Science of Running and Secrets of Elite Performance

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This course is under review for 2021. Course registration will open to accepted students once courses are confirmed.

Course Description

If you run long enough, you will eventually find a limit. A point where you decide to stop. The reasons you stop are at the center of this course.

The Science of Running and the Secrets of Elite Performance explores how the body responds to the stress of running and the mind confronts the perception of fatigue. This course underscores how endurance training increases your ability to resist and recover from fatigue, while connecting the pursuit of becoming a better runner with becoming an elite performer in life. This course is for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the human body, clarity on how they interact with challenge, and how perception shapes performance.

Running is a skill that needs to be learned and refined. The Science of Running and the Secrets of Elite Performance course investigates the science of running, explores the edges of physical fitness, and discovers how mental skills elevate your performance. First, this course begins with Biomechanics of the Running Gait to analyze how running affects the entire kinetic chain. We will learn three keys to predicting a runner's speed and how our calculations can help a runner go faster, identify an uneven stride that may lead to injury, or find ways to lessen the impact on joints. We will use insights from a running gait analysis to gain greater awareness of how we can become a more efficient runner, improve running economy and reduce joint stress and injury.
Second, during Program Design for the Running Athlete we will apply fundamental training principles and the most effective techniques for making a running athlete stronger, faster, run farther, and recover more completely. We will review effective methods to prepare your body for the demands of running, consider a number of training methods in constructing your individual training plan. We will explore your response to training and how your response affects your training plan.
Next, we will move beyond anatomy and biomechanics and lean into sports psychology of the running athlete. We will clarify how runners cultivate mental strength, how we confront our perception of effort, and overcome physical limitations with a range mental skills. This course will help you reset your own limits and uncover your true potential.
The final purpose of this course is to teach you the tools you need to become your own coach so that you can train better, run faster, and reach a higher level of mastery over your development as a runner. During this section, you will learn how the study and practice of becoming a better runner translates into becoming a peak performer in life.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1. Explain the biomechanics of the lower extremity during the running gait
2. Recognize the common causes of running-related injuries
3. Learn the components of a running specific evaluation and how to perform a running gait analysis
4. Identify the principles of periodization and 4 essential training methods in the program design of a running athlete
5. Describe sports psychology strategies to improve running performance
6. List important recovery strategies to enhance performance and minimize injury risk

Prerequisites: No prerequisites are required for enrollment

Course Information

  • Course Code: CEBI0992
  • Length: 2 weeks

Program Information

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Brown’s Pre-College Program in the liberal arts and sciences, offering over 200 non-credit courses, one- to four-weeks long, taught on Brown’s campus. For students completing grades 9-12 by June 2021.

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