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.






1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Irene said,

    I think what you are talking about is interval training? Interval training does increase speed as well as endurance surprisingly well.

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