10 books every ultra runner should read


Ultra Running Books

Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself

Rich Roll

Finding Ultra - Rich RollOn the eve of his 40th birthday, Rich Roll was in bad shape. His days were filled with work, stress, and junk food, and his nights were spent on the couch, remote in hand. Taking out the trash was the closest he came to exercise, and, at 50 pounds overweight, a walk up the stairs left him winded.

He decided it was time to make a change. After undergoing a diet detox, adopting a vegan lifestyle, and pushing his fitness regimen to undreamed-of heights, he was profiled by Men’s Fitness as one of the world’s 25 fittest men. Among Roll’s many jaw-dropping athletic feats: he completed the unprecedented “Epic 5”–five back-to-back Ironman-distance triathlons on five different Hawaiian islands in under a week–an achievement many said was impossible.

This is the story of that remarkable transformation, a complete physical and spiritual rejuvenation that proves that anyone can “find ultra” if they know how.

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Finding Gobi: The true story of a little dog and an incredible journey

Dion Leonard

Finding GobiIn 2016, Dion Leonard, a seasoned ultramarathon runner, unexpectedly stumbled across a little stray dog while competing in a gruelling 155 mile race across the Gobi Desert. The lovable pup, who earned the name ‘Gobi’, proved that what she lacked in size, she more than made up for in heart, as she went step for step with Dion over the treacherous Tian Shan Mountains, managing to keep pace with him for nearly 80 miles.

As Dion witnessed the incredible determination of this small animal, he felt something change within himself. In the past he had always focused on winning and being the best, but his goal now was simply to make sure that his new friend was safe, nourished and hydrated. Although Dion did not finish first, he felt he had won something far greater and promised to bring Gobi back to the UK for good to become a new addition to his family. This was the start of a journey neither of them would ever forget with a roller coaster ride of drama, grief, heartbreak, joy and love that changed their lives forever.

Finding Gobi is the ultimate story of hope, of resilience and of friendship, proving once again, that dogs really are ‘man’s best friend.’
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Hal Koerner’s Field Guide to Ultrarunning: Training for an Ultramarathon, from 50K to 100 Miles and Beyond

by Hal Koerner & Adam W. Chase

Field Guide to Ultra RunningUltramarathon doesn t leave much room for mistakes. Don t learn the hard way get a jump on training for an ultramarathon with Hal Koerner’s Field Guide to Ultrarunning a comprehensive handbook to running 30 to 100 miles and beyond, written by one of the most experienced and recognized athletes in the sport.Hal Koerner is among America s best ultrarunners with podium results in more than 90 ultramarathons. In his smart, down-to-earth handbook, Koerner shares hard-earned wisdom, field-tested habits, and insider tips to help you prepare for your ultra. You ll find guidance on exactly what you need to know to prepare for ultramarathon, including: best gear for ultrarunningfueling and hydration guidelines choosing an ultra trail-running technique first-aid advice beating altitude, storms, and heat race-day game planscrew and pacer tips mental strategies to get you to the finish lineThe guide offers three detailed training plans to prepare for 50K, 50-mile to 100K, and 100-mile ultramarathons. Start your ultra with confidence and finish it strong with Hal Koerner s Field Guide to Ultrarunning!

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Training Essentials for Ultrarunning: How to Train Smarter, Race Faster, and Maximize Your Ultramarathon Performance

Jason Koop

Training essentials for ultrarunningWhen elite ultrarunners have a need for speed, they turn to coach Jason Koop. Koop reveals his highly effective ultramarathon training program in in Training Essentials for Ultrarunning.

The traditional way of training for ultrarunning is to simply pile on the miles or try an approach that worked for a friend. Yet ultramarathons are not just longer marathons, and simply running more will not prepare you adequately for the race experience you want. Training Essentials for Ultrarunning will revolutionize training for those who want to race an ultramarathon instead of just gut it out to the finish line.

