Move these running tomes to the top of your stack.
Running While Black by Alison Mariella Désir
This book should be required reading for anyone who runs or has jogged once or moves through public space while recreating or knows someone who has. It’s that compelling. More than a memoir (but also a great memoir), Running While Black paints a clear picture of racism in the US through the lens of running. Désir’s voice shines in telling both her story and history; listen up. This is a book to revisit again and again.
Good For A Girl by Lauren Fleshman
“Stay with your feet,” Fleshman once said. That she does in her memoir slash critique of elite running, Good For A Girl. Here’s your chance to run in a pros’ shoes, from the first fresh miles to world-class, nerve-racking races. With a keen focus on the female-bodied experience, Fleshman offers candid, thorough takes on the missteps of the upper echelon of running. This book should be required for every coach (especially collegiate) and talented or competitive runners (and folks in their orbit).
Win At All Costs by Matt Hart
A deep dive by journalist Hart uncovers muck in the oft-revered world of Nike Running. With insights from whistleblower Steve Magness, Olympians Kara and Adam Goucher, and many others, this exposé delivers one shocking scene after another. It reveals a cutthroat culture swirling around the now-disbanded Nike Oregon Project and its coach Alberto Salazar, who’s banned by the US Center for Safe Sport.