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Unlocking Peak Performance: The Best Running Mindset Books

Updated: May 2

The Best Running Mindset Books

The power of your mindset in running is often overshadowed and overlooked. So often we talk about splits and strides, but what about your mindset? If you love reading (or listening) to books to help improve, this list of books for runners is for you. I've stacked up my favorite running mindset books for you.

Sure, we all know about logging miles, hitting the track for speed work, and devouring protein bars like they're going out of style. But what about the muscle between our ears? Our mindset is a game-changer when it comes to unlocking our full potential on the pavement.

I'll be honest—I used to be one of those skeptics. I'd roll my eyes at the mention of mental strategies and positive thinking and how that could make you faster. But I've realized how wrong I was! And it's not just woo woo, there's true science behind it.

It wasn't until I stumbled upon a few game-changing books that I realized the true impact our thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes can have on our performance. So, grab a cup of coffee and let's dive into some of the best running mindset books that have revolutionized my approach to running and life.

Before we dive in...hi! I'm Jen! I'm a mama, a lover of running, & a certified run coach. I'm here to help you learn to love running! Come say Hi on Instagram HERE & snag my free running training plans here.

Favorite Running Mindset Books

Let Your Mind Run by Deena Kastor

Let Your Mind Run

First up on our reading list is "Let Your Mind Run" by the incredible Deena Kastor. Picture this: a young, inexperienced runner with big dreams and even bigger doubts. That's where Deena starts her journey, but oh boy, does she finish strong! In this memoir-turned-masterclass, Deena takes us along for the ride as she transforms from an underdog to one of America's most celebrated distance runners.

What's the secret sauce, you ask? Positive self-talk and visualization. Deena breaks it down for us, showing how swapping negative thoughts for a sprinkle of optimism can work wonders. Through her trials and triumphs, she teaches us that gratitude and possibility aren't just buzzwords—they're the fuel that powers our personal bests.

How Bad Do You Want It

How Bad Do You Want It by Matt Fitzgerald

Next up, we've got "How Bad Do You Want It" by Matt Fitzgerald. Think of this book as your backstage pass to the minds of endurance athletes. Matt weaves together tales of grit and determination, showing us what separates the podium finishers from the pack.

Mental toughness is the name of the game here. Matt's stories remind us that it's not just about how fast we can go—it's about how far we're willing to push ourselves when the going gets tough. So, lace up those mental sneakers and get ready to crush your next PR with a little help from Matt Fitzgerald.

Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down by Simon Marshall and Lesley Paterson

Brave Athlete

Now, let's add a splash of humor and a whole lot of sass with "Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down" by Simon Marshall and Lesley Paterson. If you've ever found yourself knee-deep in anxiety or drowning in self-doubt, this book is your lifeline.

Simon and Lesley aren't afraid to get real with us. They know that the path to greatness is paved with discomfort and uncertainty. But fear not, dear reader! With their guidance, we'll learn to embrace the chaos, flip setbacks on their heads, and strut our stuff with newfound confidence. Plus, who can resist a book that comes with extra exercises and PDFs to tackle those tough workouts head-on?

Peak Performance by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness

Peak Performance

Last I picked "Peak Performance" by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness. Consider this your crash course in the science of success. Brad and Steve take us on a journey through the inner workings of peak performance, serving up a buffet of evidence-based strategies to help us reach new heights.

Balance and recovery are the buzzwords here, folks. Forget the hustle-and-grind mentality—it's all about finding harmony between pushing ourselves and giving our bodies the TLC they deserve.

This is a great read for anyone who wants to make the jump to reading more about the science behind running. 

In conclusion, these books aren't just about running—they're about life. They're about embracing the journey, conquering our inner demons, and unlocking our full potential, both on and off the road

The next time you head out for a run, remember: it's not just your legs that'll carry you across the finish line—it's the power of your mind. So, let your thoughts run wild, embrace the adventure, and discover just how far you can go.

P.S. If podcasts are more your thing, check out this free private podcast that I made for you.

P.P.S. Here are 2 more free resources for you:

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