The 25 Greatest Running Books of All Time
(and now essential for some last-minute holiday gift ideas!)
25. Swoosh: The Unauthorized Story of Nike and the Men Who Played There (1991)
Of all the books written about Nike, this is one of the best. Written by sisters Julie Strasser (Nike’s first advertising director) and Laurie Becklund (a reporter for the Los Angeles Times), “Swoosh” tells about alleged steroid use by Nike-sponsored athletes, under-the-table payments to amateur runners, and how Phil Knight, Steve Prefontaine, Geoff Hollister and a few others helped make Nike the most successful athletic shoe and apparel company in the world. (Another good book with less of an investigative slant is “Out of Nowhere: The Inside Story of How Nike Marketed the Culture of Running,” which Hollister wrote a few years before he passed away in 2012.)
23. Running With the Kenyans (2012)
British journalist Adharanand Finn immersed himself (and his family) in elite Kenyan running camps to uncover the secrets of the Rift Valley. He trained side-by-side with Olympic legends and up-and-coming hopefuls, ate their food, followed their customs, interviewed their coaches and came away with a mesmerizing glimpse at the culture of distance running at its purest level.