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CoolRunning Library

We are pleased to be able to offer links to the following books that might interest Australian Runners - we only list books that have been read and recommended by other runners.

The idea for the library was inspired by the feedback shown in this messageboard posting - feel free to add your views and/or suggestions for books to to add.

Coolrunning is an affiliate reseller for and takes a small percentage of each purchase price.

Reading Suggestions Ultra Running Running Novels Training Guides Running Biographies

There are other books in categories next to Reading Suggestions

How I ended up at the top of Mount Fuji
by Chris Pavey

This was the novel I had to write. It came to me, and demanded to be written, without a skipped heart beat, following my completion of Project Fuji and my return to Australia. I felt I had learnt so much, undertaken such a mammoth task and experienced so many highs and lows, that others needed to hear this story. I sat down at my computer in September 2011, and started typing. And I have not stopped since. This novel just started writing itself. I was merely a conduit, an observer as it all unfolded.

Running Against Time traces my adventures, my pitfalls, and all that I have learned along the way, as I became a runner. It provides an unorthodox roadmap to all that there is to know when it comes to running and fundraising. And there are some great yarns thrown in there to boot!



the story of my 100 marathons
by Julia Thorn

Julia Thorn has run one hundred marathons. She is the first Australian female to do so. In this book she shares her many experiences over competing in more than 70 locations all over the world, including many in Australia, over a thirteen year period.

More people have climbed Mount Everest or swum the English Channel than have run a hundred marathons. Julia ran her first marathon the year she turned 40, when most people think they are too old to achieve anything in the sporting sphere. She has been running more marathons each year than any other Australian runner, male or female.

The marathon is a running race held over a specific distance of 42.2 kilometres. The distance is the same whether the race is held locally or at the Olympics. But this is the sole characteristic that all marathons share. Marathons are held all over the world and attract participants in widely varying numbers.

In Chicago, Julia has run with tens of thousands of other runners, while on Christmas Island, she only had two companions in the annual marathon. She has run in exotic locations ranging from tropical Thailand to mountain passes of the Austrian Tirol to a forest in Norway to the glitzy Gold Coast.

This book is a unique combination of travel stories, running anecdotes and practical advice, as well as the planning stages, physical training, mental preparation and coping with race day stresses, such as extreme heat conditions and high altitudes. There is also a chapter on such essential aspects as recovery and avoidance of injury.


Memoirs of John Gilmour - World Champion Runner
by P.D. Collier

"Lasting the Distance was written as a permanent record of the remarkably long and distinguished athletic career of John Gilmour, one of Australia's greatest runners. It documents his life from the humble beginnings of a primitive existence in a group settlement in the South-West of Western Australia, to his days as a youngster finding his feet on the local athletic scene, through to the hardships and near blindness he suffered as a prisoner of war.

Having returned to civilian life in 1945, John recounts his post-war experiences as he determinedly set about rebuilding his life and resurrecting his athletic career. State selection as a cross-country representative soon followed before success as an innovative and dedicated coach. Content in sporting retirement, John's life took an unexpected turn in 1971 when he began his stunning career in international veterans athletics. John's anecdotes help to bring to life the characters he raced against on the local, national and international stage.

John's story strives to illustrate that age is no barrier to success with his running performances being testament to this. At the ripe old age of 91, John generously shares with you the secrets of his success that enabled him to enjoy an amazing competitive athletic career spanning 67 years. His inspirational ability to overcome adversity to succeed in athletics despite a significant visual impairment, a ravaged body, discrimination, the ageing process and other hardships, is a constant source of admiration to us all.

As Robert de Castella so aptly wrote of John Gilmour in the book's foreword '... this book celebrates his achievements and gives us an opportunity to understand how champions can be ordinary people doing the extraordinary.


