UltraRunning Books

Ultra Running Books: Must-Read List

As an Amazon affiliate, Wicked Trail LLC earns from qualifying purchases of these books for ultrarunners (don’t worry, it doesn’t cost you extra).

Fictional Ultra Running Books

Fiction uses human themes to tell stories that convey deep meaning. Suffering, companionship, achievement, victory, sensation, adventure: they’re all represented in fictional stories.

And they’re literally represented in ultrarunning.

Dive into these stories to immerse yourself in the human condition and evolve through your relation to the characters. Fall into another place, time, or world. Don’t forget to bring something back with you. We put this section first in our ultra marathon book list for one simple reason: we love adventure and creativity.

Inspiring Athlete Stories

Ultra marathon runners truly are modern day gladiators. They enter dark and painful arenas to do battle with some frightful enemy. Forests and mountains and unending loops of pavement or gravel carry the sounds of their battles. Men and women, influential for their candid testimonies about the power of entering the infamous pain cave, who set the example of living a life fulfilled, of pursuing dreams, and of settling for nothing but YOUR best. These are their stories.

Read about great personalities like Dean Karnazes, Emelie Forsberg, Rich Roll, Kilian Jornet, Catra Corbett, Scott Jurek, and David Goggins in these inspiring athlete ultra marathons books. From Navy SEAL training to Western States 100, you’ll be captivated by what one can accomplish with a proper mindset, and an adventurous spirit.

Just getting familiar with these athletes? Perhaps start with Born to Run or Finding Ultra.

Ultra Marathon Books about Training

Training for an ultra marathon is more than good running shoes and daydreams of the finish line. Simplicity is essential, especially for first-timers, but learning from those who have accomplished that which you seek (and more) can have a monumental impact on your approach and mindset. Level up your endurance training with ultrarunning books about training (or two).

Form a training plan and learn from the brightest minds in the world of ultra running. There’s a lot to learn. Start here.

Non Fiction Ultra Running Books

Stories of adventure, suffering, and perseverance are the original ultra marathons. Men and women facing danger, insurmountable odds, or grand adventure paved the way for common people to strive for greatness. The question “What am I capable of?” is born of these stories and adventures. Here’s some we recommend for ultrarunners.

Recommend another book or have yours added to the library. Email george@wickedtrailrunning.com

“Ultrarunners ought to train their minds with books like they train their bodies with miles…”

A good book lets your mind wander into the realm of possibility: What are you, others, and the world capable of? Are there adventures left unexplored? What new experiences or investigations are you drawn to?

Sound a bit like ultrarunning?

Ultrarunning and books are related in ways both obvious and mysterious: some stories scream at you with the ideals of the ultra marathon (like discomfort and patience). Others, thought-provoking and clouded with questions, beg the reader to think beyond understanding.

Ultrarunners are always reaching beyond understanding, just like the books they read.

It might be a book about strength training, VO2 max, and splits. Or modern, heroic stories about overcoming addiction and destitution.

Sometimes, it’s fiction, or history, or philosophy.

Reach beyond understanding.

Question your motives, ideals, and actions.

Read a book: explore the lives and adventures of others, as you venture down your own Wicked Trail. What did she learn? Has he changed? Why? What of this journey resembles your own?

So, what comes after your finish line, your mountain peak, your moment of fruition?

Dive into an ultrarunning book, and let me know.

Welcome to the Wicked Trail…

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