If you’re looking for books for athlete types who are trying to figure out how to navigate the current situation, stay motivated and maybe just learn some new stuff, you’ve come to the right place… Here’s what’s on our bookshelves right now!
The Athlete’s Gut by Dr. Patrick Wilson
This week on the podcast, we spoke with Dr Patrick Wilson about all things athletic gut, but his book is SO IN-DEPTH. If you ever questioned your digestion and how it works (and how to fix it), this is a great read. It’s not your average athlete nutrition book (and as someone who wrote one, I LOVE athlete nutrition books), this one is just so much more into the science and the studies and exactly where we are with research right now. And we really loved that it’s not all about what you eat, it’s about how you eat.
The Inner Game of Stress: Outsmart Life’s Challenges and Fulfill Your Potential by W. Timothy Gallwey
Gallwey wrote THE book on the art of playing tennis and it ended up being a pretty huge deal as a book that explained how to learn just about anything. We almost opted for that one, but decided that right now, one more focused on stress might be a smart move, and we were right. It’s been a really great one for us at the moment, navigating a lot of uncertainty and trying to not get caught up in a sea of ‘shoulds’. (More on that in our recent podcast episode!) So if you’re feeling a little more stressed than usual, it’s worth reading this book — a bunch of sports psychologists I’ve spoken with lately have been reminding me that on a 1-10 spectrum of rating stress, we’re all automatically a couple of points higher than where we usually sit, so it’s a lot easier to tip into unhealthy territory when adding more stressors on.
Shred Girls: Ali’s Rocky Ride by Molly Hurford
Book 2 of the Shred Girls series by well…me… is out in July! (Just FYI: sadly, because of COVID19, it will only be available as an ebook.) In the follow-up to LINDSAY’S JOYRIDE, the Shred Girls reunite at Ali’s home for a mountain-biking training trip that builds up to an elite competition! Even though Ali grew up on the mountain biking with her professional-biker older brothers, she’s anxious. Her brothers always make her feel like she’s not talented enough. Could they be right? She’ll just have to find out.
Get it here
Reset your Gut: Restore your digestive health by Robyn Youkilis
I’ve interviewed Robyn for a fermented food piece in the past and her recipes are awesome. While I’m not totally sold on skipping all processed sugar–especially as an athlete–I did find that reading this book made me rethink my plate at meal times. I love her go-to formula for building a great plate. It’s not restrictive, there’s plenty of room for what you need and enjoy eating. If you’re looking for an easy, informative book to kick your ass into eating healthier, this is a solid one.
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
This one has been recommended to me a million times and we’re finally reading it! I admit, it’s a little tough to get through some of it as someone who has been running for a long time and knows a lot about running training and what will make someone faster, but then again, I also understand the allure of logging right around an hour a day, most days, and whatever speed feels good. So, if you want good writing that will motivate you to run, this is an excellent choice!
And it’s worth noting that while they aren’t athlete-specific books, we’re also making our way through White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin J. DiAngelo, How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi and Molly is loving former Teen Vogue editor Elaine Welteroth’s memoir, More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say). HIGHLY recommend adding these books to your list as well.
At times like this where there’s a lot of uncertainty in the world, I often fall back on rereading a lot of my favorite books. Case in point, I re-read the entire Harry Potter series in March … twice. The same applies to athletically-inclined books that I’ve loved in the past, because often, rereading them means I learn something new, find a new takeaway, get re-motivated, or just remind myself of how I want to live in the world. So, here are the couple that I’ve recently reread or currently am rereading!
Back in the Frame by Jools Walker
Jools is an amazing woman and writer, and this book is more relevant now than ever! I loved it the first time I read it and I’m rereading it again and cannot say enough good stuff about it. About the book: “In Back in the Frame Jools talks to the other female trailblazers who are disrupting the cycling narrative as well as telling the story of how she overcame her health problems, learned how to cycle her own path and even found a love of Lycra shorts along the way.”
The Power of Less by Leo Babauta
We both come back to this book often when we’re starting to feel scattered or overwhelmed or like we just are spinning wheels in a bunch of different directions, which, as things start to open back up, we’re very aware of. Now that the tightest lockdown restrictions have been lifted, possibilities for clinics and classes and travel are open again, which means we need to remind ourselves to slow down and avoid overcommitting and overscheduling just because we can.
Born to Run and Natural Born Heroes by Chris McDougall
Reread either of these if you’re feeling bummed about no racing and need some zest to get you back out on the trails. They’re fun, they may give you some new challenges to try, and most importantly, they’ll likely make you reflect on what it is you actually love about moving your body. I’ve read each of these probably 15-20 times over the last few years and they never get old.