December 15, 2021
Book Review: "Tokyo Countdown" by Geoff Wightman
Wightman, the stadium announcer for the Tokyo Olympics and father/coach of Olympic 1500 finalist Jake Wightman, has written a book full of behind-the-scenes stories in the leadup to last summer's Olympics.
January 12, 2021
"Out of Thin Air" Book Review: A Deep Look Into Ethiopian Running Culture
Despite producing 42 of the 100 fastest men's marathoners of all time and distance legends like Kenenisa Bekele and Haile Gebrselassie, few English-speaking writers have truly explored Ethiopian running culture. Michael Crawley changes that with his new book. 5 stars out of 5. Purchase here.
October 29, 2020
Book Review: "Win At All Costs" Tells the Definitive Story of the Rise and Fall of the Nike Oregon Project
Author Matt Hart, who previously reported on NOP for the New York Times, has drawn upon hundreds of sources for a terrific book. Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the story of the NOP under Alberto Salazar. Many of the details of the NOP saga were already well-known but Hart did a remarkable job of tying them all together in the definitive narrative. Plus he still breaks some major news with a few revelations as Hart also did plenty of his own reporting for Win At All Costs.
September 22, 2020
"The Russian Affair" by David Walsh: The Story of the Stepanovs, as You've Never Heard It Before
In his latest book, David Walsh -- the Irish reporter who helped bring down Lance Armstrong -- tells the story of the Russian doping scandal through the eyes of whistleblowers Yuliya and Vitaly Stepanov, whose relationship was far more complicated than you could imagine. On, February 8, 2013, the couple was supposed to get divorced. Instead of heading back to the registry office that day, Vitaly drove Yuliya to the office of Alexei Melnikov, the coach of the Russian national track & field team, and secretly recorded their conversation and helped bring down the Russia's doping program. 5 stars out of 5. Let's hope this is made into a movie.
September 10, 2020
Book Review: "From Coal Mine to Finish Line" by James McLatchie
McLatchie, one of eight siblings who grew up in a one-room house in Scotland, has lived a very interesting life and spent a lifetime in running, from winning age-group titles as a boy in Scotland to coaching Olympians. Most recently, at age 77, he and his wife coached a team to the NXN high school national title in the US. That being said, the book isn't our favorite but maybe worth a purchase for high school coaches as he shares his entire final month of training prior to NXN. *Purchase here
May 18, 2020
Book Review: A 46-Year-Old Spends a Summer Training Like a Pro in Flagstaff in "Running the Dream"
Matt Fitzgerald joined Ben Rosario's HOKA NAZ Elite team for three months in the summer of 2017 as he chased a personal best at the Chicago Marathon. From workouts on Lake Mary Road to strength sessions to a visit to John Ball, he lived the full professional experience. "[The book] newfound appreciation for one of the privileges of life as a professional runner. Not the chance to travel the world racing in cool locations or the freedom to nap copiously, but the ability to dedicate all of one's energies to becoming the best one can be -- and the opportunity to make memories doing it alongside friends and teammates."
April 22, 2020
Book Review: "The Five and Ten Men" by Richard Amery
Need to brush up on your distance running history? Richard Amery's book offers a comprehensive history of the sport from Paavo Nurmi to Kenenisa Bekele, told through the 10 men to hold both the 5,000- and 10,000-meter world records. *Purchase here.
March 06, 2020
Book Review: "Sporting Gender" Offers Much-Needed History and Context on a Challenging Topic
January 28, 2019
Book Review: Scott Fauble & Ben Rosario Take Us Deeper "Inside a Marathon" Than Ever Before
"Inside a Marathon: An All-Access Pass to a Top-10 Finish at NYC is executed beautifully...Fauble and Rosario take us deeper inside a marathon than any other coach-athlete duo ever has. For the casual fan, all of those paces and splits might be overwhelming. But in our sport, there aren't many "casual" fans. For the running junkie, it's a treat."
October 10, 2018
Book Review: "Varsity Seven" Shares Some Cool Gerry Lindgren Stories, But Is Far Too Long For Even The Die-Hard Running Fan
If you want to learn about Gerry Lindgren and Spokane, WA - the Rift Valley of American Distance Running - then this book is for you.
