About me

I am a 71 year old runner who competed intermittently in teenage and young adult life.  I achieved national level as a marathon runner, but stopped running in my mid-twenties because hill-walking, mountaineering and all of life’s other activities got in the way.  As the years went by, life’s other activities crowded out first the mountaineering and then the hill walking so by the time I reached sixty, I was becoming unfit.  In the hope of slowing the rate of decline, while re-establishing some space in my life for time in the open air, I took up running again.  By my age I have become very aware of the vulnerability of the body to injury – though in fact it is not just the older runner who faces the risk of injury.  I have been impressed by the ideas and achievements of Gordon Pirie, and started this blog to invite comments from other runners on how to apply his ideas to running ‘fast and injury free’ – or at least injury free. I have subsequently expanded the content to cover diverse aspects of the physiology and practice of running.

I have worked as a research scientist in a diverse range of scientific fields over a period of five decades. My PhD is in physics though I have carried out research and published several hundred peer reviewed scientific articles in fields ranging from physics to biochemistry, clincal medicine and neuroscience.  My current research is mainly in the field of neuroscience.

12 Responses to “About me”

  1. DR.ORLANDO RUIZ D.P.T. Says:

    HELLO, IMPRESSIVE ARTICLES WITH GOOD THEORETICAL SUPPORT AND ARGUMENTS.SOMETHING I HAVE TO AGREE WITH ROMANOV AND PIRIE IS ABOUT RUNNING SHOES. I NOW RUN WITH THIN SOLE SHOES AS RECOMMENDED BY ROMANOV. AFTER THE INITIAL ADAPTATION PERIOD (LAZY FEET FROM RUNNING ON BRICKS), I CAN SAY THAT THE TYPICAL RUNNING SHOE ROBS YOUR NATURAL ABILITY TO PRODUCE ELASTIC RECOIL. NOW 6 MONTHS LATER, IF I TRY TO RUN AGAIN ON REGULAR RUNNING SHOES WITH SUCH HUGHE PLATFORM SOLES(I CALL THEM BRICKS)I FEEL I’M RUNNING WITH BOOTS!!! YOU ARE RIGHT ABOUT POSE/CHI SHORTCOMINGS IN REGARDS TO THE LAWS OF PHYSICS. I ALSO AGREE WITH LANDING SLIGHTLY AHEAD OF COG. IN A WAY IT GIVES YOU AND “ANCHOR” TO CATAPULT YOURSELF FORWARDS(JUST LIKE A VAULT JUMP) LANDING OVER OR BEHIND GIVES YOU UNCONTROLLED RUNNING. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE SHOE ISSUE?
    GOOD SITE, VERY INFORMATIVE, I’M 43 AND ALSO COMPETED INTENSELY DURING MY LATE TEENS EARLY 20’S. STOPPED FOR A LONG TIME AND CAME BACK A YEAR AGO,2 MONTHS AGO 19:51 5K BUT WANT TO RUN 18:45. IT IS TOUGH. I CAN’T DO 16:59 ANYMORE AS I DID AT 20 YEARS OLD. I UNDERSTAND MY BEST PR IS GONE WITH THE BEE-GEES AND RONALD REAGAN BUT AS A MASTER RUNNER, I THINK EFFICIENCY CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND HELP ME RUN FASTER WITHIN MY ABILITIES.
    THANKS

    • Steven Brewer Says:

      Orlando:

      Great to see an opinion on the “lazy feet from running on bricks” from someone with a lot of running experience. I made the careful switch last season to minimal shoes (NB minimus). Since I switched there is no joy in running in any other type of shoe, (except: bare feet of course). BTW: I used to constantly sprain/turn my ankle once a month or so, but since I have started running on a regular basis, I can’t remember the last time I suffered a turn, let alone sprain. Running has made my feet strong. Running on miminal shoes have made my feet super!

  2. canute1 Says:

    Dr Ruiz,
    Thank-you for your comments.

    I agree with Pirie, Dr Romannov and you, that trainers/ road running shoes with a thick heel do not allow a good running style.

    Well done to break the 20 minutes mark for the 5K and good luck with the pursuit of your goa of 18:45

    Canute

  3. Peter Gibbs Says:

    Hi,

    I found your site while looking for references to diet, in particular the ideas of Philip Maffetone. I have a double interest.

