Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned runner, Running Science is a must-have for anyone interested in the fascinating science behind the sport.
Running is deceptively simple. At its most basic, you need only shoes and comfortable clothes. Yet each time you lace up, all your body’s moving parts must work together to achieve a gait that will keep you injury-free. Many other factors also affect your performance, from the weather and the surface you run on to your shoes, your diet, and even your mental and emotional state. Science plays an important role in most, if not all, of these factors.
As a sports scientist and Running magazine columnist, John Brewer, and his band of expert contributors, has read hundreds of scientific studies and breaks down their findings in Running Science. Each chapter explores a different aspect of the sport through a series of questions: Do you really need to stretch? Which running shoes best suit your form and foot strike? Does carbo-loading lore stand up to scientific scrutiny—could a big bowl of spaghetti be the difference between a PR and a DNF?
Other questions enhance appreciation for the incredible feats of the sport’s greatest athletes: What would it take to run a two-hour marathon? The answer to each question is presented in a straightforward, accessible manner with accompanying infographics.
John Brewer is Professor of Applied Sports Science at St Mary’s University, London. An 18-time London
marathon runner himself, he wrote the official London 2012 Training Guide to athletic track events, is a
regular columnist for Running magazine and has regularly appeared on BBC radio and TV and Sky Sports.
He says: “The correct application of science can enhance running performance at all levels, whether an elite
athlete aiming to win an Olympic Gold Medal, or a “weekend warrior” trying to do their very best in their
weekend training run or race. It also highlights the many different areas in which science can make a small
difference, which when added together can make significant improvements in performance”.
Contributors: Anna Barnsley, John Brewer, Laura Charalambous, Daniel Craighead, James Earle, Iain
Fletcher, Jess Hill, Andy Lane, Paul Larkins, Bob Murray and Charles Pedlar.
Optimising Training and Performance
Editor: John Brewer