Don’t Trust Your Treadmill

One of the more persistent myths in running is the idea that running on a treadmill is “easier” than running overground. Here’s a typical formulation of the myth, which I found on the website of the Houston Chronicle:  Running on a level road or trail is not the same...

Should You Lock Yourself in a Hot Room While Tapering for Races?

I am not an exercise scientist, but I do have a strong interest in the science of endurance exercise, and every once in a while I speculate on the kinds of questions exercise scientists like to explore experimentally. For example, back in 2004 I found myself wondering...

The Four Kinds of Endurance Talent

What does it mean to have a talent for running or cycling or other endurance sports? Generally, we think of it as a natural capacity to maintain high speeds for prolonged periods of time, a capacity that is physiologically rooted in what we can loosely call aerobic...

Good Cop, Bad Cop

To train with maximal effectiveness, you have to be mean to yourself. And you also have to be kind to yourself. Every week I do two full-body functional strength workouts at a local gym. The specific exercise selection evolves over time, but there is one exercise I...

The Art of the Marathon-as-Workout

If you’re a relatively inexperienced runner, or a back-of-the-pack runner, stop reading now. This one’s not for you. Unless you’re just curious—then go ahead and keep reading. For most experienced competitive runners, a marathon is a race. You sign up, pin a number on...

The Benefits of Rust-Buster Races

Let me be clear: Many if not most endurance athletes race too often. I consider over-racing to be one of the most common and costly forms of self-sabotage in endurance sports. Check out this past post of mine for a full rant on the topic. But in this post...