Spring training: 10 inspiring books about running

Long-distance running has exploded in the past decade. It's a cheap way to get in shape: All you need is a pair of shoes, a t-shirt and some fancy shorts and you're off! There are some people for whom running has ceased to be a hobby, and something to which they dedicate countless hours and many years. For some of these people, 26.2 miles (marathon distance) is just a warm-up for 100 miles or more. For other runners, however, one really fast mile is plenty. Whatever your pace, here are 10 books to get you excited about running now that spring is coming.

1. "Bowerman and the Men of Oregon," by Kenny Moore

Bill Bowerman has left an indelible imprint on the sport of running. A co-founder of Nike, Bowerman was the men's track coach from the University of Oregon from 1948 to 1972, helping the Ducks to 23 winning seasons, four NCAA titles, and 16 top-10 finishes on the national level. He is also famous for coaching Steve Prefontaine, the legendary track athlete who once held the American record in the seven track events between 2,000 and 10,000 meters. (For more about Steve check out "Pre" by Steve Jordan). Moore, who is a former senior writer for Sports Illustrated and a marathon runner himself, demonstrates Bowerman's impact on the field of running and on Oregon itself, still a dominant force in NCAA Track and Field. (Just watch the Summer Olympics and see how many elite athletes come from Eugene.)

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