Distance runners are well known for their nerd-like personalities, and obsession with all things running. They like to know about their event, travel where the fast and famous have trained, and spend their spare cash on the latest technology that will provide every minute statistic of each training run. From energy gels to GPS watches, the distance runner has many friends, but an inspirational read, relating to their running heroes, is the one item as important to them as their training shoes.  If you are a distance running nerd, and looking for a new inspirational read or two, be sure to check out the following publications.

Running with the Buffaloes

Chris Lear

This is probably the best book ever written about running!  This cult classic is a real page turner, and a must read for any aspiring runner.  The trials and tribulations of the 1998 University of Colorado men's cross country team are recorded in a diary-like fashion, and the book includes useful insights from Mark Whetmore, the team coach, and excerpts from the athletes' own training journals. Expect to be swept along with their journey, as you relive their memorable season, and be inspired by how willing they were to put their bodies on the line.

From Last to First

Charlie Spedding

Though officially the memoirs of English marathon runner Charlie Spedding, this book is more than just an autobiography. There are messages in it for runners of all levels, and this short but quality book will have you rethinking how you approach and work towards your goals. Spedding was part of the greatest British marathon running era, and despite not being a widely known personality, this book will have him grabbing your respect.

Born to Run

Christopher McDougall

This is more than a book about ultra running, barefoot running, and the Tarahumura running tribe; it is a gripping page-turner that captures the reader's attention. You will develop an affinity with the main characters and view ultra running in a new light.  This has been one of the most popular books about running in recent years, and it's easy to see why.

Bowerman and the Men of Oregon

Kenny Moore

Like Running with the Buffaloes, Bowerman and the Men of Oregon has collegiate distance running at its heart, though it is essentially a biography of the University of Oregon head coach and Nike founder, Bill Bowerman. The author was himself a member of the university squad, and his close link with Bowerman and the other central characters, is refreshingly evident. Moore uses all his journalistic skill to retell the tale of one of America's most famous collegiate coaches.

The Perfect Distance

Pat Butcher

This book brings the great rivalry between Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett, and the golden area of British middle distance running, to life.  Their largely contrasting personalities and differing backgrounds are brilliantly portrayed, and, thanks to Butcher's brilliant research, their epic battles on the track are as vivid today as they was all those years ago.  The book is far more than a biography of these two great stars; it is the ultimate tribute to middle distance running.