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Running Research Discussed on NPR Science Friday

Quick post here to alert you to a story/interview about running research from the October 30th episode of NPR Science Friday with Ira Flatow.  Thanks to @korevec on Twitter for alerting me to the story.  The description of the segment is provided below:

Runners from around the world are converging on New York City, preparing for this weekend’s running of the New York Marathon. Last week, the action was in the Washington area for the Marine Corps Marathon. In this segment, we’ll get the latest on research into running — what adaptations make some people better runners than others? And how did running help shape the evolution of humans?

In the segment, Ira interviews Profs. Daniel Lieberman and John Ratey from Harvard University. Lieberman is well-known in the running community for his thoughts on the evolution of distance running capabilities in humans, and I’ve written extensively about his work in one of my own posts on the evolution of running in humans.  John Ratey is the author of the book “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain.” I’ve read Ratey’s book (actually listened to it, mostly while running), and found it extremely interesting. It makes a fantastic, and very scientific, case for why we should be exercising not only for the body, but also for the brain.  Ratey also makes a compelling argument for why eliminating Physical Education classes in schools (in exchange for more in-class time) might be counterproductive in terms of trying to improve student academic performance.

You can download and listen to the full Science Friday segment from Itunes here:


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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a biology teacher, track/soccer coach, and dad (x3) with a passion for running, soccer, and science. If you'd like to learn a little bit more about who I am and what I do, click here, or visit

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