Exercise and Your Brain

  When I wrote The Inner Runner, one of the things I wanted to address is how running changes us on the inside. Exercise doesn’t just affect the heart and muscles; it also affects the brain. It’s an interesting field of science called neuroplasticity—the ability of the brain to change. Running causes morphological and neurochemical adaptations […]

Einstein, Pyruvate, and Simplicity

I am often asked how to become a better runner. The answer is simple… and complex. As Albert Einstein said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” So, in honor of Einstein (whom I share a birthday with), here is a simple explanation of how to become a better runner. Understand […]

Two Schools of Thought

“There are two schools of thought,” the college coach said to me seven years ago, as I watched the 800-meter runners run 200-meter reps on the track at 800-meter PR pace in November. She was referring to how to train middle distance and distance runners — with lots of speed training or lots of endurance […]

Miles, Metabolism, and Curveballs

As you probably know, I have been deeply interested in the science of athletic performance ever since I was a kid. One of the first scientific questions I had at a young age was how a baseball pitcher throws a curveball. It’s so cool how pitchers exploit the physics of aerodynamics to make the ball […]

Bows and Arrows, Baby Stroller, and Potential Energy

When they are in their equilibrium position, a bow and arrow have no energy stored. But when the bow’s position is altered from its equilibrium position, the bow stores energy. This stored energy by virtue of changing its position is called potential energy. When the arrow is released from the bow, that potential energy is […]

Track Races and Finding My Inner Sprinter

I ran in the Summer Nights Track & Field Series last night in San Diego. 1,500 meters. Came through 800 meters in 2:36, only 1 second shy of my plan. Wanted sub 5 minutes. Finished in 4:58.66. These 43-year-old legs ain’t got the speed they used to have, but I executed the way I wanted […]

Runner Legs, Mitochondria, and Your Mommy’s DNA

Running is all about your legs. When you run, many enzymes are busy at work in your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, and other muscles, catalyzing numerous chemical reactions to break down carbohydrates and fat for fuel, including the one that breaks the strong bonds of ATP molecules we learned about in high school biology class to […]

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