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The Physics and Physiology of Running

Christof Schwiening (physiologist) and Kevin O'Holleran (physicist) take a rational scientific approach to marathon running in this 2-part talk. Neither is a sports scientist; Christof is a cellular neurophysiologist and Kevin is an physicist, but both are competitive runners obsessively concerned with optimizing performance. Some of the ideas presented will challenge current common coaching dogma.

Lecture 1 - Better Training

originally recorded at the Cambridge Science Festival, 12 March 2016

Running your best marathon involves starting at the appropriate pace and then following a plan. We will consider how that pace and plan can be calculated using a range of techniques. Some of the techniques currently used fail for certain runners in a predictable fashion, we will show how corrections can be made. We will also discuss the in-race 'mistakes' that are commonly made as well as the worthwhile optimizations. Why waste the fitness you have spent months gaining?

Lecture 2 - Faster Racing

originally recorded at the Cambridge Science Festival, 12 March 2016

Running a marathon is a challenge especially when attempting to run it as fast as possible. In this lecture we will look at the systems that begin to fail as the marathon progresses and how both physics and physiology interact with one another. We will also consider the forms of training that can allow runners to go faster for longer. The lecture is aimed at runners of all levels who are looking for evidence-based data that might enable them to either go faster, or have a more pleasant marathon experience.

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