I'm currently in the process of mapping all the books I own. On my normal blog (long neglected!), I will post a listing of all the "non-running" books that I own. Its only fitting therefore that I provide a list of

Those with exceptional genes can provide amazing results even without applying a "perfect" approach to their training and racing. They might be able to go down to the pub and have quite a few on a regular basis, and still beat a lot of us. They may even eat whatever they want, and still have a low fat percent, still develop proper musculature, and still lose little of their strength.

The rest of us don't have the luxury, especially not people like myself, clearly designed for a sedentary lifestyle and nothing more...

Knowledge is Power
It is an old cliché that "the pen is mightier than the sword" (its also easier to write with, so what's the point there?), but the written word should not be ignored. Just because we pride ourselves of our exposure to the rawness of nature, there is no excuse for going into it armed only with ignorance.

Even our most ancient ancestors had some kind of record of what they did. The Grooved Ware people, founders of all civilization in the Europe, the last Great Light of the West, where the architects of the resurrection chamber we know today as Newgrange, or Bru Na Boinne. This is the most important structure ever created, for reasons I'll talk about on my normal blog another day. They had no writing, and on average they lived only 35 years, yet they recorded to memory the most crucial information and passed it on from generation to generation. They build megalithic structures that would measure the movements of space and time. They used wooden sticks to record time with a precision we have only bettered recently with our "atomic clock".

They were masters of everything that surrounded them. So we, who no longer live in harmony with ourselves and the nature that surrounds us, must use knowledge instead to help us gain that insights. A dog will stretch from time to time, not because it knows why, but because its instinctive. Our instinct is clouded by our own brains, so we must first convince the brain of why we do these things, and make them natural again through that.

For this, you can hire a trainer or a coach (indeed this is very useful), but there are many books that will help you with your training, and here's my list...

My Running Books
42 Peaks - The Story of the Bob Graham Round
Background book for much information in "Feet in the Clouds", and the best reference for the whole history of the world's most famous mountain "Round"

ChiRunning - A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-free Running
ChiWalking - The Five Mindful Steps to Lifelong Health and Energy

Dennis Dreyer's revolutionary running/walking technique taking us back to our roots

Feet in the Clouds - A Tale of Fell-Running and Obsession
Richard Askwith's unforgettable tale of Fell-Running in England and the Bob Graham Round
Fifty Years Running - A History of the Mountain Trial
A unique piece of history about one of Britain's oldest and most celebrated fell-running events.
Joss Naylor MBE Was Here - A Personal Account of the Complete Traverse of the "Wainwright" Lakeland Peaks
Iron Joss' own personal account of his monumental 7 day journey over 214 Lakeland peaks

Map and Compass - The Art of Navigation
A quick and concise guide to navigation, mapreading, and using the compass. Covers invaluable tips and tricks such as back-bearing and night-navigation

Nutrition for Marathon Runners
A comprehensive scientific walk-through of nutrition and its effects on the human body, such as hypoglycaemia, stitches, cramps, dehydration and more.

Plyometrics - For Athletes at all Levels
A Training guide for explosive speed and power based around "jumping exercises"

Runner's World Guide to Cross-Training
Cross-Training exercises, with and without weights, specifically targeting runners
SAS Survival Guide - How to survive in the wild, in any climate, on land or at sea
Practical pocket book based on the experiences of John "Lofty" Wiseman of the SAS. Heavy use of pictures, and a must for any trekker.

Spartan Program
Ex-marine Anthony Bova shows us how returning to a harsh natural lifestyle can make you strong as Hercules

Sports Pilates - How to Prevent and Overcome Sports Injuries
An index of injuries and the sports pilates exercises, e.g. advanced stretches, to treat and prevent them.

Survival of the Fittest - A Guide to Peak Physical Performance
Dr. Mike Stroud's stirring tale of global marathons, arctic crossings, and man's unbelievable adaptability told from both a runner's and a medical doctor's point-0f-view. Unforgettable.
The Paleo Diet for Athletes - A Nutritional Formula for Peak Athletic Performance
The groundbreaking new (well really ancient) diet to improve sports performance and ensure optimal health for the rest of your life. If you only buy one nutrition book, this is the one.
The Ultimate Guide to Trail Running
A good overview of all the basics of running off the roads: technique, training, equipment, nutrition, hazards (uuh, cougars!), trail care, and race directing.