Running + Reading = Perfect Combo

bookreview 1024x512 Running + Reading = Perfect ComboI am something of a bookworm, but at the same time, I don’t read tons of running material that isn’t training related. So inspirational bios by elite runners aren’t generally on my reading list. No offense to any of them and their stories, but it’s just not my pick. What I do like, however, is a good, solid book on training philosophies or even the occasional novel that weaves running into its pages.

Two recent reads that fit into these categories were so good that I had to do reviews of both. First up, Anatomy for Runners by Jay Dicharry. I’m going to say it: EVERY runner should read this book. Period. It is the be all, end all, look at how our bodies work, how they don’t work, and how to help fix them. Jay is a brilliant PT and yet he explains the how and why on a very civilian level. I’ve often felt there is a gap between PT and running–Jay closes that gap.

The first half of the book digs into the hows of good running form as well as how and why we get injured. You get a real sense of how most of us forgo some very simple building blocks that can help us safeguard against injury. The second half gives you the diagnostics to figure out where your body might need some help and then follows up with how to improve in these areas. It’s info you might not want if you’d prefer to turn a blind eye to your areas of weakness, but the smart runner will go through the tests and then do something about it. Sidenote–the stability move the girl is doing on the front cover is part of my PT routine and let me tell you, it’s not easy to do properly!

My second book, On the Lips of Children, is a novel with two marathoners as the central characters. Written by Mark Matthews, a runner, blogger, and established author, it follows running couple Erin and Macon on a trip to San Diego where Macon plans to run the SD marathon. (Incidentally, that same marathon is this weekend) His ill-timed shake out run the day before on the wrong path leads to some pretty horrific consequences. Erin later follows him with their daughter in the baby jogger and ends up accosted in the same underground tunnel as Macon. Their hard fight for freedom (or not?) will have you on the edge of your seat.

I’m going to leave the plot at that because I want you to read this book, but let’s just say you will think twice about where and when you run in a new locale! I couldn’t put the book down and once I finished, I wanted answers. A few tweets to Mark left me perhaps a bit more convinced on my theory about the ending, but I still have questions. The fact that it left me thinking about the possibilities after I had closed the book is always a good sign. Put this on your summer reading list!

Anyone read either of these books? What’s a great book on running you’ve read lately?

Disclosure: Mark Matthews gave me a free copy of On the Lips of Children but all those opinions are my own.

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  1. Great review! Both sound like great books! I will keep those in mind.
    Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness recently posted..Memorial Day RunsMy Profile

  2. I tried to get Anatomy for Runners book from my library but it’s not available. I guess I’ll have to buy it. I’m sure I’ll use it as a reference guide for years anyway.
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..High Five FridayMy Profile

  3. I read anatomy for runners and now actually need to put in to practice some of the moves i wrote down, whoops. I’m doing so many other PT things i forgot!!

    now the second one I haven’t even seen, must find!
    Amanda @runtothefinish recently posted..The lure of the running streak and why I’m notMy Profile

  4. On the Lips of Children sounds so good. I will definitely have to check that out. I am a huge reader and actually do a lot of my reading while biking on the trainer. I am also part of a book club that meets monthly (but unfortunately I’m the only one in the group who likes to read about running). My dad got me some running biographies for my birthday in April that I’m going to dig into. I also want to read The Fault in Our Stars next month. Thanks for sharing!
    Jesica @rUnladylike recently posted..Weekly Training Recap: I’m Baaaacck!My Profile

  5. I’m a bookworm, too, and I love adding to my reading list. Thanks for the recommendations. Can’t wait to check these out!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..Training for a Goal Race: A Guest Post by Jill ConyersMy Profile

  6. oooh off to get ON THE LIPS… for my kindle!
    Carla recently posted..Brazen is in the Eyes of the Beholder (guest post).My Profile

  7. I’m always looking for new reads. I have that Anatomy for Runners book and highly recommend it to any runner who ever talks about an injury. I have it highlighted, bookmarked, dog-eared! I
    Heather (Where’s the Beach) recently posted..It’s Raining, It’s Pouring .. I’m RunningMy Profile

    • MissZippy says:

      Me too! I first had it in Kindle but then had to get hard copy so I could do all my earmarking!

  8. First, a huge thanks to Amanda for the shout-out to On the Lips of Children. She’s just darn good people. The book is a dark one, but ultimately it is about the things we do for love, and the internal battles that a marathon makes us face. There is a bit of horror at the start of every marathon as we shiver in the chute wondering what the miles will bring (at least for me). I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Second, to recommend a book that isn’t mine, there is a wonderful YA book out there with a running component that had me in tears the last ten pages. It’s called “The Sea of Tranquility” by Kitja Millay. Check it out (ya know, after you read these two).

    • MissZippy says:

      Thanks, Mark. Love having the author chime in! And will add the YA book to my kids’ reading list!

  9. I’ve read Anatomy F. R. but have yet to complete the exercise section at the end.
    You’ve got my curiosity up regarding the other book. It sounds like a good read but I don’t need anything to heighten my anxiety about running over new ground. I’m a complete chicken if my dogs aren’t with me.
    Joanne recently posted..Roasted Beets with FarroMy Profile

  10. I can’t wait to read the anatomy one. Sounds fascinating. I’ve read other MM books but not this one.
    Marcia recently posted..A Runner Walks Up To a Barre…My Profile

  11. I’m def going to check out the Anatomy for Runners book
    Kovas – Midwest Multisport Life recently posted..Coastal Dog ApparelMy Profile

  12. Ooh thanks for the referrals…sound like good books especially the novel. Thanks :)
    Robin recently posted..Sulphur Springs 50 Mile Trail RunMy Profile

  13. I’m a book worm too! Both of those sound like great summer reads!
    LisaM@RunWiki recently posted..Mountain 2 Beach Marathon 2014 RecapMy Profile

  14. I haven’t read either of the books, but I just ordered On The Lips Of Children. It’s pretty crazy how easily (with about three clicks and 30 seconds) I was able to order it and will have it on my doorstep in two days! Thanks for the recommendations!
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted..It’s Official, I’m Almost Official!My Profile

  15. We have anatomy of runners. Such a good resource. Which reminds me, I need to look at it again

  16. I NEED Anatomy for Runners. Thanks for the rec!
    jill conyers recently posted..5 Things: Peace of Mind EditionMy Profile

  17. Wow, both books sound good! I’m a voracious reader…I don’t read much running related stuff, but I do love a good thriller.

    I’m really interested in Anatomy for Runners. With all those fractures in this foot, I’m really curious to figure out what the heck it is about my running form that makes me put so much pressure on that one area. My trainer, who is a correctional exercise specialist, did an analysis last summer and we’ve been working on strengthening but was it too little to late? Plus being in the medical profession makes me interested in the science of it all.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted..And so it goes…My Profile

    • MissZippy says:

      You would love this book. It really helped me understand my many issues and luckily, my PT is in line with Jay’s philosophy so I have made some great progress on these fronts. Go get it!

  18. I want to read that anatomy for runners book!! I love love love learning more about anatomy. It fascinates me.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Ask a Yogini: What is Pranayama?My Profile

  19. I’m going to look into the Anatomy for Runners book. That is exactly what I have been looking for. I’m tired of so many injuries so it’s time to go on the offensive. Thanks for the suggestion.
    Randy recently posted..Chi RunningMy Profile


  1. […] writer Mark Matthews is taking over with a Halloween special just for runners. You may remember I reviewed his book “On the Lips of Children” earlier this year and loved every creepy, running related […]

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