On performance, running, and recovery
Endure by Alex Hutchinson
Excellent read if you like science and exploring the limits of human performance, from athletes in sport to mountaineers on Everest. Alex Hutchinson is a journalist who writes for Outside magazine among other publications. He dives into all the factors that limit our ability to push harder, further, or faster. How much can we manipulate these factors, and how much is bound by physiological limits?
As a lover of human science, I couldn’t put this one down.
Peak Performance by Steve Magness & Brad Stulberg
Elevate your performance in your work, in sport, or other endeavors. Steve and Brad discuss how to maximize performance in any aspect of life, and understand the factors that inhibit us. Spoiler alert: There’s no magic pill. This goes behind athletics, and is worth a read for the ambitious, the busy, and the driven.
Recovery For Athletes
Good To Go by Christie Aschwanden
“Recovery” has become such a buzzword in performance and athletics recently, and there’s a myriad of products promising to optimize recovery and enhance performance, from cryo chambers, compression boots, infrared saunas, supplements and hydration products, and in a shocking twist: SLEEP. Author Christie Aschwanden dives into the science and tries them out for herself to find out if they really work.
Science of Running
Lore of Running by Tim Noakes, MD
Basically the bible of running science, this one is heavy on the science, and rivals most textbooks in size. Read this to understand the ‘why’ behind training, down to cellular and fiber-level adaptations. Noakes covers the big names of running and their training or coaching strategies, discusses the science behind VO2max, endurance, lactate threshold, tapers, injuries, and ergogenic aids. Noakes also coined the term “central governor”, explaining that our brain slows us down before our bodies do.
This is a great reference book for athletes and coaches to keep on the shelf.
Training To Race
Faster Road Racing: 5k to Half Marathon by Pete Pfitzinger
Great for self coached runners training for 5ks to half marathon. Pfitzinger discusses the purpose and structure of Vo2 max, threshold, repetition workouts. He covers other topics including nutrition and health, and training plans are included for each race distance, based on a runner’s typical mileage.
Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger
Similar to Pfitzinger’s book above, but specific to marathoning.
Jack Daniels' Running Formula
Training strategy, structure, and plans by coach and exercise physiologist Jack Daniels. Daniels is well known for his VDOT formula, emphasis on training at specific intensities for workouts, and his online training/race time calculator.