Welcome to Science-Based Running

Posted by Dave on June 24, 2011 | 8 Comments

A little over a year ago, I weighed 40 pounds more than I do today. A good run for me was three or four miles, at a pace of about nine minutes a mile. Now I can run that same distance at faster than a seven-minute-mile pace. A year ago, the farthest I’d ever run was 13.1 miles, a half-marathon. Now I’ve doubled that, twice.

Like most runners, I hadn’t done a lot of studying about what it it takes to get better; I simply went out and ran, and maybe talked to other runners to find out what they do to improve. That worked for a while, but now I feel like I’ve reached the limits of what I can do without seriously researching what to do next. Unfortunately, there is lots of biased advice out there. Vendors sell health supplements and other running aids with scant evidence they will actually improve your running. So-called independent experts are often working for these companies—perhaps with good intentions, but still with an interest in selling the product they represent.

The goal of this site is to focus on peer-reviewed research: Truly independent work from experts about what does and does not improve your running. Scientists have conducted thousands of studies on exercise, fitness, and nutrition, but the results are not always easy to understand, so with the help of experts, I’ll try to explain the implications of this research and how to apply it to your training program. It will never be as easy as just gulping down the latest fad nutritional supplement or buying a new gadget, but it should be more lasting.

I’ll also try to look into mainstream media reports to check their claims. Often findings that seem “scientific” wouldn’t pass muster among legitimate researchers.

Hopefully along the way I’ll be informative, entertaining, and most of all, useful, whether your goal is to run faster and win more races or just to have fun and stay fit.


8 Responses to “Welcome to Science-Based Running”

  1. David Kroll
    June 24th, 2011 @ 5:48 pm

    Dave, what a fantastic idea for a new blog that draws from your superb writing skills and amazing transformation with running. After my bout of pneumonia last year, I’ve now got my eyes set on doing a marathon before I’m 50. Having you as a resource is a dream come true at just the right time for me.

    Congratulations and thanks for undertaking this new project!

  2. Start List/Liste de Départ: Édition St. Jean Baptiste « Montreal Endurance
    June 24th, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

    […] we’re going to try to beef up both our science section, and our french content. Here’s a new running science blog called Science-based Running. Should be interesting to see what they post. Et, on va voir si Le Physiologiste pourra nous écrire […]

  3. mgeek
    June 25th, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

    Hello! Thank you for pursuing this blog project! I was a great fan of http://www.fitnessrocks.org which unfortunately was discontinued. I really hope to read on this blog sharp insights on running / fitness research and critique to unscientific bias on mass media. Best wishes!

  4. Sean
    June 29th, 2011 @ 10:46 pm

    I’m a cyclist, but this is interesting stuff, thanks!


  5. tdd
    June 30th, 2011 @ 12:05 am

    “A good run for me [is] three or four miles, at a pace of about nine minutes a mile. … Like most runners, I [haven’t] done a lot of studying about what it it takes to get better; I simply [go] out and [run], and maybe [talk] to other runners to find out what they do to improve.”

    This is exactly me. I’m interested in skipping the fluff and getting straight to the next level of performance. How about a post to that effect?

  6. Paul
    June 30th, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

    Just read through all the posts and looking forward to some more. I’ve always tended to avoid fitness articles as I know how much money is in the industry and how that will distort things so thanks for doing this :)

  7. The science on how to run fast
    September 18th, 2011 @ 6:58 pm

    […] training circuit with resistance bandsThe Effects of Interval Training in Well-Trained RowersWelcome to Science-Based Running : Science-Based Running function getTubePressBaseUrl(){return […]

  8. LARRY
    October 31st, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

    There is no more educated group of magical thinkers than endurance athletes. Orthotics, motion control, kinesiology tape, and worst of all. . Compression socks . . This nonsense must be identified and mocked.
    Good luck!