Plans for 2019

Happy New Year.

Thanks to all who have continued to read my posts during the past year.   Despite the fact that I posted only twice in 2017 and 5 times in 2018, it appears that you, my valued readers, have not given up.  There were 36,139 page views  in 2017 and 33,733 in 2018, placing these two years among the top three since I started blogging 11 years ago.

In part the paucity of my posts in recent years has been because the energy invested by the running community in the vigorous debates of the preceding decade about issues such as running style and running shoes has almost fizzled out. Meanwhile other interesting aspects of science have continued to advance. In particular, the evidence that exercise is one of the most effective ways to enhance health and wellbeing has become increasingly compelling. Much of this evidence is relevant not only to health and well-being but also to training to achieve optimum performance.   Therefore, there is much to write about.  I hope that in 2019 I will find time to post more frequently.

In my posts in the final months of 2018 I compared and contrasted performances and training of Ed Whitlock and Gene Dykes.   The differing career paths followed by Ed and Gene have prompted me to review again the question of the optimum way to achieve longevity as a distance runner

This is a topic I have discussed at length on this blog in recent years.  It is time to return to it, not only because of the different trajectories of Ed and Gene, but also because the past few years have been a fertile period in the study of relevant basic biology.   I anticipate covering the topic in a series of several posts:

  • The role of genes
  • The role of satellite cells
  • The role of inflammation
  • Hormones and the autonomic nervous system
  • The enigmatic role of mind and brain

While I hope this intricate scientific story will prove fascinating in itself, I will nonetheless attempt to remain anchored to the evidence presented by the stories of great distance runners, not only the veterans, Ed Whitlock and Gene Dykes, but also some of the ‘younger’ runners who set the standards for distance running in the 21st century, especially Haile Gebreselassie and Paula Radcliffe.

8 Responses to “Plans for 2019”

  1. Jim Keiser Says:

    Happy New Year to you as well! No need to apologize, as your posts are great and I am always happy to see one appear. I just have one piece of feedback about your plans for 2019, which is that I hope you don’t spend too much time on things that we really can’t change, for example – genes. Although I am sure what you have to say on the subject will be as interesting as always, I get quite a bit out of your posts that provide information that I can use to better understand myself, and how I can improve. The great posts about Ed and Gene are perfect examples. Thank you in any case, and have a great year.

  2. canute1 Says:


    Thanks for your kind comments..

    With regard to genes, variation in the expression of genes is as interesting as variation in the genetic code itself. Perhaps for the runner the important practical issue is that the expression of genes can be changed by training.

    • Jim Keiser Says:

      Thanks and I look forward to learning more about all of the topics you cover this year – now even this one.

  3. parkwayrunner Says:

    Happy New Year to you too! Love your posts and read them and sometimes reread them as they are very informative. This will be my 54th year of running and I thank you for your help to keep me running healthy.

    Thank you and have a great 2019,

  4. igalgoczi Says:

    I wish you a happy year of success!
    I think we’re looking at very exciting topics from Canute. I think if we know the process of something and understand the relationships, then processes like energy production and regeneration can be affected.
    Thank you and have a great 2019

  5. Ewen Says:

    Happy New Year (a belated one) to you Canute. I hope you manage to post more frequently as I always enjoy reading them. My favourites would be the analysis of particular athletes such as the recent Ed v Gene series. All the best.

  6. tysonparklaw Says:

    Hi, Canute, I feel like I be missed your article since last may or June. I hope I’m not. I’d like to tell you that “the first Abbott Major Age group champion ship will be held in conjunction with London Marathon. All age group participants are with invitation only, depending upon the qualified requirements. I am one of lucky ten my age group(75-79). I’m 78 now. I plan to stay in London for about five days. I truly enjoy your post, the best!, if I could meet you, I’ll buy you drink. You’re a great guy!

  7. canute1 Says:

    Thanks for your message, Tyson, and congratulations on receiving an invitation to take part in the Abbott Major Age group championship in London next year.
    I now live in Cumbria about 200 miles from London and do not know whether or not I will get to London to see the marathon. Please send me an email message at near the time of the event and I will let you know if I will be in London. If so, I would love to meet you.

    Best wishes

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