10 best running movies and documentaries
10 best running movies. I built this list as a journey into long-distance running.
And especially what is going on in the mind of a runner and how to play the mind game. Your ability to master your mind is what makes you finish a race or do something you thought was impossible.
For the best experience, I recommend viewing the videos in the listed order. Of course, you can watch them in the order you want.
To be part of this list, the movies have to have at least one of the followings:
As a trail runner and a mountain runner, this list contains many of these. I find it fascinating to see how athletes can overcome their challenges.
There are many 10 best running movies and documentaries lists out there. This list makes me want to do something hard, make me forget my excuses, and makes me want to go outside for a run until I can’t.
Learn about: training, nutrition, race strategy, physiology, psychology, aging, and more…
Let’s start with two videos to set the stage: you can start running at any age and keep running until very old age. Because, after all, we were born to run!
#1: 72-Year-Old Ultra Marathon Runner Takes On The Western States 100 | Thirty Hours
Running 100 miles is tough. At 72 years old it’s unimaginable. Wally pushes his body to the limit to become the oldest finisher of the Western States 100.
10 best running movies.
#2: Are we born to run?
This Tedx video puts the others into perspective. Christopher McDougall explores the mysteries of the human desire to run. How did running help early humans survive -and what urges from our ancient ancestors spur us on today? McDougall tells the story of the marathoner
The next two documentaries follow two runners. They push their limits to finish something bigger than anything they have ever done.
#3: Where Dreams Go To Die
Is an epic journey of Ultra runner Gary Robins in his quest to finish the Barkley Marathons. This race is amongst the hardest on earth if not the hardest. Only 18 finishers since the first edition in… 1986!
#4: Karl Meltzer: Made to Be Broken
Karl Meltzer’s dream is to set the speed record for crossing the USA’s Appalachian Trail. This is his third and final attempt to run the 3,524km (2,188 miles) in record time. Karl Meltzger also holds the record for most 100 miles race wins.
See the trailer below and the free full movie on Redbull TV here.
The next one is more entertaining and showcases incredible uphill and downhill skills.
#5: Up and Down: Mount Marathon, AK.
One of the shortest Mountain races in America. 800 runners.
One goal: going up and down a mountain as fast as possible.
Let’s pause for a moment as Paula Radcliff reflects on her career and marathon world records.
#6: Paula Radcliffe: The Marathon and Me
Paula Radcliffe, a world-record holder in the marathon, reflects on her running journey. She talks about her journey to overcome injury, her highs, and lows, as well as the future of the sport.
If you need some inspiration, look no further. This movie brings out what good a human can do for another.
#7: Skid Row Marathon
The movie is available with a subscription on YouTube, Amazon Prime, Roku, Google Play, Apple TV.
A criminal court judge starts a running club on LA’s Skid Row. He trains a motley group of homeless, addicted, and criminal men and women to run marathons.
“Embrace the pain cave” in other words, take control of your mind. The next video is about what it takes to accept the pain and use it to do incredible feats.
#8 Mindset SECRETS From The World's Best Ultrarunner: Courtney Dauwalter | Rich Roll Podcast
This 1 hour and 37 minutes long interview. It is a deep dive into her career, intuitive training style, & a unique perspective on pain. Also available on Apple podcast and Spotify.
Let’s wrap up my list of the 10 best running movies and documentaries. The last two documentaries is an illustration of how far you can push your physical limits.
#9: The Ultra Addict with Courtney Dauwalter.
In 2018, Courtney Dauwalter battled for two days and 205 miles on the steep, dry Tahoe Rim Trail. Watch her going through sleep deprivation, race mishaps, and pushing her limits. All while a relentless competitor was pursuing her as she was running toward victory.
You can learn a lot about yourself when a race goes well, but you can learn even more when it all goes sideways.
Last but not least of the 10 best running movies and documentaries
#10: Big Dog's Backyard Ultra: The Last Man Standing.
The race with no end where speed doesn’t matter. Big Dog’s Backyard Ultra is one of the most mentally complex races in the world. Contestants run a 4.1-mile loop every hour, day or night, nonstop. The last man or woman standing is the winner.
I hope you had a good time watching my list of the best 10 movies and documentaries. Of course, there are many out there that you can find on YouTube or other platforms. This one makes sense to me as it resonates with my coaching style and as a runner.
Let me know what you think and which ones you think are missing.