Top Running Research Articles

If you had to pick the two most influential running research articles that you read, what would they be?

One of our favorite parts about working with runners is that there are endless learning opportunities. Like most running experts, we have a list of articles to read that would take us a month to get through, but these two below rose to the top of our list!

Below are the articles with brief summary and link.

  1. Moving Beyond Weekly “Distance”: Optimizing Quantification of Training Load in Runners Paquette et al 2020 (Think this is a free JOSPT article).

    This clinical commentary discuss the enormous challenge in quantifying training load and why weekly miles is probably not the key. The articles discusses alternative methods including Session RPE and Acute to Chronic Workload ratios. Future research may look to more advanced wearables, but be sure that they measure what actually has an impact on the runner! The key is finding more universally accepted measures and educating clinicians (education is key!).

  2. Running Technique is an Important Component of Running Economy and Performance Folland et al 2017 (Free Article). Geek alert!

    This really dives into how kinematics (running form) contribute to Running Economy (think MPG on a car) and running performance. Large article to summarize, but findings suggest that vertical oscillation of the pelvis, braking, shin angle, knee and hip excursions can all correlate to performance related variables. Essentially, running form matters for performance! This is what we live and breathe for every day doing 3D gait analysis, but can be great for those doing 2D to be aware of as well. Running form matters!

What articles have impacted your practice? It is important for us to strive to use evidence to inform our decisions, and it takes time to keep up with it.