August 09, 2018
Book Review: "Racing the Hands of Time" by Larry Hannon -- Those New to the Sport Might Enjoy It, but Serious Fans Can Avoid This One
Not every race can be your best and not every book can be our favorite. This one starts out fascinating but fizzles.
February 13, 2018
Book Review: "Endure" by Alex Hutchinson -- A Fitting Successor to "The Sports Gene" As the Next Great Sports Science Book
Treat yourself to your own Valentine's Day gift by buying Alex Hutchinson's new book Endure which we give our highest rating - 5 stars out of 5.
January 27, 2017
Legendary Athlete, Father and Coach Matt Centrowitz Just Published An Autobiography - We Suggest You Read It
An autobiography by a man who failed every single class in middle school and was in trouble with the law but went on to set an American record in the 5k, make two Olympic teams and raise a son who broke America's 108-year Olympic drought in the men's 1500 has a lot of potential. Add in the fact that he roomed with Bruce Jenner and skipped school to hang out with Steve Prefontaine on the day he died and you've got a must read. Purchase Like Father, Like Son: My Story on Running, Coaching and Parenting now and be a part of the 1st-ever LetsRun.com Virtual Book Club in one month.
December 15, 2016
Book Review: "Collision Course" by Jason Henderson -- A Terrific Summary of the Events Before, During and After One of the Most Memorable Races of All Time
Henderson, a lifelong track nerd and the editor of Athletics Weekly, traces the paths of American favorite Mary Decker and teen phenom Zola Budd of South Africa (who wound up competing for Great Britain) to the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, where the they tangled in the 3000-meter final, resulting in Decker's famous fall.
December 15, 2016
Book Review: Pat Butcher Travels to the Czech Republic for "Quicksilver: The Mercurial Emil Zátopek"; How Does It Compare to the Other Zátopek Biographies?
And the verdict is in, which of the three biographies of Emil Zatopek - the man RW called the greatest of all-time - is the best?
September 30, 2016
Book Review: "Run The World" By 2:30 Marathoner Becky Wade Is An Easy And Fun Read That Anyone Who Enjoys Running and Travel Will Enjoy
Rather than embark immediately upon a professional career, Wade -- an All-American at Rice and 2016 Olympic Trials qualifier -- spent a year visiting running cultures across the globe. The result is Run the World, a fun log of her running adventures in 22 different countries, including Japan, Finland, Switzerland and New Zealand.
July 27, 2016
Book Review: "Endurance: The Extraordinary Life And Times Of Emil Zatopek" By Rick Broadbent Offers A Compelling Look At Zátopek, His Competitors, And The World In Which He Lived
Endurance is one of three Zátopek biographies that were released this summer (Today We Die A Little! by Richard Askwith and Quicksilver by Pat Butcher - which we have not reviewed yet - are the others). This one's worth a read as it offers insight into not just Zátopek's life, but those of rivals Alain Mimoun, Gordon Pirie and Jim Peters as well as Zátopek's former coach Jan Haluza and his brutal treatment at the hands of Czechoslovakia's communist regime.
May 25, 2016
Book Review: The Emil Zátopek Biography "Today We Die A Little" by Richard Askwith Is A Fine Work
This well-researched biography on the "patron saint of running" - a man whom Runner's World named the greatest runner of all time - is one of three English-language biographies on the Czech legend coming out this summer. *Purchase here.
January 26, 2016
Book Review: "JOCK: A Memoir Of The Counterculture" By Robert Coe - An Engaging Journey Of Running And Self-Discovery At Stanford In The '60s And '70s
What was it like to be a Stanford runner from 1968 to 1972, during the height of the counterculture? Coe tells you and and nothing is off limits. Coe's stories range from racing Gerry Lindgren and Steve Prefontaine in the legendary 1969 PAC-8 XC Champs to smoking weed with the Stanford football team and Olympic swimmers at his fraternity house. Though his running career was ultimately not successful, this book certainly is. It's getting great reviews on amazon and we agree, giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Purchase here.