Thursday, 8 September 2016


Hello readers!

Thank you for taking the time to take in my articles over the last 5 years.  I have loved sharing what I have learned.  The questions and feedback from all of you have triggered even more learning on my part which has been a massive added bonus.  Let's keep this great relationship going!

My blog, from this point forward, will now be found at

The change is simply to allow for my website and blog to be in one convenient location along with some updated formatting and development options.  This blog, with 5 years of content, will stay live for your reference and reading pleasure for years to come.

Thanks again for reading, and we'll see you at the new site!

Dr. Sean Delanghe

Monday, 13 June 2016

Maybe You Shouldn't Change Your Stride (Part 3)

Throughout the last few months, my articles have been focused on how we ought (or ought not to) alter our stride to enhance running economy.  Last month, for instance, I looked at stride length, and how deviating from a naturally selected length will likely make you slower.

This month, I will address one aspect that I have mentioned in my previous posts: vertical oscillation (i.e. bouncing up and down as we run).

Vertical oscillation has always been one of the features of a stride that I think should be corrected if the vertical translation is excessive.  The research is clear, and logically it makes sense: if you waste energy shooting your body up into the air, you will have less energy to propel you forward.  The idea of a seemingly relaxed and tranquil upper body floating over spinning legs is the image we see amongst the best in the world, and something we should strive for.  BUT, is cutting vertical oscillation out entirely needed, or even beneficial?  Let's see what the research says:

Monday, 16 May 2016

Maybe you shouldn't change your stride (Part 2)

Last month I gave an introduction into gait analysis, and a general idea of when one should change their stride.  The take home message was that generally speaking, there are times when extreme form flaw can be identified and should be corrected.  However, it is also apparent that there is a wide range of what is acceptable, a range that is MUCH broader than we have been led to believe.  Altering your natural rhythm to to achieve a narrow view of the perfect stride can decrease running economy and increase injury risk.

Over the next few blog posts, I will be exploring some specific components of form.  Today I will take a look at what the research shows about stride length.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Maybe you shouldn't change your stride (Part 1)

Something I get asked a lot about is how to improve running form to enhance performance. I figured the best way too approach this very complicated issue is to do a series of posts over the next 2-3 months. This first post will simply be an introduction into the concept of what exactly a “perfect stride” is and to try to challenge some of the conventional tips that have been engrained into us.

The fact of the matter is that there definitely are key (and somewhat obvious) movement patterns that can have a clear detrimental impact on running performance and/or running economy. For example, we know that excessive arm motion will decrease running economy (for example, read more here). We also know that a crazy amount of vertical oscillation (bouncing too much up and down) will also decrease running economy (as shown, for instance, here).

However, I think in popular running culture, there is definitely an overemphasis on achieving the perfect stride. I also think there is low level of appreciation for how trying to fight your natural rhythm can often do more harm than good. What looks pretty and symmetrical is not always what is best for your individual anatomy.

Monday, 7 March 2016


Whenever I get back from a run, I typically feel as though I can think with more clarity and work more efficiently. Not only that, I have sometimes gotten the impression that if I go for a run, my retention of newly learned information skyrockets. That’s why during my days as a nerdy chiro student, I would try my best to separate intense study sessions with run breaks. Is there any truth to what I experienced, or am I actually just finding creative reasons to procrastinate via running when I don’t feel like working?

That’s what I am looking at with today’s article: memory performance in those who go for a run vs. those who play Counter Strike.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Does beetroot juice make you run faster?

A large part of what I focus on in this column is how you can alter your training to enhance performance. Training-schmraining…wouldn’t it be nice if there were ways to enhance performance without putting in any extra effort? Unfortunately, most effortless strategies that make as faster are dangerous and against the rules (EPO, blood doping etc.). There are a few, however, that are allowed and 100% work. One is the use of caffeine as I have written about here. Another ergogenic aid that is coming to the forefront of the literature is beetroot juice. With the more I read, the more it seems that under the right circumstances it actually works.

Thursday, 7 January 2016


Happy New Year readers! With 2016 finally upon us, it’s time to start laying down base training for a successful year of racing. During this early phase of your year, it’s a good time to think about and train things that you really don’t have time for during the race season. One of these components: our running biomechanics.

I want to preface this article by saying that I think one has to be careful when consciously making an effort to significantly alter form. Firstly, researchers have shown that when you try to significantly alter your gait (i.e. during the barefoot running craze, trying to change to a forefoot strike from a rearfoot strike), not only did many runners become more injury prone, but their running economy went down (at least for a while) when battling their natural biomechanics.