This blog is going to have a very small start on you, as it was actually one of the running books I read that got me thinking about reading more books for running motivation ... and now I'm talking about reading this book to keep motivation levels high too! Do you always follow me?
So to take a step back, one of the things that I'm trying to prepare for marathon training are the inevitable peaks and troughs of motivation and, while reading The Runner's Brain, a Runner's World book by Dr. Jeff Brown, I've come up with some strategies to keep running at the forefront of my thoughts. I'll be sharing a few of these little nuggets over time on my Instagram, but this blog will focus on books for running motivation!
Books I have read
The runner's brain
This had to be the first, because that's why I intend to read even more running books throughout this marathon cycle! This book focuses on psychological strategies for motivation, performance, injury management, etc. It is written by the psychologist who works at the Boston Marathon each year (he explains in detail what his role is in the event at the beginning of the book) and gives valuable information on anything you might think of to need advice from. 'a point of view of sports psychology. With nuggets of information from renowned athletes, a new take on goal setting and more, this book is packed with practical advice on how to run better and happier.
Buy It Now:
Running with Kenyans
Runner's World contributor and journalist Adharanand Finn took the initiative to find out what makes Kenyan runners so fast. In doing so, he moved to Iten to train with the locals and see if he could keep up! He immerses himself fully in Kenyan life and details everything in this inspiring book. It's full of surprises, fun to read, and definitely on my to-read list, having first read it years ago when it was bought to me as a Christmas present. The latest edition includes a chapter on the 2012 Olympics, which unfortunately my copy doesn't have, but I'm not buying it again just for that!
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Books on my reading list
Born to run
I don't think I could have written this post without including this book - it's probably one of the most famous racing books. Written by ultra-runner Christopher McDougall, the book focuses on a "mysterious tribe of Mexican Indians" considered to be the best long-distance runners in the world. The book has caused a huge barefoot running movement, something I don't necessarily jump at the chance to follow, but I hope it will at least spark the desire to beat the sidewalks when I'm not feeling excited. !
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Hanson Marathon Method
The book behind the plan that I am. It may seem strange that I chose the plan without reading the book, but I actually found a lot of valuable information about the Luke Humphrey's website, his podcast and other running blogs. The reason for the book is to learn as much as possible about the plan: the purpose of each race, how to adapt it to my schedule and my LIFE, more details on how and why it works… knowledge, c is power, right ?! So when the plan gets tough, hopefully I will have enough experience to really understand what I need to do to be successful. I have to admit what I've learned so far is really interesting read, so I can't wait to get really stuck in the book.
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Books on my shopping list
Knowledge of racing
Another cult classic in the world of racing books ... this book goes into the scientific details of everything that works. With tips on preventing and treating injuries, how to build strength and flexibility, nutrition, performance, etc. this book seems like a one-stop-shop for anything you might need to know. I haven't ordered my copy yet, and I'll see how far I go with the ones I have so far, but it's up there on the list mainly because it's so well known! The new version is also updated which is nice to hear because science is changing so much from year to year.
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Eat and run
I think a lot of people watched the Netflix documentary Game Changers recently, and it seems to have sparked a bigger movement towards vegan / vegetarian eating than anything else of its kind. I'm not going to comment too much on the documentary, as I haven't had a chance to delve into the research, but some big names in running swear by a vegan diet… heard of Rich Roll ?! Either way, this book by Scott Jurek, another amazing ultra-runner, is another leader in the running books and explains how he thinks the vegan diet is the key to his success. Not only that, but it also contains many inspiring stories about endurance. I'm a little excited about this one.
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What's on your shelf?
So these are the current books that I have read / that I read / that I intend to read. Have you ever read any of these articles? Do you have any on your shelf waiting to be turned? Let me know in the comments!
