Shelter Masthead

Ed Burke’s Biography

We are sorry to report that Ed Burke passed away in November 2002. He is survived by his wife, Katherine. Here is the bio from the About the Authors section of Getting in Shape.

ED BURKE had a master’s degree from Ball State University in Indiana and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University. At Ball State, he worked with Dave Costill, the highly acclaimed director of the Human Performance Laboratory.

In the early 1970s, Ed had been a competitive cyclist for some years, riding in 25- to 100-mile road races. He saw that apparently no one (at least in the United States) had thought of applying scientific principles to cycling. So Ed began trying out some new concepts on himself and his cycling friends on the campus. Costill worked with them, doing interval and power work on exercycles in the lab, and Ed and his 5-man fraternity team went on to win their college race 2 years in a row.

Ed eventually went to work as Technical Director, then Director, of the Center for Science, Medicine and Technology at the U.S. Cycling Federation in Colorado Springs in the 1980s. During the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, the principles of exercise physiology as applied to cycling apparently paid off: on the very first day of the games, the U.S. team won 2 gold medals, the first cycling medals won by Americans in 72 years. The U.S. cyclists went on to win 3 golds, 3 silver, and 2 bronze medals in a sport previously dominated by European cyclists.

Ed met Bob Anderson in the mid-1980s. Ed was working in Texas for Spenco (manufacturer of insoles) at the time, and he went to Colorado to visit Bob. Bob’s ideas on fitness made Ed realize he needed to make a change in his life and he moved to Colorado and started training with Bob in the mountains. Within 18 months, he dropped his resting heart rate to the 50s, lost 20 pounds, and achieved a long-time goal by running the Pikes Peak Marathon.


From Getting in Shape, by Bob Anderson, Bill Pearl, Ed Burke, and Jeff Galloway. ©2002, Shelter Publications, Inc. Distributed in bookstores by Publishers Group West.