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Recommended Reading List

Coaching Distance and Cross Country Runners

Daniels Running Formula, 3rd edition-Jack Daniels

  • Training philosophy, paces, and workouts for all distances; strict periodization and workouts based on current fitness

VOQ Training for Cross Country and Track-Dan Kaplan

  • Training philosophy and  and workouts for all distances

Healthy, Intelligent Training-Keith Livingstone

  • A modern interpretation of Arthur Lydiard’s philosophy; much more accessible but lacking in premade training plans

The Science of Running-Steve Magness

  •  The first ⅔ of the book represent a year or more in an exercise physiology course; the last ⅓ contains practical training plans

Coaching Cross Country Successfully-Joe Newton

  • Training philosophy, workouts, and team management for high school cross country; strong team information, but workouts are might be unrealistic in a current setting

Coaching Cross Country Successfully-Pat Tyson

  • Training philosophy, workouts, and team management for high school cross country; a newer version of the Newton classic; stronger on team organization than training

Coaching Middle Distance Runners

Better Training for Distance Runners-David Martin and Peter Coe

  • Pioneers in the five pace model, the text represents a real commitment but with an education that comes along with the training philosophy and plans

Coaching (General)

Strength Training for Track & Field- John Cissik

  • Outlines routines intended to help Track athletes gain strength.

Anatomy for Runners-Jay Dicharry

  • A compendium of exercises for strengthening the body for the prevention or direct addressing of injuries.  Easy to read with great images.

Running Rewired-Jay Dicharry

  • A comprehensive and exhaustive look at the mechanics of running including countless exercises to fix problems or prevent injuries.  Might not be appropriate for an entire team but perfect for a high performer and special cases.  Includes training plans for strength and core work.

USA Track & Field Coaching Manual- Human Kinetics

  • Contains event specific training plans and strategies for success.

Peak Performance-Steve Magness & Brad Stulberg

  • Research based insights into what helps people perform at their best, in running and other areas of life.

The Mechanics of Sprinting and Hurdling-Ralph V. Mann & Amber Murphy

  • Research based analysis of the characteristics of sprinters and hurdlers.

The Science of Hurdling-Brent McFarlane

  • Includes workouts and all aspects of successful hurdling.

The Ultimate Guide to Weight Training for Track & Field- Robert G. Price

  • Contains descriptions and photos of event specific exercises.

Track and Field Coaching Essentials-USATF

  • Contains fundamentals, sports science, and training plans for all events.

Fiction, Narratives, and Non-Fiction


Once a Runner-John Parker

  • considered by many to be the definitive fictional running book. Tells the story of Quentin Cassidy, a runner at fictional Southeastern University, and his pursuit of glory in the mile.

Non-Fiction Narrative

The Animal Keepers-Donn Behnke

  • the story of a team’s success in running and in life including the triumph of a special needs runner.

Running With the Buffaloes-Chris Lear

  • follows the 1998 University of Colorado Men’s Cross Country season, which includes success, struggles, and tragedy.

Sub Four: Alan Webb and the Quest for the Fastest Mile-Chris Lear

  • follows the freshman year of Alan Webb at the University of Michigan, just months after he set the U.S. High School mile record of 3:53.46.

Bowerman and The Men of Oregon-Kenny Moore

  • Traces the history of Bill Bowerman, the legendary University of Oregon XC/Track coach, and the many famous runners he coached.

God on the Starting Line-Marc Bloom

  • follows Marc Bloom, founder of The Harrier (a long standing XC/Track publication), as he enters the cross country coaching ranks for the first time.


The Sports Gene-David Epstein

  • A compelling journey through human limitations and a counter argument to Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours theory of excellence.  A must read and page turner.

Endure-Alex Hutchinson

  • Written for a mass audience, this accessible work focuses on the human body’s (and minds!) ability to endure extreme circumstances including exercise and racing.

Leadership, Team Building, Program Culture, Expectations & Core Values

Championship Team Building: What Every Coach Needs to Know to Build a Motivated, Committed, and Cohesive Team- Jeff Janssen, M.S.

  • Includes strategies for strengthening a team in any sport and any level.

The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership -Bill Walsh

  • Outlines the philosophy of Bill Walsh, legendary NFL coach who led the San Francisco 49ers to 3 Super Bowl titles in the 80s.

The Energy Bus- Jon Gordon

  • Includes 10 strategies for positive thinking and handling adversity.

Winning Every Day: The Game Plan For Success -Lou Holtz

  • The National Championship coach for Notre Dame reveals 10 strategies for excellence in personal and professional life.

You Win In The Locker Room First- Jon Gordon & Mike Smith

  • Includes 7 principles to help organizations improve and leadership/culture to flourish.

How to Build and Sustain a Championship Culture- Jeff Janssen, M.S.

  • Reveals the 6 key characteristics that championship cultures have in common.

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