    1. In supplying information to readers of my weekly newspaper fitness column (http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/sport/the-fitness-zone/)

    2. As a 60+ triathlete I’m interested in low-level training as espoused by Lydiard, Maffetone etc and also keen to maintain lower weight levels in the interests of better performance.

    If you have any pointers to articles on efficient management of weight I’d be interested to follow them up.

    Cheers

    Peter Gibbs

  4. canute1 Says:

    Peter, I am inclined towards a rather simplistc view of weight management: take regular exercise (eg run 30-50km per week) and eat moderately. Maybe I am fortunate that this works for me.
    If I stop exercising regularly, my weight tends to increase by about 1 Kg per week unless I make a conscious effort to cut portion sizes at meal times.

  5. Kevin Joubert Says:

    Hi there,

    I see a while back you made a post kinda questioning the basis of the polar own optimizer and how it works exactly.

    In this month’s (July) medicine and science in sport and exercise they laid out a method to prescribe training based on the SD1 from the Poincare plot.

    Basically for men you do 2 minutes seated, then three minutes standing. Get the sd1 for the standing and mark it down. Then, train vigorously if sd1 is better than the mean of the last ten days. Or if it is worse than the last ten days but improving.

    If SD1 is worse but within 1 standard deviation of the mean of the past ten days then exercise moderately.

    Also, if SD1 is more than 1 standard deviation worse than the value for the past ten days, then rest that day.

    If you would like more info then contact me directly by email.

    The results of this and previous work showed that following this type of schedule gave better results than a “standard” protocol in men. In this study the men improved their max power in a vo2max test more with this protocol than with the standard protocol.

    • canute1 Says:

      Kevin,
      Thanks, I presume you are referring to the article by Kiviniemi (Med Sci Sports Exerc (42(7):1355-63, July 2010) which I had mentioned in my response to Ewen in his comment on my post of 27th June. I have read the abstract of that article but have not yet obtained the full manuscript, so I am grateful for the additional detail you have provided.

      As far as I can tell from the abstract, the study adds to the earlier findings reported by Kiviniemi and colleagues in 2007. Overall, I think the body of evidence is encouraging but not yet convincing. However I would be very pleased to receive more information.

      One point that concerns me about the recent Kiviniemi study is that the standard comparison group was asked to do at least three high intensity sessions per week. Some coaches would regard this as excessive, and possibly counter productive. Hence the comparison might not really be a fair comparison with what might be achieved by a less exhausting standard training program.

      I am not sure how to contact you by email, but I would be pleased to receive an email from you. My email address is canutewp@gmail.com

      Note added 18 March 2012: my current email address is canute.running@gmail.com

  6. Nick Clayton Says:

    Hi Canute

    I have just discovered your website from the link on FetchEveryone.

    What caught my eye was your references to the late great Mr Gordon Pirie. I never met him, but a few years ago whilst nursing a few running niggles, I made it my business to get a copy of his book and I have also been heavily influenced by its content. From his approach to footwear to gait / technique to training.

    i am very impressed with the level of detail in your website. Hope you don’t mind but i’d like to take my time digesting it all:-)

    Many thanks for taking the time to share so much information about your experiences.

    Regards
    Claypole

  7. Iron Fitz Says:

    Hi there Canute,
    Your blog and the ideas developed on. efficient running are very interesting.
    My own idea of running is directed to efficiency, lactate shuttle and elemental, not minimalist way.
    May i translate and use part or full of your article for my own (i’ve seen your disclaimer ) blog? ( of course, i’ll keep your name and i’ll link your original article)
    Regards.

    Fitzgerald

    • canute1 Says:

      Fitz,
      Sorry for the tardy reply.
      Yes, you are welcome to use my articles provided you acknowledge as you indicate.
      Best wishes
      Canute.

  8. toaof999 Says:

    Hi Canute1, thanks for your positive answer.
    Regards,

    Fitz.

  9. Cara Benson Says:

    Hi Canute,

    My name is Cara, and I with the community outreach team at Eventbrite. I’d love to connect with you about our current project. Please email me when you can.

    Talk soon,
    Cara

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