Posted by: Armand | February 17, 2011

Scientific testing to improve running technique

In a past life, I was pretty heavily into the science of things. I’m still fascinated by science and all that jazz as a general principle, but the specifics are lost to me.

Which is one of the reasons why I’m so horrible at improving my running process/technique. Instead of changing one thing – new shoes, summer running gear, running in the morning or one of the other half-dozen variables under my control, I change them all in one go so have no idea what it was that helped me break a certain time or that caused me a particular issue.

As I’ve commented before, running is like golf – the number of uncontrollable variables is legion. I may need to introduce some scientific rigour to my process as I aim to improve my half marathon time this year…

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Responses

  1. Have you tried running with a heart rate monitor? I used to use one for cycling and it gives you that scientific rigour. By knowing your heart rate ranges and limits you can tell at a glance if you are working too hard or have more left to give. Good ones (I’ve got a Sunnto t6) will even let you graph your H rate, respiration, altitude, cadence, temperature, calorie consumption etc together on the computer for a complete geekout record of your efforts :). The science you are looking for?

  2. Oddly, I’m quite happy with that aspect of my process – a lot of that HR monitor information is captured by my Runkeeper app (not the vital HR piece but pace, calories, altitude etc) and I’ve been tracking that since mid last year so have built up a bank of data!

    The context of this issue was more my needing to apply the scientific method to controlling the variables between runs to find out the optimum running time/weather/clothing/shoes/diet etc., which requires discipline on my part – something I’ve been lacking since the little one arrived! Ah well… that’s what vacations are for!


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