Ahead of London's 30th marathon Claudia investigates the growing interest in barefoot running. A recent report in Nature by evolutionary human biologist Daniel Lieberman on Kenyan runners investigates the differences between running in bare feet and in running shoes. Does the extra cushioning of a running shoe really offer protection from injury? His study suggests running with no extra cushioning forces the foot into a running style which causes least impact on the body.
Tim Davie, one of the BBC's directors recently completed the Marathon Des Sables in the Sahara desert. Running over 250 km over 7 days. Why did he do it and what are the effects of running in extreme heat and over such huge distances.
Daniel Lieberman discusses the different ways the human body has adapted to long distance running and why we're able to take part in such extreme endurance events.
Research just published in the Lancet shows that globally the rates of the maternal death have fallen, with particular progress being made in China, Egypt, Ecuador and Bolivia. But it still a global problem with over 500 women dying everyday in childbirth. The news that Canada is to use its Presidency of the G8 to launch a maternal and child health initiative has been welcomed by many. But now there's a question mark over whether they will include access to family planning as part of the initiative. If they don't many say the initiative simply will not work. Claudia discusses with Gill Greer, Director General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.