2011-07-13

The Science of Running

The reason I have so much to say about running and marathon training is because running is a scientific sport. For avid runners like myself, this is part of the appeal. Indeed, part of the appeal of any hobby or interest is becoming an enthusiast, expanding one's knowledge about the subject, and becoming a mini-expert in the field.

Movie enthusiasts, for example, often learn about cinematography, special effects, or acting methods. They become masters of film critique, perhaps not on the level of a true professional, but masters of their own kind. Such is enthusiasm. This is a common and delightful aspect of human nature.

Those of us who choose to run for fun are no different in this respect. Moreover, running is one of those hobbies that truly lends itself to the scientific method, to data collection and analysis, to experimentation, fine-tuning, and tweaking. Small adjustments in the short-run can have major impacts in the long-run. So we runners enjoy analyzing and over-analyzing those small adjustments to try to achieve our goals.