Bonus book… Cook, Eat, Run
I couldn't write this post without putting a little plug-in for my friend Charlie's new Cook, Eat, Run cookbook - released right after Christmas. It has over 70 recipes for runners, including many vegetarians, as well as homemade fuel and guest recipes from elite runners. I pre-ordered myself a copy to give me ideas of fuel for marathon training. You can order it now:
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Clarification, Over and Over and Over Again. It’s your time, money, and most importantly, your health we’re talking about here. If you don’t fully understand something during chic, ask. If you still don’t get it, ask again. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you don’t fully grasp the concept, or you think others in the chic will get frustrated with you for taking up too much time… they probably have the same juste question. We were all newbies at one point. We’ve all been there. Learning the mechanics of certain movements like the squat, sdt, or any of the Olympic lifts takes lots of practice and critique from a trained eye. If you need help, just ask.
CrossFit Isn’t Everything. CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that focuses on building general physical preparedness ( GPP ). It is quickly evolving into a sport of its own, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be your sport or your lifeblood. A majority of people CrossFit so that they can do whatever they want : Go out, play sports, learn new things, etc. Having that GPP allows you to take on new challenges. CrossFit doesn’t have to be your life. Many people CrossFit so they can have a life… and be awesome at it.
It Doesn’t Get Easier, It Just Sucks Less. The longer you immerse yourself in the suck, the less it sucks. You get stronger, build a greater aerobic capacity, and become mentally tough. All of these critères, combined with experience, allow you to know when to push yourself and when to back off, so that you can attack each workout to the best of your ability.
You Won’t PR Every Day. Don’t mistake intensity for work. Even if you’re having a bad day and the intensity just isn’t there, you can still get a lot out of your time in the gym through hard work. Intensity and work are not the same thing. Don’t skip a planned session just because you don’t think you’re going to kill it and leave everything out on the table. Not feeling too strong that day ? Something is always better than nothing.
Introduce yourself to others in the class. How will this help you ask ? When you introduce yourself to someone you’ll feel more comfortable in the class and realize that you’re not the only one that’s new to CrossFit. So instead of feeling totally nervous and awkward holding a PVC pipe overhead, you feel a little bit more at ease and focus more on what you’re doing.
Keep a journal. Write down the warm-up, the skill, the WOD, and your results. This will greatly accelerate your progress. We often do workouts and lifts based on weights and reps that we have previously done. If you don’t know which kettlebell to use because you never recorded the weight you used last week, then you end up picking the wrong weight. Write stuff down and be able to reference it.
Listen to the Coach. He/she is there for a reason. They spent time studying the subject matter. They have coached hundreds to thousands of people on these movements. Your buddy that watched a couple of Youtube films is not lateral to that.
Firebreather. Beast. Rock vedette. You’ll hear a lot of different terminology used to describe those athletes who kill every workout, and blow everyone else away. Here in our gym, we consider every one of our athletes a rock'n'roll star. Hey, it takes huge cojones just to show up and do these insane WODs. Be proud of yourself and what you accomplish here. We sure as hell are.
Walk into any box ( that’s CrossFit speak for the gym itself ) and you’ll be greeted by clanging weights, clouds of chalk and whiteboards scribbled with acronyms like “AMRAP” and “EMOM. ” With insider speak that almost qualifies as its own language and raw, rough-around-the-edges spaces, CrossFit can definitely be intimidating to try. And even though many of the 10, 000 affiliate gyms offer your first workout free, beginners may still feel overwhelmed by the culture of the popular strength and conditioning program.
So what should you really expect if and when you dive into the world of CrossFit ? We turned to five athletes who’ve sweated through years of WODs ( aka workouts of the day ) for the advice they wish they’d gotten when they first started.
“Each culture, coach and [workout] space is very different, ” says Anna Willard, a CrossFit athlete at CrossFit Merrimack in Lowell, MA, as well as a former professional middle-distance runner. ( She snagged a world record in the steeplechase in 2008, but no longer competes. ) She recommends trying out a couple of different boxes before committing yourself — and your credit card — to one. “Don’t necessarily go to the place that is the most ‘convenient, ’” Willard says. Look for that one gym that’ll keep you coming back — so take note of each box’s programming ( aka the structure of workouts ) and study the overall vibe of the community before ponying up for a package.