Science of Running Hero

Science of Running Workshop

This one-day workshop features presentations on a variety of topics related to distance running. Topics include biomechanics, nutrition, running performance, coaching runners from high school to college, and more.

This year’s event features renowned researchers including Sandra Hunter, Stella Volpe, Elizabeth Chumanov, Steve Myland, Rodney Dehaven, and Tim Hacker with a keynote presentation by Sean Hartnett.

Who Should Enroll?
Anyone who wishes to gain a deeper understanding and insight into the science behind the training, including but not limited to: Coaches, competitive runners, recreational runners, physical therapists, athletic trainers, researchers



When: July 30, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. CDT

Where: Health Sciences Learning Center, Madison, WI

Program Fee:
$100 after July 8
$25 for students
Lunch is included

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Are running-related injuries preventable? What are the correctable biomechanical faults associated with common running-related injuries?–Liz Chumanov
Unfortunately, most runners at some point in time will experience an injury. Liz will review the current evidence for the risk factors associated with injury and whether we can predict injuries in the first place.  She will also cover how we can use running form modifications and drills to treat some common running-related injuries.

Attenuating Shin-splints and Stress Fractures:  A Practical and Practicable Approach–Steve Myrland
Participants will explore ideas (with demonstrations) for minimizing lower extremity issues in runners while improving performance. Steve will explain that it is possible to address the causes of shin splints and stress fractures holistically. Participants will also learn that they can improve functional, tri-planar strength above and below their vulnerable areas using inexpensive portable mini bands with minimal pre and post-training time.

Development of Collegiate Distance Runners–Rod DeHaven
This session will focus on the development of moderately successful high school distance runners into regionally and nationally successful collegiate athletes. The topic will explore the traits displayed by those athletes in during the recruiting process to the training through their university experience.

Food-based Supplements for Performance–Stella Lucia Volpe
Food-based supplements will be discussed, such as turmeric, capsaicin (chili peppers), beet juice, tart cherry juice, and others. These foods, in general, have anti-inflammatory effects, and some have been shown to improve exercise performance.

KEYNOTE: The Geography of World Record Marathons–Sean Hartnett
Professor Hartnett has developed three different types of products to track the geography of the marathon. The first is a technical map that details many geographical components of the course route, from the location of aid stations to the lay of the land as portrayed in an elevation profile. The second is a, How the Race Was Won graphic that incorporates maps, photographs, narratives, and pacing data and graphs to provide a detailed documentation of the competition. The third element is a pace display system that provides the lead runners with real-time race splits and projected finishing time.

This presentation focuses on the last ten marathon world records, including three women’s and seven men’s standards dating back to 2003. These world-record efforts are measures of the cutting edge of human performance. For the most part, these records don’t happen by accident. They are targeted efforts blending vigorous and pace-specific training with on-course performance. The geography of each world record will be detailed, and patterns amongst the ten records will be explored.

Running Performance in Men and Women:  What’s the Difference?–Sandra K. Hunter
Men are faster than women in running performance due to physiological and anatomical differences between the sexes. This presentation explores factors contributing to the sex difference in distance running performance, focusing on the marathon. Specifically, she will highlight: 1) the physiological and anatomical sex differences responsible for the sex difference in running performance; and 2) other factors, including sex differences in participation levels, age, pacing strategies, and running shoes, that influence running performance in both men and women.

Presenter Bios

Liz Chumanov

Liz Chumanov, D.P.T., Ph.D. is currently the coordinator for the Sports Movement Room at UW Health in Madison, WI. Liz received her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the UW–Madison, focusing on lower extremity biomechanics; she then completed her D.P.T. at UW-Madison. Clinically she specializes in working with pregnant and postpartum runners and is a certified bike fitter and dry needler. Liz also has a dedicated portion of time towards the development of custom user interfaces to assess the forces during jumping, hopping, and running.

Rod DeHaven

Rod DeHaven is the Director of Track and Field and Cross Country at South Dakota State University. He will enter his 19th year this fall for the Jackrabbits. His teams have captured 16 conference championships while at the NCAA Division I level. His men’s cross country team has won the last 8 of 10 Summit League Cross Country Championships and his women’s cross country have captured the last 2 cross country titles. He has coached 4 division I men’s All-Americans in cross country and one on the track in the 1500 meters. He has also coached NCAA final round qualifiers in the 3000 meter steeplechase. He made the 2000 US Olympic Team in the marathon. As an athlete, he posted personal best of 1:48 in the 800 meters, 3:40 in the 1500 meters, 13:40 in the 5000 meters, 28:06 in the 10,000 meters, 1:02:40 for the half marathon, and 2:11:40 for the marathon. He lived in Madison from 1989 to 2004.

