Running Books to Inspire Teen Girls

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Running Books for Girls
My sister-in-law reached out to me over the holidays and wanted to know if I had any book recommendations for a teen girl who is into running. I thought it was a great question, and I had fun revisiting books I’d read and thought might work for this request. Here are some running books for girls I recommend:

Marathon Woman by Kathrine Switzer

Marathon Woman by Kathrine Switzer

If you’re not familiar, Kathrine is the first woman to run the Boston Marathon with an official bib number. She didn’t sign up for the race trying to be a revolutionary, but signing up as K. Switzer let her slip through the registration process without being recognized as a woman and thus she changed history. It’s a great non-fiction read about how much change has happened in a relatively short time for woman rights.

Kara Goucher's Running for Women

Kara Goucher’s Running for Women by Kara Goucher

This book contains basics on how-to run and care for yourself during the process, but I think Kara Goucher always presents herself and the sport in a kind and approachable way. It covers the gamut of just starting to training for the marathon, as well as nutrition and keeping a balance.

Sole Sisters

Sole Sisters: Stories of Women and Running by Jennifer Lin & Susan Warner

This book compiles stories from women in all walks of life about how running influences their life. Stories of women who run to battle cancer, to survive after becoming widowed to a teen who connects with her heritage through running, they’re all here. I think it’s important to remind ourselves that even though we all live different lives, there are things that can tie all of us together at any age.

The Running Dream

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

The first fiction book I included, this one follows a teen who finds a way to fall back in love with running after she is in an accident that causes her to lose her leg. It’s a story of triumph and compassion that teaches important lessons about never giving up and how all people are worthy of love and friendship, even if they are different from us.

Finishing Kick by Paul Duffau

Finishing Kick by Paul Duffau

I liked this book because of how relatable it is. It’s not like it’s a grand story of someone overcoming a physical disability or illness or becoming a world champion… it’s just a nice fiction book about some of the standard things a teen girl deals with. Boys, sports, school… but all in an incredibly readable way and I think nearly all girls will feel some connection with Callie, the main character.

Now the funny timing of this… I had just recommended all of these books to my SIL when Paul Duffau, the author of Finishing Kick, reached out to me to let me know that the audiobook version of that novel was recently available. And he offered to let me give away a copy of the book here. And since I have enjoyed my interactions with Paul and his books, I was happy to do a giveaway.

In the interest of not encouraging the random giveaway entrants to play, I want to open it up to commenters on this blog post and on the post I will share on my Facebook page about this. I enjoy running with audiobooks (it’s part of what got me through over 50 books in 2015!) and I want to share my love of audiobooks and this story with people that I hope will be truly interested. (See my manifesto post about giveaways.)

So here’s all you need to do for entry… leave a comment with one of your favorite books or just say hello. I’ll choose a winner on January 15.


  1. I would also suggest On the Road to Find Out (YA novel by Rachel Toor, who is a columnist for Running Times, teaches at Eastern Washington University, and also wrote a memoir called Personal Record) and A Life without Limits by Chrissie Wellington. I agree that Marathon Woman is awesome, since it starts out when Kathrine was a teenager and follows her running life over the decades!

  2. I love books. My favorite one would have to be anything by Tamora Pierce, but I’ve never actually read a book about running before. Thinking of buying my first one to read while I’m at work. Thanks for the suggestions!

  3. I have a preteen daughter, she does not run with me, but she asked for a bike for Christmas so she could ride with me while I run. We shall see if she follows through on that one! If I don’t win the book I will be purchasing it for my daughter, and it sounds like I may like it too!

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