Fabrice Cohn, sports physician, runner and triathlete, and Xavier Tessini, physiotherapist, coach and practitioner, recently published Endurance scienceIts in Éditions Thierry Succard. Cramps, lactate, diet, beer, probiotics, bodybuilding, sleep, etc. Through 40 chapters, the authors provide clear, concise, and documented answers to many questions and beliefs inherent in the practice of endurance sports.
The two friends researched and looked at the latest scientific studies to shake the major beliefs that saturate the world of endurance sports. They achieve the goal of putting the latest scientific knowledge into everyone's hands, easily accessible, without focus, without frills, and with caring teaching methods. We sought out more with Fabrice Cohn, also a contributor to this article International running.
Fabrice How did the idea of writing this book come about?
The desire to write this book has been on my mind since 2019. At that time, I talked about it with Xavier, an old friend, during an event in the Pyrenees. We often talk to him about training, nutrition and endurance. We are both runners, and in everything we do we systematically rely on scientific knowledge. Thus the aim of this book is to analyze the “I was told so” “I saw that” statement that many athletes say to themselves, without ever knowing how to interpret the information. We wanted to demystify some concepts and, above all, provide the reader with something clear, accessible and reusable. So he can then use it in his training.
Is there always a world that separates scientific research from reality on the ground?
Yes, that is also the goal of this book: to bridge the gap between science and hostility. Usually, the person who is supposed to make this connection is the coach. And athletes do not always have a coach who is up to date on the latest developments. But we don't blame him, because often there was a delay between the research and the reality on the ground. The same is true for scientists who have a lot of good ideas, but whose progress is not accessible to everyone. Through this book we are trying to bring science to the athletics field or to the path of cyclists.
In addition to highlighting the latest scientific developments, you also provide tips for putting science into practice. Did you achieve this achievement thanks to your scientific and practical hat?
I think it's important to have that dual side. Because I realize that what is interesting to me, and what can help me advance, can be useful to others. And I'm your first guinea pig. All the sessions described in the book I have tested all of them in order to understand their impact and implement them in practice. I've always worked like this: read, understand, exploit, then share. What is also important is to empower the athlete. Turnkey plans have the problem that, at the slightest problem, we no longer know what to do. With the advice provided in this book, readers will be able to adapt, because they will have understood how it all works. Thus, they avoid being influenced by what they may hear from the right or the left.
This book is the first volume of the second, which will come later. The topics covered are very diverse. How did you choose them?
I had quite a few ideas in mind from the beginning. I wanted to deal with topics that are the subject of a lot of nonsense such as lower back pain, runner's osteoarthritis, cramps, lactate, etc. There are a lot of little things that bothered me, or that I also learned during the conferences I attended. At the time of writing this article, other topics have emerged, logically. For example, I'm talking about bodybuilding, so I asked myself if doing core training was really worth it and so I immersed myself in studies. On the contrary, there are other subjects that I have abandoned, such as interest in sports fields, due to the lack of the accompanying scientific material. It is clear that the topics we discuss result either from the fact that few people have talked about them until then, or because what is being said about them is of poor quality, or sometimes simply for the sake of answering the questions I have already asked. He asked this.
Have you been surprised by the results of some scientific studies?
Yes, I have discovered new information about certain topics. This is the case with colds, menstruation, fasting, sleep or even beer in recovery. When I approached the separation of microbiota and probiotics and their interest in athletes, I learned a lot, e.g. I took the time to review some of the studies for the book even though I hadn't had the courage to do so until then. I was in a bit of a reader's position, with a lot of 'saying' and so I did the work myself.
Is it a true generalization in any case?
Yes. Promotion is not a beautiful word, but it is a beautiful act. I feel rewarded for my work when an athlete tells me that what they read did things for them. I started this promotional work with my first book in 2012. Since then, I have always done scientific observational work. It's hard work, but I enjoy it. I always try to find the right balance between too scientific and too simple. Scientists have great, wonderful ideas, but unfortunately they are not always exploitable. I am not the inventor of all this knowledge, just a scavenger. We realize by looking at what they do that the work of sports scientists is also very beneficial to our overall health.
The Science of Endurance: 40 Chapters to Understand It All
This book is divided into forty chapters that can be read independently and/or referred to each other. Each time, Fabrice Kuhn and Xavier Tessini first return to the main preconceptions of the topic before returning in detail to what the science says. Then conclude with practical advice, tested and approved by them in the context of their practices. The release of the second volume is already planned.
As a bonus, the authors called up great endurance champions who gave us their testimonials and training secrets. Interventions by Marlene Naccache, Marjolein Pierre, Clément Mignon, Fred Beloubry, Charlotte Morel, Eric Leblacher, Arthur Housseau, Emilie Campier, Elias Zohri, Sébastien Balonrade, and Olivier Maria can be found throughout the book's 448 pages. Endurance science. 27.90 euros
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