Reader question: How would I fuel during a long run?

A couple of weeks ago, SteveL asked me in the comments: “How would you fuel during a long run?” Allow me to be a bit tongue-in-cheek here. If SteveL means what we usually do by “long run”—that is, a training run and not a race—my answer is, “with body fat and oxygen.” In other words, … Continue reading Reader question: How would I fuel during a long run?

Defining the “long run” for better endurance training.

The long run is touted by many to be the centerpiece of training for marathoners and other endurance runners. Most people think of the long run as a protracted effort that causes their body to produce the mental and physical adaptations needed for endurance races. But the ways in which people prepare, fuel, and run … Continue reading Defining the “long run” for better endurance training.

Why does cycling feel harder than running at the same heart rate?

Triathletes often make the observation that cycling at the Maximum Aerobic Function Heart Rate (MAF HR) feels a lot harder than running at the same heart rate. Due to a common perception that exercising at the MAF HR should feel “easy,” people often ask whether they should lower their cycling MAF HR by ten or … Continue reading Why does cycling feel harder than running at the same heart rate?

Runners: “Aerobic training” is not the same as “Endurance training.”

It’s common that training which develops the aerobic system is equated with training that increases the body’s endurance. It’s understandable: the aerobic system burns fats in the presence of oxygen in order to provide long-term energy for the body—exactly what it needs for endurance. But the problem is that a powerful aerobic system isn’t the … Continue reading Runners: “Aerobic training” is not the same as “Endurance training.”

The Runner’s Catch-22, Part 2: Power Facilitates Endurance.

In my first post of this series, I discussed a very common training problem plaguing the beginner runner: that it takes a certain amount of power to habitually produce an efficient running cadence (in the ballpark of 180 steps per minute, or spm), and it takes incrementally more power to produce it over longer and … Continue reading The Runner’s Catch-22, Part 2: Power Facilitates Endurance.

The Runner’s Catch-22, Part 1

I’m calling this series of posts “The Runner’s Catch-22” to address a very common problem in the running world. A lot of beginner runners—let’s face it—want to run long. Very long. But in attempting to do that, they get ill, injured, or overtrained. And their hopes of running long (and doing so consistently) get quashed. … Continue reading The Runner’s Catch-22, Part 1

Synthetic perspectives on the running human body: Improving running economy is not the be-all, end-all.

Looking at the body from a synthetic perspective is a lot like looking at it from an evolutionary perspective. As I described in a previous post, a “synthetic account” of the body—there is no such thing as a “synthetic analysis”—is one that looks at the human animal in its whole context in order to understand … Continue reading Synthetic perspectives on the running human body: Improving running economy is not the be-all, end-all.

The Running gait, Part 2: Movement logic and The Pose Method

It seems to me that nobody can quite agree on exactly what is happening during the running gait. The running gait is characterized by an alternation of support: at one point, your body is supported on the ground by your left leg, then you’re suspended in the air, and then it’s supported by your right … Continue reading The Running gait, Part 2: Movement logic and The Pose Method

The Running Gait, Part 1: Contralaterality

All gait is a contralateral movement. Although It seems like the most obvious statement (perhaps to the point of being boring), it often astonishes me just how unexamined it remains. Discussing both the theoretical and practical implications—what it means for our training—is what this series of posts is all about. To say that a movement … Continue reading The Running Gait, Part 1: Contralaterality

QUESTION FROM A READER: Why does my heart rate spike at the start of a run?

A lot of people who run with heart rate monitors often see their heart rate spike at the beginning of a run, only to subside after a mile or two. This kind of spike only happens if you didn’t warm up long enough. If the body isn’t warmed up, there is little blood flow to the … Continue reading QUESTION FROM A READER: Why does my heart rate spike at the start of a run?