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The New Science of Running Better

A giant new study discovers three techniques that help you run farther faster.

The New Science of Running Better

Today you’ll learn:

  • Discoveries from a sweeping study investigating running form and technique.
  • Common running advice the study debunked.
  • Three tactics the research discovered allow you to run farther, faster, with less effort.
  • Tips and drills to apply those three tactics.


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For the first three decades of my life, my approach to running was to run like the cops were chasing me.

Always at full tilt. No thought of form or technique or anything like that.

After an inevitable injury, I realized that this all-gas-no-brakes approach probably wasn’t ideal.

But I faced a vast improvement hurdle. Information on how to improve as a runner was a swamp of runner-speak that didn’t make sense.

Running books and articles gave me an obscure list of things I could to do run better. I was told to:

  • Switch from a heel strike to a forefoot or midfoot strike.
  • Work on my “ground contact time,” or how long my feet were on the ground.
  • Improve my “flight time,” the time neither foot was in contact with the ground.
  • Alter my “swing time,” which is apparently just like flight time but only for one leg.
  • Use a minimalist shoe.
  • Think deeply about something called “duty factor,” which is defined as the “ratio of stance time relative to step time.”

It was overwhelming and impractical.

Implementing all the advice felt more exhausting than the run itself.

The good news is that I was able to rehab, get back to running, and improve as a runner. It wasn’t as complicated as you might think.

And I just stumbled upon a giant new study. This study not only found that all of the technical stuff above doesn’t matter—it also discovered what does matter.

An international team of researchers pooled together data from 51 different studies on running efficiency. Running efficiency is a simple way of measuring the energy it takes to run at a given speed—better efficiency means you’ll run faster and farther with less effort.

The data revealed just three factors that create better, more efficient runners.

And if you become a better runner, your fitness goes up. And when your fitness goes up, you feel better and move yourself farther away from death. That’s a win/win.

Here are the three proven factors, accompanying exercises, and how you can implement them.

The 3 laws of efficient running