Books I recommend

Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall
Chris McDougall really did a phenomenal job of combining the history and unique lifeview of the Tarahumara indians, the experience of ultrarunning, the conspiracy of the multi-billion dollar running shoe industry, his personal experience fixing injuries with barefoot running, ultrarunning characters like Ann Trason, Scott Jurek, Barefoot Ted, Luis Escobar, the crazy antics of Jenn Shelton and Billy Burnett, all cumulating in “the greatest race the world has never seen”. Chris is a total pro, and each chapter is packed full of facts, quotes, and antics that will get you laughing, thinking, and inspired to run. I think it’s one of the best running books I have ever read.

Ultra Marathon Man, by Dean Karnazes
Dean Karnazes, the writer and subject of Ultramarathon Man, is a wild man. He describes in great detail several of his ultramarathon feats including his first Western States 100, a failed Badwater Ultramarathon, the first marathon at the South Pole (and one of two people to run around the world naked – try to figure that out), and the first solo effort of The Relay (199 mile relay race from Calistoga to Santa Cruz). In the middle of the running stories and descriptions of his feet, his digestive challenges, his food intake (if you burn 600 calories an hour and you run for 48 hours, how do you manage to choke down 29,000 calories just to stay even?), he takes a crack at talking about how he does it, why he does it, what he eats, and whether or not he is sane. His philosophy is good, the running stories are awesome, and the motivational lift is huge.

50/50: Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days
Are you a runner who wants to run more, run faster, run better or even to simply start running, and need a little bit of motivation, there is one book by one man that you want to read. Ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes’ 50/50-Secrets I Learned Running 50 marathons in 50 Days-and How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance! book, with the help of Matt Fitzgerald delivers Karnazes’ journey of running 50 different marathons in all 50 states, in 50 consecutive days. Beyond telling of his story of this incredible feat, he writes tips on how you can recover more quickly, how to adapt to extreme conditions, how to prevent muscle cramps and overheating, how to pace yourself, and most importantly, how to stay motivated.

They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky, by Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng, and Benjamin Ajak
This book is a first person account of the effects the continuing civil war in the Sudan has had on three young Lost Boys. Benson Deng, his brother Alephonsion Deng, and their cousin Benjamin Ajak all were between four to six years old when war exploded in their small world in the African Sudan. From that moment on until they were near their twenties, they lived in fear of the soldiers who killed and tortured their countrymen – and of their own people of different tribes who bullied and beat them. They lived on subsistence rations – if there were any at all. Many times there was nothing to eat or drink. Moved from refugee camp to refugee camp, they lost each other only to reunite somewhere else. For weeks and months these children ran naked, fearing soldiers, lions, hyenas, famine, diseases, and the brutality of war.

Yoga Beyond Belief, by Ganga White
Yoga is not spiritual hooha; there is a scientific element to the healing it provides alongside the spiritual. Yoga Beyond Belief is a guide for Yoga users to enhance their experiences with their meditations and rituals. Although aimed at those with some experience, it is simple enough for novices to read and learn the art.