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My Finish Line’s Runners Reading List

Some hand picked good reads for runners.

by My Finish Line


Science is longitudinal. It is a constantly evolving entity. What that means is, whenever you look at the ‘available science’ it is a cross-section of the best available research and information available at the time. Thankfully, things are always moving and due to constant peer-reviewing and retrospective research, things often change. Einstein modified Newton’s perspective on gravity, and now thanks to fanciful telescopes and their abilities to study black holes, Einstein’s own theories are being examined for holes themselves. This is good. It makes things more efficient, reliable and trustworthy.

Sport has had a wonderful relationship with science. Some of the greatest minds in sport research (Yuri Verkonshansky, a Russian; Mel Siff, an American) began their studies in the late sixties with the objective of constantly learning, and constantly adapting their practices. Most of the coaches operating at the sharp end of sport these days stand on the shoulders of giants such as these.

Thanks to Sport Science exploding as a module in universities world wide, we are collecting more and more studies and research data now than we ever have done. There are studies proving relationships between strength, speed, power, mobility, agility and endurance with a multitude of interventions. What is in vogue now wasn’t supported a decade ago, and might not be supported in a decade’s time. This is why taking a “long view” on science’s intervention in improving sports performance is highly recommended. It avoids making mistakes such as treating “recent” with “better”.

Which is why we at My Finish Line, having had the benefit of 25 years’ worth of sharp end research and coaching, suggest to you a top four reading list when it comes to the art of running. Or is that the science of running? We get confused as much as anyone when it comes to that!

Running: Biomechanics and Exercise Physiology in Practice (Frans Bosch and Ronald Klomp 2004)

- biomechanical breakdowns

- cutting edge scientific appraisal of running explained through role and actions of specific muscle groups

Running Form: How to Run Faster and Prevent Injury (Owen Anderson PhD 2018)

- all-encompassing information

-excellent book for those wanting advice on injury prevention and performance gains.

The Science of Running: How to find your limit and train to maximize your performance (Steve Magness 2014)

-a running pursist’s delight

- science, coaching, experience, knowledge and application explained in an easy-to-absorb book

The Art of Running Faster (Goater & Melvin)

-excellent scientific and experientialadvice on running and planning your training