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Run for Your Life
By Mark Cucuzzella, M.D.
Alfred A. Knopf, $27, knopfdoubleday.com
Read it: With more than 30 years of medical practice, study and science, Dr. Cucuzzella, a professor at West Virginia University School of Medicine who has been running competitively for nearly four decades, delivers straightforward advice on how to run efficiently and prevent injury, regardless of age and experience level. Illustrated exercises and photos along with easy-to-follow text help teach runners proper form and technique to stave off pain.
Snapshot: “Eventually—and as something of a surprise—I reached a sustained high level of pain-free physical performance, accompanied by a remarkable sense of well-being. This sense of wellness is there for the learning and the taking. It requires little more than getting outside—moving, exercising, running, walking and enjoying physical activity together.”
Hansons First Marathon: Step Up to 26.2 the Hansons Way
By Luke Humphrey with Keith and Kevin Hanson
VeloPress, $19, velopress.com
Read it: Written with brothers Keith and Kevin Hanson, co-founders of the elite Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, this book aims to persuade readers that, regardless of experience, finishing a marathon is something just about anyone can accomplish. The book dives into how to train for a race and offers strategies on everything from how to get started to goal setting, nutrition, recovery, gear, confidence building and more.
Snapshot: “While some folks are endowed with ideal endurance genes—think of the athletes who win the Boston and New York City marathons—most of the rest of us aren’t perfect marathon specimens. The good news is that even if you don’t have long, lean legs, a perfect stride or a natural proclivity for mentally focusing over many miles, you can successfully finish a marathon with the right training.”
Crawl of Fame: Julie Moss and the Fifteen Meters That Created an Ironman Triathlon Legend
By Julie Moss and Robert Yehling
Pegasus, $26, pegasusbooks.com
Read it: For an inside look into perhaps the most famous moment in Ironman triathlon, when 23-year-old Moss raced the 140.6-mile combined swim, bike and run in 1982. Her collapse and subsequent 50-foot crawl to the finish, which was televised on ABC’s Wide World of Sports, changed both Ironman and the course of her life forever.
Snapshot: “I healed physically much faster than I did emotionally. The humiliation stuck with me for a long while. Yes, I’d experience that awesome moment of authenticity, and felt awesome about finishing…But how did that play against what fans in Kona experienced and Wide World of Sports viewers would watch: a 23-year-old coed losing it just before reaching the finish line?”