Michele Zanini

  • Doctoral Researcher
Start date: October 2020
Primary supervisor: Dr Richard Blagrove
Secondary supervisor(s): Professor Jonathan Folland

Before starting his PhD Michele worked with a series of Kenyan and European world-class distance runners between Kenya and Italy, assisting head coaches on the athletics track and developing their strength training programs. He works with endurance athletes since 2016, particularly runners, and this helped on having a practical perspective in the layout of his PhD project, focusing on its potential applications and impact on running performance.

He also spent some time at Universidad Catolica de Valencia, as an assistant researcher on a project about interval training during his masters at the University of Milan.


Research Title: Optimising the benefits of strength training for endurance runners

The research project aims to address how the running economy changes during prolonged continuous running, and if those changes can be linked to the strength, power, and neuromuscular function of the lower limbs.

Another aim is to evaluate if a strength training program can be helpful in limiting those changes, as a positive outcome would be impactful in long-distance races, given that preventing deterioration in running economy could make a difference towards the end of the race.

External Activities

  • Endurance sports coaching
  • Strength and conditioning coaching