Koop’s race-proven ultramarathon program is based on sound science, the most current research, and years of experience coaching the sport s star runners to podium performances. His training method is rooted in a a structured, periodized ultra training plan that focuses on developing an athlete’s energy systems for the long haul. Runners using Training Essentials for Ultrarunning will gain much more than Koop s training approach: The science behind ultramarathon performanceCommon ultramarathon failure points and how to solve themHow to use interval training to focus workout, make gains, reduce injuries, and race fasterSimple, effective fueling and hydration strategiesThe A.D.A.P.T. method for making the right decisions to solve a race-day crisisHow to plan your ultra season for better racingCourse-by-course coaching guides to iconic U.S. ultramarathons including American River 50, Badwater 135, Hardrock 100, Javelina 100, JFK 50, Lake Sonoma 50, Leadville 100, Vermont 100, Wasatch 100, and Western States 100. How to achieve your goal, whether it s finishing or winning

A revolution is coming to ultrarunning as ultramarathoners shed old habits and embrace the smarter methods that science and experience show are better. Featuring stories and advice from ultrarunning stars Dakota Jones, Kaci Lickteig, Dylan Bowman, Timothy Olson, and others who work with Jason Koop, Training Essentials for Ultrarunning is the go-to guide for first-time ultrarunners and competitive ultramarathoners. ”

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Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness

by Scott Jurek

‘Run until you can’t run anymore. Then run some more. Find a new source of energy and will. Then run even faster.’ The words of Scott Jurek, a dominant force – and darling – in the gruelling and growing sport of ultrarunning for more than a decade. In 1999, as a complete unknown, he took the lead in the Western States Endurance Run, a 100-mile jaunt over the Gold Rush trails of America’s Sierra Nevada. He went on to win that race seven years in a row. Jurek was also one of the elite runners who travelled to Mexico to run with the Tarahumara Indians, as profiled in the international bestseller Born to Run. His accomplishments are nothing short of extraordinary.

In Eat and Run, Jurek opens up about his life and career as an elite athlete, and about the vegan diet that is key to his success. From his Midwestern childhood of hunting and fishing to his slow transition to ultrarunning and veganism, to his epic, record-breaking races, Jurek’s story shows the power of an iron will and the importance of thinking of food as fuel.

Full of stories of endurance and competition as well as practical advice and some of his original recipes, Eat and Run will motivate people to go the distance, whether that means getting out for a first run, expanding your food horizons, or simply exploring the limits of human potential.

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Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons

Bryon Powell

Relentless Forward ProgressMarathons have become too easy for some runners. What was once the pinnacle of achievement in a runner’s life is now a stepping stone for extraordinary adventure in ultramarathoning. The number of ultrarunners–those running distances of 50k (31 miles), 50 miles, 100k (62 miles), or 100 miles–is growing astronomically each year. Dean Karnazes’ Ultramarathon Man and Chris McDougall’s Born to Run have inspired tens of thousands to try these seemingly superhuman distances.

But to date, there has been no practical guide to ultramarathoning. Now, Bryon Powell has written Relentless Forward Progress, the first how-to manual for aspiring ultrarunners. Powell covers every aspect of training for and racing ultra distances. Along the way, more than a dozen elites and experts, including Geoff Roes, Krissy Moehl, Michael Wardian, Dave Mackey, and David Horton, provide invaluable advice on running ultramarathons.

By its conclusion, this encyclopedic volume prepares runners for going farther than they have ever gone before and, in the process, shows them that they are capable of the “impossible.”

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The Ultra Mindset: An Endurance Champion’s 8 Core Principles for Success in Business, Sports, and Life

John Hanc

Ultra MondsetTravis Macy summited glacial peaks in the French Alps, rappelled into vast limestone caves in China, and ran through parched deserts in Utah. Most famously, he won one of the country’s marquee ultra-distance events: Leadman, a high-altitude series of super-long-distance races, culminating with a 100-mile mountain biking race and a 100-mile trail run.

Macy accomplished it without exceptional strength, speed, or flexibility, and without high-tech performance labs or performance-enhancing drugs.His secret? A precise and particular outlook he calls the “Ultra Mindset,” principles for daily life that are neither mysterious nor the sole province of ascetics or elite athletes: embrace fear, rewrite stories we tell ourselves, and master the art of seeking help, among others.

By applying the principles such as “It’s All Good Mental Training,” “When you have no choice, anything is possible,” and “Never quit…except when you should quit” to other areas of life, anyone can find success that otherwise would have seemed impossible.Coauthored with award-winning running writer and journalist John Hanc, The Ultra Mindset blends exciting personal memoir with actionable, research-based advice.