Sean Hartnett

For the past 35 years, Professor Sean Hartnett has traveled to chronicle the world's best marathons. From his perspectives as both a writer for Track & Field News and a Professor of Geography at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, Sean has closely observed how major marathon races are won, and how world records are set. As a writer, Sean has reported on over 250 marathons for Track & Field News, the highly regarded Bible of the Sport. From Olympic and World Championship races to the marathon majors, Sean has contributed 21 marathon cover stories for the monthly magazine. Professor Hartnett's Geography of the Marathon activities includes making course maps and elevation profiles for the Boston and New York marathons and the 2012 London Olympics and the 2020 Atlanta US Olympic Trials Marathon. Professor Hartnett received his Master's and Ph.D. degrees from UW–Madison, and one of the first course maps he constructed was an elevation profile for the Syttende Mai 20-mile run.

Sandra Hunter

Dr. Sandra Hunter, Ph.D., is a professor of Exercise Science (Department of Physical Therapy) and Director of the Athletic and Human Performance Research Center at Marquette University, Milwaukee. She received her Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology (University of Sydney, Australia) and a postdoctoral fellowship (University of Colorado, Boulder, 1999-2003) researching sex and age differences in muscle fatigue and strength training. Dr. Hunter has >130 journal publications and was awarded >$US13 million by the National Institutes of Health to study exercise fatigue and training in healthy, old, and clinical populations. She is internationally known for her research on sex and age differences in exercise performance and muscle fatigue.

Steve Myrland

Steve Myrland is a movement and performance coach for athletes at all points on the competitive spectrum. Beginning at the University of Wisconsin Athletic Department in 1988, Steve was instrumental in Big Ten and NCAA Championship efforts in rowing, hockey, soccer, and cross country. His professional experiences and coaching network have expanded through training collaborations with individuals, teams, coaches, and injury rehabilitation specialists. Steve has trained athletes from high school to professional and Olympic competitors. He has presented both nationally and internationally on topics related to performance and health.

Stella Lucia Volpe

Stella Lucia Volpe, Ph.D., RDN, ACSM-CEP, FACSM, is a Professor and Head of the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise at Virginia Tech. Her degrees are in both Nutrition and Exercise Physiology; she also is an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist®, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, and a Fellow of the ACSM. Dr. Volpe's research focuses on obesity and diabetes prevention, and she also conducts research on athletes of all levels. Dr. Volpe enjoys hiking with her husband and German Shepherd dogs. She is also a competitive field hockey player, ice hockey player, rower, and works out and competes in CrossFit.


What is the schedule for the day?

  • Sign-in and material pickup will begin at 8:00 a.m.
  • Sessions will run from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Lunch and light breaks will be provided.

Where is the 2022 Science of Running workshop held?

  • The workshop will be held in Room 1325 at the Health Sciences Learning Center (HSLC) located at 750 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705

Where can I park?

  • Free parking on Saturday is available nearby in Lot 60 (801 Walnut Street, Madison, WI). Please see the map below (click to enlarge or download) for walking directions from the parking lot to the main entrance of the Health Sciences Learning Center.
  • Metro Transit also services the area. Please check the Madison Metro schedule for current routes, noting weekend routes may vary.

Thank You 2022 Sponsors



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Are you interested in supporting the 2022 Science of Running Workshop? We have various options available to reach an anticipated attendance of 100 running endurance athletes, their coaches, and community runners. All sponsorship levels include acknowledgment on the conference website, opening slides, and in the attendee welcome email and on-site packet.
To learn more, please view the 2022 Sponsorship Opportunities document.

Science of Running Testimonials

I loved the diversity of the speakers and topics!

Awesome! Your ability to get high-profile speakers is impressive. This will only grow year after year. Thank you!

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The Science of Running is hosted by the UW-Madison School of Education’s Department of Kinesiology and the office of Professional Learning and Community Education (PLACE). This partnership was made possible by the generosity of the School of Education’s Impact 2030 Initiative.