Running + Reading = Perfect Combo

On the Lips of ChildrenI 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. says

    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

    • MissZippy says

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

  2. says

    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!

  3. says

    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.
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  4. says

    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!

  5. says

    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

  6. Jen Knox says

    Just read “Still Alice” ( being made into a movie ) for my book club and found it to be another great book that incorporates running and the benefits of it into the story line. Highly recommend it:)