In the past I have done so much work on the theory of the different energy systems and now I have a blinding example to make it seem much more relevant to the the real work runner – not the gym goer doing a bit of a run off the treadmill.
Please don’t listen to a word of the “fat old bird” stuff in the previous post
– and given that there are readers from 18 different countries
many people won’t really understand the
cultural nuance’s in the phrase – anyway back to the science.
When you run significantly faster than your sustainable “aerobic” speed (with oxygen) your body has a really cool way of operating without oxygen.
So for a very short time you are invincible and super quick but there is a terrible backlash in terms of the waste products and the recovery time.This “turbo energy store” is designed for the flight or fight reaction – to get you out of trouble – to stop you from being eaten by a sabre toothed tiger. (A logic driven observation was that ) you just need to avoid being the slowest in the herd or group, being the front runner is of no benefit and the tiger can only catch and eat one item or prey at a time!
Anyway the reason for saying all this (and its a guess) – I will wait for comments from the more medically trained readers – a person’s anaerobic capability will not be greatly inhibited by restricted lung efficiency BUT recovery will be slower and less efficient. So though sprinting feels great the boomerang effect of the recovery means that “going anaerobic” during a timed event needs to be avoided at all costs, unless the finish line is comfortably within range, because the time and effort involved in resetting the anaerobic “turbo charge capability” far exceeds the benefits of the very short boost to your performance. Being doubled up gasping for breath is not a good look until you have reached the finish line.
In sports science terms there are actully 2 anerobic systems BUT one is OK (in trained altletes) for 100m the other for 400m.
Geek warning – unless you have an interest in this or like to know all the details don’t click on the wikipedia link with getting a headache tablet ready and being prepared to ask how did I get the this page and the next and the next.
- ATP-CP system (Phosphogen system) -The ATP-CP system neither uses oxygen nor produces lactic acid if oxygen is unavailable and is thus said to be alactic anaerobic. This is the primary system behind very short, powerful movements like a golf swing, a 100 m sprint or powerlifting.
- Anaerobic system – Predominates in supplying energy for exercises lasting less than 2 minutes.
This assumes that the sabre toothed tiger problem reported in some of the more rural parkrun sites has been contained BUT for an overtaking manoeuvre or a crowded start a little burst of speed can be useful but be aware of what will happen if you use up all of this “booster pack” and create a big surplus of lactate or deficit of oxygen. The concentration of blood lactate will not increase until the rate of lactate production exceeds the rate of lactate removal.
So finally the analysis the new PB of 0.85 miles “ralking” @ an average pace 16:13 = parkrun in 50:25
So for the first time we have some new definitive rules – I would call them guidelines but the chimps seem to prefer rules! Half a mile 0.5 miles is the minimum “ralking distance for endurance”
And or 8 minutes in the minimum “ralking” duration again for endurance.
An achievable target goal is 16:00 mins per mile ( how do we know – because on wet ground – still with the end of a cold we have recorded the figures below!)
- Strength Training for Runners – Part 1 (evolvedrunning.wordpress.com)
- Caffeine Increases Anaerobic Work and Restores Cycling Performance following a Protocol Designed to Lower Endogenous Carbohydrate Availability (plosone.org)
- Introduction to Exercise 101 (jgfitnut.com)
- The Importance of Lactate. (kchenausky.typepad.com)