Category Archives: Running

Intense-Exercise Recovery Timeline (~1 week)

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We’ve made several timelines on the adaptive-response that follows intense exercise ranging from: 2-3 months it takes to “get in shape” to the the 12 hours it takes to cement muscle-memory in the brain. One topic we have not discussed is the 1-week it takes to recover-and-rebuild from an intense bout of exercise.

Interesting, it is the immune-system (not stem cells) that manage the whole repair and rebuilding process. To use a building analogy, the immune system: (1) demolishes the old building (damaged muscle) and (2) erects the steel-sub-structure (extracellular matrix). Only then do the stem-cells install plumbing, electricity and internet (new muscle). On other words, the immune-cellsbuild the building” while the stem-cellsmake it functional.”

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Why Sleep is Important for Training

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It’s well known that physical rest is important for athletic training but mental rest/relaxation, is also a very important factor. An excellent article1 and primer2 on this topic was recently published and the major take away was: “muscle memory”/motor-control is set during rest through a “mental replaying” of the training-activity. In other words, if you want your final kick in a 5k or marathon to feel natural, make sure you get plenty of sleep after workouts!

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How does pronation affect running?

Pronation describes the roll of the foot from “initial impact” (at the outer heal of the foot) to “toe-off” at the front of the foot.

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How Much Time to “Get in Shape”?

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For distance running there are three main factors that determine racing performance (or fitness): Oxygen transport (VO2max), Lactate Threshold (LT) and Running Economy (RE). The figures below, illustrate how training/de-training affects each of these factors over time:

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The “Impact” of Running

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Have you ever wondered why your calves are sore after a 5k but your hamstrings are sore after a marathon? The reason is your calves bear more of your weight as you run shorter/faster and your quadriceps bear more of your weight as you run longer/slower.

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The Science of Drafting

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Recently, while running a workout on a windy track, I started wondering about the science of air-resistance and drafting.   More specifically, I wondered what difference was between 10 mph tail-wind and the 10mph head-wind I encountered on opposite sides of the track (see figure above). When I returned home, I discovered some classical papers that answered this exact question in an experimental and theoretical way (summarized in the Figure above).1-4

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A Complete Aerobic Model of Marathon Performance

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The equation above is one of the simplest and most accurate predictors of marathon performance (having been shown to account for ~70% of the variability in individual marathon performance).1 In the figures below I delve more deeply into each of these terms to gain a better understanding of the molecular determinants of racing performance.

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