BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Runner’s Body’

2010-07-27 00:00

THE Runner’s Body is a book that every serious runner can benefit from. Published by Runners World and extending to 268 pages, the authors, Cape Town-trained sports scientists Ross Tucker and Jonathon Dugas, present an easy- to-read-and-understand explanation of some of the key aspects of performance running.

The book was written in association with Matt Fitzgerald, a health and fitness journalist in the United States.

The Runner’s Body dispels a number of running myths, such as the role and effect of lactic acid on speed and performance.

In five sections the book looks at the musculo-skeletal, cardio-respiratory, metabolic, nervous and immune systems.

Each subject is handled in a straightforward and easy-to-comprehend way, with sufficient technical terminology to keep it accurate and interesting — but not so that you keep scrambling for the medical dictionary.

Recommended exercises are well illustrated and simple graphs and diagrams serve to further clarify statistical concepts.

This is a book by runners for runners with hands-on practical advice supported by simplified scientific explanations that will enhance the performance of readers irrespective of their current athletic ability.

• The Runner’s Body by Ross Tucker PhD and Jonathan Dugas PhD with Matt Fitzgerald. Published by Rodale, ISBN 978-1-60529-861-0. Retail price R150 available at

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