Reading and Running: Great Motivational Partners

Happy New Year! We hope your running year is already off to a good start, and stays strong through the 12 months. Reading about running can provide great motivation.

Here are several of the running books we most enjoyed last year. If you haven't read them, they have our unqualified endorsement. (We also like our own books, and would be happy to have you try them, but it didn't seem quite fair to mention them here. )

Endure, Alex Hutchinson
Endure was the must-read science-of-endurance book in 2018. But don't expect a list of simple tips. Instead, you’ll find lots of thought-provoking explorations to motivate your personal challenges. In the middle of Endure, Hutchinson writes chapters titled “Pain,” “Muscle,” “Oxygen,” “Heat,” “Thirst,” and “Fuel"--all the topics you've debated for decades. But the book is mostly about how the brain influences performance. Again, no easy answers. But we all agree that

PROFILE—Reno Stirrat has been running for 49 years

Competing in the USATF Masters
5K XC Champs, 2017, Boston
Reno Stirrat is a legend in his own time. He is the only American to have run a marathon in five decades in under 2:45, and one of only two people in the world who have done so.  At 64, he is still running strong and has set another goal: in 2020 he’s going for another decade of sub-three-hour marathons. He recently returned home to New Jersey from Quincy, Massachusetts, and runs with the Shore Athletic Club.

When did you start running and why?  September 1969 (DOB 1954) to get in shape for football then ran the 440 in track. During football we started every practice by running a mile, which I would be first in. The cross-country coach watched this and was interested in my speed. He conspired with the football coach and set me up to see just how fast I could run. 

At the next practice, instead of having me run the mile with the team, he held me back by 30 seconds and told me if I didn’t win I had to do 10 hills. I still won and watched as the team did 10 hills because he told them the same thing.  My sophomore year everyone got bigger and I got taller but