idea of asking for #allthe running books, and specifically, all the marathon training books, for Christmas came to me randomly as I desperately tried to come up with gift ideas for Alex’s family to give to me. I had picked out several books after my RRCA coaching certification, but I hadn’t previously had the extra cash to devote to purchasing. BINGO Perfect gift. Adding to the library, when Alex and I went through an epic clean out of our front room, we came across several unused gift cards, including one from Barnes and Noble (this was from a Christmas long ago, when people still frequented actual bookstores, lol). I had never used it, it had no expiration date; jackpot.

I’m still waiting on one more book, but here is my new and improved Library of Running Books!

Daniels’ Running Formula by Jack Daniels

I actually got this in October during RRCA certification. Considered one of the running coaches’ bibles, this is a fantastic resource for both coaches and runners alike. Daniels delves into method, methodology, psychology, and his own history. I found it fascinating, and reading the Daniels’ Running Formula only whetted my appetite for more reading on training for all running distances, not just marathon training.

80/20 Running by Matt Fitzgerald

This is the first of the Christmas running books that I have read, and I think it will prove immeasurably helpful. Fitzgerald has a very approachable writing style but also delves into the science of running and the science behind the psychology and method that he is supporting. I will definitely be incorporating many of these teachings into my coaching plans, as I think that 80/20 Running will prove to be very helpful and applicable to my current athletes. Fitzgerald delves into heart rate training, a training method that is becoming increasingly popular and accessible thanks to heart rate monitors now on the general market. Learning more about Fitzgerald’s zones will help me provide more options to my clients when it comes to flexibility during full and half marathon training.

Quick Strength for Runners by Jeff Horowitz

I may be a certified personal trainer practiced in creating supplemental workouts for runners, but a) you can never know too much and b) books like Quick Strength for Runners will help me with cuing my clients when I am not with them.

Build Your Running Body by Pete Magill

I wanted Build Your Running Body for the same reasons as Quick Strength for Runners; trying to stay on top of my game, by continuing my education and having a reference on strength training specifically for runners.

Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger and Scott Douglas

Another comprehensive guide for optimizing performance and training, Advanced Marathoning is a beautifully efficient and highly regarded reference for marathoners.  I am excited to see how Pfitzinger and Douglas explicate and articulate the marathon training process. I started it last night, and this book, dedicated to the art of marathon training, is beautifully articulate but straightforward at explaining key concepts, such as lactate threshold, VO2 Max, and more. It is a great review and refresher for me!

Better Training for Distance Runners by David Martin and Peter Coe

Described as the “complete manual for athletes, coaches, and educators,” Better Training for Distance Runners delves into the science behind each distance from 800m to the marathon. I anticipate this book to be similar in structure to but deeper in depth than Daniels’ Running Formula. S

Obviously, there are still so many more running books on everything from strength training for runners to marathon training plans to 5k training that I hope to add to my collection, but I think that this is a great start for me to start taking in and studying. I am also still waiting on The Runner’s Brain by Jeff Brown.

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