Gray’s Anatomy

When I was a little kid, I leafed through my mom’s anatomy textbook, fascinated by the network of nerves, by the intricacy of the connections between muscle and bone. As an adult, I collect anatomy texts, including grandfather’s copy of Gray’s Anatomy. I have coloring books and outdated textbooks, piles of notes and magazine articles and have attended the Bodies exhibit in multiple cities, all in some quest to understand the body just a little bit better. Naturally, I’m particularly interested in the body as it relates to running. Prior to my surgery, I read every paper I could find on compartment syndrome and on the fasciotomy itself. I marked my shins and memorized the procedure as though understanding it would help my body to heal.

In biochem, we’re currently covering the various pathways that push glucose and glycogen around the body and my mind always wanders to the applications for the runner. I love hearing the science behind why I need a Gu after 60 minutes and why eating within an hour of a workout is so pivotal for performance. I like the reinforcement that base building really is evidence-based training.

So I had to smile at today’s motivational poster from Runner’s World, with an anatomical model running. I would hypothesize that in fact, this runner isn’t an endurance athlete. His calf and quad muscles suggest a shorter, more explosive action, perhaps a soccer player, possibly a triathlete. My favorite part, however, is how his landing foot is oriented towards the ground.

How do you seek to better understand running?

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