Monday, October 29, 2012

More Running Research Part 2

So a few month ago I posted a blog that discussed the science of running as well as endurance sports in general.  I continue with this post with more interesting scientific, nerdy, research on running.   

We begin with pacing strategy.  According to research found at PLOS One, apparently, " data support the concept that the muscular power output during high intensity exercise performance is actively regulated in an anticipatory manner that accounts for both the momentary sensations the athlete is experiencing as well as the relative amount of a competition to be completed."  

In other words, a person can subconsciously regulate their pace according to when they expect to finish.  This shows while training is extremely important, the psychological aspect of pacing strategy during the race is just as important.  

Continuing with the physiologic aspects of running, this article also in PLOS One "suggest that athletes are actively regulating their relative physiologic strain during competition, although there is evidence of poor regulation in the case of competitive failures."

So if you run all out at the beginning of a race; don't expect to reach your PR.  Balance and moderation are important through all stages of the race, and this is where pacing comes in.

Finally on a second topic, near and dear to why I need to run and bicycle as much as I do, this final research article in PLOS One discusses the correlation with exercise and inherited obesity and concludes, "Exceeding the minimum exercise dose currently recommended for general health benefits (energy equivalent to running 2–3 km/day) may substantially diminish the risk for inherited obesity. The results are consistent with other research suggesting the physical activity dose required to prevent unhealthy weight gain is greater than that recommended for other health benefits."

So this also explains why just doing the minimum suggested dose of exercise, or even more exercise than most people, doesn't necessarily equal unhealthy weight gain.

Hope everyone enjoyed the science lesson.  Back to running.

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