Dramatic stories of Macy’s far-flung experiences in the professional endurance-racing world lead into relevant mindset principles, reflective self-assessments, mind- and body-enhancing workouts and activities, and compelling case studies. Macy’s stories keep the pages turning as you forge your own winning outlook for success in business, sports, and life.

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Running Beyond: Epic Ultra, Trail and Skyrunning Races

Ian Corless

Running Beyond: Epic Ultra, Trail and Skyrunning RacesWhether the adventure occurs on the twisting trails of the world’s mountain peaks, in the intense heat of desert sands or the gritty demands of rocky paths, running far and running hard is all about the journey. The sport of ultra pushes the legs, heart and lungs through some of the world’s most incredible locations, testing both body and mind to the limit.

Ian Corless has travelled across the globe to document the stunning beauty and incredible routes of some of the world’s most iconic ultra trails. From a hard, technical route through the Grand Canyon to the snow-capped peaks of Italy’s Dolomites, the physicality and intensity of the sport are brought to life through this stunning collection of photographs.

Exclusive interviews with the legends of the sport – including Kilian Jornet, Emelie Forsberg and Anton Krupicka – describe the technical challenges and emotional experiences of running to these extreme heights and endurance distances.

With maps and profiles for each race, and filled with striking and evocative images capturing the action and drama of the races – and the men and women who run them – Running Beyond is a beautiful homage to the sport of ultra. It is an inspiration for anyone who has ever dreamed of running beyond on the world’s most beautiful and testing races.

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Run or Die: The Inspirational Memoir of the World’s Greatest Ultra-Runner

by Kilian Jornet

Run or die - Killian JornetShortlisted for the 2014 William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award
National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2014
Marca Legend Award 2014

‘This man can run 100 miles. Up and down mountains. Without stopping. After skipping breakfast. Meet Kilian Jornet, the world’s greatest ultra-runner’ The Times

At 18 months he went on his first hike. At 3, he climbed his first mountain. At 10, he entered his first mountain race. At 26, he plans to run up Everest – without an oxygen mask.

Kilian Jornet has conquered some of the toughest physical tests on the planet. He has run up and down Mt. Kilimanjaro faster than any other human being, and struck down world records in every challenge that has been proposed – all before the age of 25. Dominating ultra marathons and races at altitude, he has redefined what is possible in running, astonishing competitors with his near-superhuman fitness and ability.

In Run or Die Kilian shares his passion, inviting readers into a fascinating world rich with the beauty of rugged trails and mountain vistas, the pulse-pounding drama of racing, and an intense love for sport and the landscapes that surround him. In turns inspiring, insightful, candid, and deeply personal, this is a book written from the heart of the world’s greatest endurance runner, for whom life presents one simple choice: Run. Or die.

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Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner

by Dean Karnazes

Ultra Marathon ManAs an athlete, ultrarunning legend (Men’s Journal) Dean Karnazes has run 350 miles without rest and is probably the first person to eat an entire pizza while running. As an author, he has inspired countless couch potatoes to get off the couch, cancel the cable, and start running. In September, Karnazes embarks on his most monumental feat ever, The North Face Endurance 50. Beginning September 17 (at the Lewis & Clark Marathon in St. Charles, Missouri), Dean will run fifty marathons (each marathon is 26.2 miles) in fifty states on fifty consecutive days. The North Face Endurance 50 will culminate with Dean’s run in the New York City Marathon on November 5.Promotional blow-in cards for this unprecedented run, sure to receive extraordinary media coverage, are inserted in this paperback edition of Ultramarathon Man, which also includes a new epilogue with Dean’s diet and training tips.

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Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

by Christopher McDougall

Born to Run by Christopher McDougallAt the heart of Born to Run lies a mysterious tribe of Mexican Indians, the Tarahumara, who live quietly in canyons and are reputed to be the best distance runners in the world; in 1993, one of them, aged 57, came first in a prestigious 100-mile race wearing a toga and sandals. A small group of the world’s top ultra-runners (and the awe-inspiring author) make the treacherous journey into the canyons to try to learn the tribe’s secrets and then take them on over a course 50 miles long.

With incredible energy and smart observation, McDougall tells this story while asking what the secrets are to being an incredible runner. Travelling to labs at Harvard, Nike, and elsewhere, he comes across an incredible cast of characters, including the woman who recently broke the world record for 100 miles and for her encore ran a 2:50 marathon in a bikini, pausing to down a beer at the 20 mile mark

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