Fit for Life: Not Fat for Life by Harvey Diamond
"Have almost finished "Fit for Life, Not Fat for Life" by Harvey Diamond. He's the dietary advisor of the original "fit for life" series of books. I'm no expert when it comes to nutrition and would appreciate a nutritionist's input on this one, but some of the statements are amazing/aggravating/embarrassing: Dairy contributes to osteoporosis... The calcium in dairy cannot be absorbed by humans because it is too coarse and bonded to casein. The resulting acidity of dairy causes our bodies to then leach calcium from our bones to neutralize this acidity. The four biggest dairy consuming countries of the world also have the highest levels of osteoporosis. China doesn't like dairy much and has virtually no osteoporosis. There is more than enough calcium in fruit and vegies for human needs. e.g: where do cows get their calcium from? Then this: Protein: Animals such as fish,cows,pigs etc are a great source of protein. However, these animals normally need to be cooked for hygiene reasons. Even then, the body still has to break these proteins down into basic amino acids before it can reassemble them into the type of proteins required by humans. This means our digestive system must work much harder on this food than it does on other foods like fruit and veg, which supply all these same amino acids in a much simpler form. Cooking any food breaks down the enzymes in the food. This then requires the body to produce its own enzymes to digest the food, taking energy away from other body functions such as cleaning/repairing. Theres heaps of other interesting stuff too( with only a minor religious undertone). Anyway, I could crap on, but has anyone else read this/tried this, and is there someone out there that can give an educated opinion." by PodRunner
Running and Walking for Women Over 40 : The Road to Sanity and Vanity by Kathrine Switzer
"There is an expression among even the most advanced runners that getting your shoes on is the hardest part of any workout..."
The Complete Book of Running for Women by Claire Kowalchik
I could not find a review of this book but the chapter samples and contents look very interesting. Plu
Chi Running by Danny Dreyer
DVD: Practiced by thousands of runners, the ChiRunning technique is easy to learn and takes the benefits of running beyond cardiovascular and aerobic by addressing the needs of the whole person; joints and ligaments, body and soul. You'll learn to run using your highly efficient core muscles while relaxing the rest of your body, allowing gravity to do the work instead of your legs. Using principles of T'ai Chi, ChiRunning combines ancient wisdom with modern physics to transform your running experience.
Running Injury-Free : How to Prevent, Treat and Recover from Dozens of Painful Problems by Joe Ellis, Joe Henderson
Do you run more than 15 miles a week? Are you working on increasing your mileage or speed? Are you ignoring minor twinges and strains so you can keep training? If so, you're a serious runner. Problem is, sooner or later, you're bound to get injured--unless you follow Dr. Joe Ellis's advice in RUNNING INJURY-FREE.
The Marathon Chef: Food for getting Fit by Michel Roux JR Etal
This cookbook is for anyone interested in getting fit - intermittently at the gym, running for fun, as a training sportsman or woman, or as a serious marathon runner. These recipes were developed by Michel Roux Jr as he started running, initially as a casual jogger 10 years ago, and now as a veteran of eight marathons. Michel developed the programme by trial and error, based on how his body feels and reacts to what he eats. While training he largely avoids red meat and animal fats, eats lots of fish, fruit and vegetables, some chocolate, and plenty of bread, and drinks a reasonable quantity of wine. Some of the recipes have become regulars at Le Gavroche, a popular London restaurant for many sportsmen and women.
Fixing Your Feet: Prevention & Treatments for Athletes by John Vonhof
This book provides runners, hikers, adventure racers, triathletes—any athlete, with a complete source of information about proper foot care. Too often athletes spend vast amounts of money, time, and thought on training, equipment and travel, but little or no preparation on their feet. All factors in foot care are explored. You learn how to be proactive in order to prevent problems with your feet through proper prevention techniques, how to be reactive with treatments when problems develop, and what supplies and resources are available to help fix your feet.
Running & Being: The Total Experience by George Sheehan
The book that helped get the world running is back. This New York Times bestseller written by the late runner, doctor, philosopher, Dr. George Sheehan is a timeless classic. It tells of Dr. Sheehan's midlife return to the world of exercise, play, and competition. Focusing on the importance of "play", Sheehan describes his program for fitness and joy, sharing with the reader how the body helps open up our mental and spiritual energies. By publishing this 20th-anniversary edition of his signature work, the Sheehan family hopes to make George Sheehan's work available to all athletes. We encourage you to read his words, and we hope you find on its pages the inspiration to lead your own athletic journey that might help you become the person you were meant to be.
The Courage To Start : A Guide To Running for Your Life by John "the penguin" Bingham
Forget about the image of a perfect body in skintight clothes, and don't worry about how fast or how far you go. Bingham shows how anyone can embrace running as a life-enhancing activity -- rather than as a competition you will never win. In an entertaining blend of his own success story and practical advice, Bingham provides reasonable guidelines for establishing a program of achievable goals; offers tips on clothing, running shoes, and other equipment; and explains how anyone can prepare for and run distances ranging from a few miles to marathons. After all, in running and in life, the difference between success and failure sometimes comes down to a single step.

This page last updated: Monday 10 December 2012

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