1/ Laura Thomas
A registered nutritionist, Laura featured earlier this year on BBC1’s acclaimed Mind over Marathon programmes. She also pops up on radio, in podcasts and in the print media. Why? Because she is the sworn enemy of fads, trends and tedious, unhelpful food fashions. She retweets good advice, engages in debate, calls out charlatans and generally acts as a one-woman sorting service for nutritional information. ‘The biggest nonsense I see is that is that people have to eat the perfect diet in order to be healthy,’ she says. ‘There’s the detox myth, the refined-sugar-free myth... As though if you have some semblance of balance that’s going to be your undoing. Suddenly messages such as cutting down on sugar get interpreted as cutting out sugar, moving from evidence-based nutrition into the arena of nutri-bollocks.’
And for the vast majority of readers, Laura’s trenchant views on chasing the body beautiful will be music to the ears: ‘Many active people chase an aesthetic goal that is unrealistic because they’ve seen their “ideal” on social media, but despite monitoring and tracking everything that goes in their mouth, they don’t get there because everyone is different and genetics plays a big part. That’s the wrong attitude to have towards food. I help people to pay attention to their satiety and hunger cues, to learn how to fuel themselves for the joy of movement and to feel good, and to accept that they are probably not going to have washboard abs or a peachy ass and that this is OK.’ Amen to that.
You don’t have to be based in our capital city to benefit from the wisdom doled out by the Centre for Health and Human Performance. The organisation’s accounts pass on the latest sports physiology research, debunk myths, answer follower questions and also contain tips from the elites. What more could you want?
3/ Laurent Bannock
If we said asked, ‘Would you like performance nutrition advice from a man who has 25 years’ experience and has advised everyone from elite runners to professional rugby players, heavyweight boxing champs to pop megastars and also FTSE 100 CEOs?’ you’d be unlikely to say no. So here you are, then.
4/ Tim Weeks
As well as being an Olympic-level triathlete and coach, Tim has a strong knowledge of sports physiology, and runs a couple of consultancy and investment businesses. He’s big on inspirational quotes and relentless positivity, so if that’s for you, then look no further.
5/ Katy Bowman
We’d never heard the term ‘movement ecology’ before we came across Katy. Her work is not sport-specific but she’s an expert in the effects of modern living on the human body and full of (completely doable) suggestions on how we can combat the ill effects of the 21st-century lifestyle.
6/ Alex Hutchinson
One of the mainstays of the Coach section in RW, Canadian Hutchison is a former elite runner and a journalist who specialises in the science of training and fitness. He cuts through the academia to give you give you simple, successful strategies to help you become a better runner.
7/ Evidence-Based Movement
If you’re one of those who needs to fully understand the latest thinking in order to adopt it, you should be like a pig in muck with this intense, fascinating account, which delves deep into issues such as core strength, flexibility and balance, and offers simple tips.
8/ Ross Tucker
Mostly a sports scientist, partly an entertainer, Ross has built a reputation as a rambunctious – and perceptive – challenger of any research or endeavour in the sports science world he sees as questionable, flaky or downright dangerous. He made some waves recently with his views on the Nike Sub2 project.
9/ James Dunne
An absolutely brilliant resource for runners of all abilities. Sports rehab therapist and running coach James posts regular short, sharp videos on how to foam roll, stretch, strengthen, lengthen and generally improve your body to make you a fitter, stronger, less injury-prone athlete.
10/ Tim Spector
As you’ll know if you’ve been reading RW recently, gut health can play an important role in everything from physical wellbeing and mental health to improved sports performance. Professor of Genetic Epidemiology Tim is one of the leading voices in this area. See more at his website.
11/ Dr Jacob Harden
Warning: once you click onto Jacob’s account, you’ll be lost to your family for quite some time; he supplies a constant stream of video content on how to improve movement, posture and mobility in your everyday life. To paraphrase an old beer ad: Harden reaches parts other mobility experts can’t.
12/ Yann Le Meur
You have to have a science-nerdy bent to appreciate Yann’s social media output, a stream of posts on the latest in sports performance research. And if you’re wondering how that works on Instagram, it’s in the form of highly entertaining – and understandable – infographics.
13/ Jae Gruenke
This woman is obsessed with running form. A former dancer, Jae now spends her time flitting between her practices in New York and Edinburgh, fixing people’s gaits to help them achieve their running dreams. She also finds the time to jump online and share as many widely applicable principles as she can.
14/ Andy Lane
Professor of Sports Psychology at the University of Wolverhampton, Andy is excellent at cutting through all the research waffle. He is a keen endurance runner and spends much of his time working on methodologies to help us plodders harness the power of the mind to go faster and further.
15/ Anthony Warner
Proof that targeted rage can be both edifying and entertaining, Anthony Warner rails loud and long against the increasing slurry of nutritional mumbo-jumbo flooding the wonderweb today – and he has 25 years of experience as a chef to back up his convincing and passionately argued points.
16/ Joe Holder
Nike performance coach Joe believes in a holistic approach to improvement – that is, he pushes people to realise that flexibility, strength, sleep and diet are just as important as the running itself. He coached then-RW US Editor David Willey to a Boston qualifier first time this year (David had spent a decade trying).