Dirty Books

I wanted to share three books I read recently. I guess I should also mention by dirty I mean books about trail running, which involves dirt. You’re probably rolling your eyes, but I suck at titles and that was the best I could come up with. So anyway, here are three books related to trail and ultrarunning that I enjoyed and found really useful. (Oh and I should mention I bought these books myself and no one is paying me for a review or anything… just sharing my opinion)


1. Hal Koerner’s Field Guide to Ultrarunning by Hal Koerner and Scott Jurek

This ones not really meant to be read cover to cover, although you can. This one is the only one of the three that’s very much like reading a textbook on trail and ultrarunning. Hal Koerner, one of the most experienced and recognized athletes in the sport of ultrarunning, has a wealth of information to share. Hal covers running gear, nutrition, technique, mental strategies and more. This book has been a great tool that I continually refer back to as I prepare for my first ultra.

2. The Extra Mile by Pam Reed

This one is not a handbook, although there is definitely information to be gleaned as you read through. The book is very inspirational and motivational, and I found it amazing to read about Pam Reed’s story. I couldn’t necessarily relate directly to everything she writes about (such as battling an eating disorder, divorce, and raising kids), but I found it riveting all the same. She also talks a lot about her experiences at the Badwater Ultramarathon (if you don’t know what that is, check out the movie Running on the Sun). She was the overall winner at that race, for both men and women, two different times. And that’s just one of her many accolades – from holding the American women’s record for both the 24 and 48 hour run to running 300 miles at one time. Although it’s not the smoothest, most well-written book to read, it really picks up during the second half when she delves deeply into her running over the years. It was truly fascinating to get a glimpse inside the mind of such an accomplished endurance athlete.

3. Trailhead: The Dird on All Things Trail Running by Lisa Jhung

Like the Hal Koerner book, this book is also a great guidebook on trail running that’s not really meant to be read cover to cover. I really love this book because it’s got so much great information in it on trail running. In addition to all of the valuable advice, there’s also a lot of humor and some great illustrations which make for an entertaining read. Exhibit A:


I love that this book is written by a woman, too. I feel like most guidebooks and books on running/training are primarily written by men. I can’t really explain why, but reading this book totally different from reading a running book written by a man. While all three of these books were great, this one was definitely my favorite.

I have two other running books I plan to read in the near future that I’ve heard are good: Running with the Buffaloes and Running and Stuff. Both are more for entertainment than education.

In non-running related reading news (wow that’s a mouthful), I’ve finally caved and begun reading the Song of Ice and Fire books – better known as Game of Thrones. I’m almost 200 pages in (which is only 1/4 of the book, good grief!) and I am totally hooked!

Have you read any of these books?
Have you read any good books lately?
What are you currently reading?

6 thoughts on “Dirty Books”

  1. Most recent book I completed was “Confederates in the Attic”. It was a light read with plenty of humor by a Jewish author that works his way through the south collecting little known facts about the war of northern aggression. Now it’s back to the Mitch Rapp series.


    1. Very cool that you ran into him and got to talk to him! He’s one of the featured athletes in Unbreakable: The Western States 100, and he seems so down to earth and friendly. If you haven’t seen it, Unbreakable is a great movie too!

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