Exercise physiologist, cycling expert Edmund R. Burke dies

Edmund R. Burke, an exercise physiology expert who helped train Olympic cyclists, died of an apparent heart attack Thursday.
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Edmund R. Burke, an exercise physiology expert who helped train Olympic cyclists, died of an apparent heart attack Thursday while riding his bicycle in his hometown of Colorado Springs, Colo. He was 53. His wife told Associated Press that an autopsy indicated her husband had an irregular heartbeat, which could have triggered the heart attack. She said his family had a history of heart disease. Ed Burke was coordinator of sports sciences for the U.S. cycling team leading to the 1996 Olympics and a staff member for the 1980 and 1984 Olympic cycling teams. Burke was later a professor of sport science at the University of Colorado, consulted with fitness companies on equipment design, and edited several books on cycling, nutrition, fitness training and sports physiology, including "Precision Heart Rate Training," "Complete Home Fitness Handbook" and "High Tech Cycling." Chris Carmichael, who coaches Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, said Burke had a big influence on his life and cycling career.

SNEWS View: We knew Burke personally, worked with him as a contributing writer on his excellent heart-rate training book, and always enjoyed bumping into him at trade shows. Burke was a solid exercise physiologist who knew how to translate the science speak into language a consumer could understand -- a real talent that isn't found in many. We would lay big money there are a lot of his books -- with well-fingered and well-worn pages from constant referring to training information -- on the shelves of fitness enthusiasts of all levels all over the country. Another thing about Burke: He didn't just talk and write about it all. He still was active in the fitness and cycling community himself, riding road and mountain bikes and competing in events such as the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race, Iditasport bike race in Alaska, and the solo division of the 24 Hours of Moab. We are shocked and saddened by this loss to the fitness community, the cycling world, and to his family.

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