Every runner has a reason for putting on their running shoes to train or race. For some it is simply to improve fitness, for others it is all about performance. But whatever the goal there is an underlying expectation that running will deliver the expected returns, perhaps through faster performance times, or possibly through increased health and longevity. Some of the undoubted benefits of running have been clearly documented in scientific studies, backed by data and statistical probability.
But despite this growth in scientific data, there are still many questions that remain unanswered. As a sports scientist, 19-time London Marathon runner John Brewer has read hundreds of scientific studies, and breaks down their findings in his new book, Running Science (Ivy Press, RRP £20). 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 PB and a DNF?
Running Science is a must-have for anyone interested in the fascinating science behind the sport with each question presented in a straightforward, accessible manner with accompanying infographics, up-to-date photography and statistics.
John Brewer 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.”