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.