Archive for October, 2010

What is Second Wind?

Run fast, very fast. Slow down.  Catch your breath. Keep pushing. Recover a bit. Continue to run. Pace increases.  This is the equation leading to a popular running term, second wind.   The push does not result in quitting the run but rather allows the runner to maintain a certain pace, faster that the usual and keep at it even if a lack of oxygen was experienced earlier on.

Research from the University of California, Berkeley says, running fast makes the muscles use large   amounts of oxygen to burn carbohydrate, fat and protein for energy. If you run at a fast speed, the   lungs will not be able supply all the oxygen that is needed. The lack of oxygen causes lactic acid to accumulate in the muscles to make them burn, and the runner gasps for air. The discomfort felt in the muscle as well as the shortness of breath caused by the lactic acid build up  forces the runner to slow down. The research indicates that the lactic acid stored up in muscles is the source the muscles uses for fuel when maintaining a fast speed when there is lack of oxygen. In short, the muscles switch to burning more lactic acid for energy, less oxygen is required and then the pace increases. Needless to say when the pace is continuously pushed,  large amounts of lactic acid will again build up in the muscles which makes them burn and hurt once again.

When training with the intention to improve a personal best, speed training is part of the program.  Push your limits as some people would say but it must be stressed that you are the best judge of what your body can tolerate.  Listen to it. Respect it.

 

 

 

 

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Finding Inspiration

Every single day we get up and fulfill the daily rituals of our lives; the monotony can be a turn off but then, that is how life is unless you wake up a different person every day.  It is this sameness that makes us lazy and uninspired.  The challenge is therefore to set a goal, but more importantly, to live with inspiration.

Runners have many reasons to get up no matter the time of day or season to hit the roads.  For some the motivation comes from wanting to live longer and stronger for their children, to have that alone time, to scratch off that 42.195 km item in the bucket list, to improve health and get that cholesterol level to its minimum.  No matter what the reasons are, there must be that stimulus that will move us; otherwise, the shoes will remain parked in our closets.

For a few, the motivation goes way beyond themselves.  Because running a marathon involves sacrifices and 100% commitment to the training, it helps to run for something or someone other than oneself.  For teenagers Phil Carlitz and Andrew Hudis, a visit in a remote area in Thailand made them realize they have been blessed and vowed to make a difference in the lives of the people there, so they organized a marathon to raise funds.  Read about it here.  It is a worthwhile read.

If life seems like a chore, then go find that inspiration.  It would be a shame to live with no meaning so spread smiles, love and life.

Story of Phil Carlitz and Andrew Hudis derived from runnerswrold.com

 

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