And I ruuunn, I Run So Far Awaaaayy

1 Corinthians 9:24 - Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.

If you noticed the title this entry is for all those runners out there. Let me come out and say this right now, I don't run unless I'm being chased by a bear. As you will see the benefit to cost ratio of running is not something I like. However some people love to [or love to hate to] run. For you crazy souls of gate movement i salute you and bring you the evidence.

Dr. Cooper was the man who invented the aerobic point system and tried to categorize what was and was not exercise [aerobic at least]. What he realized was that the heart was an important muscle, and that the aerobic system was the best way to keep the heart healthy. By boosting the aerobic metabolism the heart gets better exercise, and is therefore healthier. His number one suggestion for aerobic exercise was by jogging/running. 

Thus the spur of people running on tracks and across the town. As Anchor man cleverly put it, "Yogging, I believe its a silent J... Where you run for an extended period of time?" Americans grasped the idea without a single question, the news reported it as the next best thing. This is beneficial though, with the boost of running among the masses more studies were done to prove/disprove how good it is. 

There are 2 basic types of running. We have long distance running [which is almost always aerobic] and then we have sprints [which is anaerobic]. Let's just break down the differences via studies as fast as possible.

Long distance running:
risks to running [runners knee]
  1. high rate of aerobic health 
  2. [catabolic principles] your body breaks down material [weight loss] 
  3. some areas of muscle building [depending on duration of running]
  4. Endorphin release [runners high]
  5. Intra workout fat utilization
  1. Lower levels of testosterone
  2. higher levels of cortisone [stress hormone] & muscle wasting 
  3. Massive Joint irritations & bone stresses [fractures possibly]
  4. Long term risks for anatomical health
  5. Higher risks for cancers [dependent on running duration, usually continual marathoners]
Short Distance running [if High intensity]
  1. Possibility for Aerobic health
  2. Increased strength due to stronger push off
  3. [anabolic principles] Greater muscle mass gains/ higher testosterone
  4. If proper HIIT training utilized better health benefits and aerobic capacity.
  5. Increased post workout fat metabolizing.
  1. Massive Joint irritations & bone stresses [fractures possibly]
  2. Long term risks for anatomical health
So we see that long distance running has a high level of risk. Just on the list i gave it's a 1:1 ratio [don't quote that as exact] while short distance is the most favorable with a 5:2 benefit to risk ratio. Newer studies have shown that, although long distance running activates the aerobic system better, Higher Intensity training is the way to go.

High Intensity Interval Training [HIIT]

Studies conducted on cycling endurance showed that participants who did max effort [ME] bursts during their workouts for only a total of 4 working minutes received the same benefits [towards overall endurance] that the subjects who biked for 90 minutes did.

Therefore when training the goal should be to have a ME set of running [sprinting as hard as you can] for 10-90 seconds [depending on your health and your goals]. Each set should have a 4 minute rest period or until you reach resting heart rate [RHR]. By the end of your workout you should have at least been running for 240 seconds. whether that be 24, 10 second bursts, or between 2 and 3 90 second bursts [just try it].

you smell that?
To athletically improve your running there are programs to follow that help with explosion, form, strike and running and so on. Participate in Fartleks  [running that involves jogging lightly and then having 10-30 second bursts of ME, then returning to jogging] this has the potential to combine the aerobic system with the immediate. Other exercises that promote explosiveness include plyometrics and resistance training. What i recommend is either Olympic style of lifting on distance running days [if your a distance runner] and then have high intensity days [days that include HIIT or ME workouts] For health, aesthetic, and athletic benefits incorporate Fartleks also. Run harder, and shorter and bother your long distance and short distance running will benefit.

I've seen some research on running barefoot [or in those shoes with the toes] and i plan on posting something about that soon. Watch for it.

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

The Effects of Glucose Supplementation on Barbell Velocity and Fatiguability in Weightlifting - A pilot study"

The Accute Effects Of Different Squat Intensities on Vertical Jump Performances
The Accute Effects of Different Squat Intensities On Jump Performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.