Do world-class sprinters really move their legs no faster than ordinary runners?

The speeds attained by world-class sprinters like Usain Bolt are simply unfathomable to me. During today’s workout, I ran at nearly top speed for a set of 400-meter repetitions: About a 6-minute-mile pace, or 10 miles per hour. Sure, I could probably hit 15 mph over 50 meters or so, but that would be about […]

Nutrition during a run: Yep, consuming carbs improves performance

This summer I’m reading Tim Noakes’ massive volume Lore of Running, bit by bit, then reporting the critical bits back to you. Last week I covered fatigue and exhaustion, discussing why we get tired when we do. This week I’m finishing up Noakes’ chapter on energy systems and running performance. I started running in the […]

The Basics: Running, sweating, and drinking in warm weather

Few topics fill runners with more dread than trying to figure out what and how much to drink for a workout. Should you consume an energy drink? If so, what kind? Or is plain water fine? Should you drink beforehand? Can you drink too much? When the weather warms up in the summer, the questions […]

Why do we get exhausted? Noakes on energy supply and running

This summer I’m reading Tim Noakes’ massive volume Lore of Running, bit by bit, then reporting the critical bits back to you. Last week I covered running potential, discussing whether there are fixed limits to human performance. This week I’m reading Noakes’ chapter on energy systems and running performance. The basic question in this chapter […]

Cadence and injuries: Once more, with science

The plan for this site has always been to supplement discussion of peer-reviewed science with other reasoned discussions based on anecdotes and experience. When I’m discussing the peer-reviewed research, I always include the Research Blogging icon you see at the top of this post. When I’m discussing books or other non-peer-reviewed sources, I don’t. That […]

Don’t believe every table you see: Noakes on running potential

This summer I’m reading Tim Noakes’ massive volume Lore of Running, bit by bit, then reporting the critical bits back to you. Last week I covered VO2 max, the idea that every runner can consume a relatively-fixed maximum amount of oxygen. But while VO2 max can’t be improved much with training, I held out hope […]

Quick Hits: Consuming carbs won’t cause you to bonk

Two separate individuals have pointed me to a new site, The Natural Running Center, which claims to be “a comprehensive web resource of information and education for all runners.” The site was founded by minimalist running gurus (advocates of running barefoot or with very reduced footwear), some of whom also happen to operate stores where […]

Barefoot running is (sometimes) more efficient

Runners around the world are currently engaged in an epic battle about the future of their sport: Whether running barefoot is better than running wearing shoes. I wrote an article about it last year, and despite the fact that Seed’s website doesn’t accept comments, I heard from a lot of runners on both sides of […]

The Basics: Cadence

Kenyan-born Bernard Lagat is one of the most-decorated American middle-distance runners in history, chalking up impressive victories in world championships and holding four American records. He’s also admired by coaches for his fluid running form. While it may not be possible for amateur runners to match Lagat’s graceful stride, there is one aspect of his […]

Noakes on VO2 max: Its uses and abuses

One of the first books site consulting expert Travis Saunders suggested I read while preparing for this site was Tim Noakes’ legendary tome, Lore of Running. It’s a massive, almost encyclopedic volume, filled with Noakes’ incisive analysis of scientific research into running performance. Many academics value it for its references alone, which are available for […]