Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Blog Roll: Clint Verran

When medical professionals study the body, they break it down into systems. The skeletal system, the nervous system, and so on. When runners talk about there bodies, we usually are referring to either our musculoskeletal system or our cardiopulmonary system. Musculoskeletal (LEGS) include our muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and connective tissues in-between. Cardiopulmonary (LUNGS) include our heart, lungs, veins, arteries, and the blood and it’s components.

Beginner runners or runners coming off of an injury seem to run out of breath quickly. They will say, “I just can’t catch my breath” or “I need to work on my breathing.” More advanced runners complain of dead legs, “My legs feel like lead today.” Most experience runners can give you a breakdown of their fitness at the current moment. “Well, I’m pretty fit right now, just no speed in the legs.” Or, “My legs feel good, but I just don’t have my base fitness right now.”

Needless to say, running trains both systems. Therefore, I pose the following quiznoids:

Do both systems develop at the same rate? Do both systems fatigue at the same rate? Is one system remaining undertrained/ held hostage by the other system? Does running fatigue the legs before the lungs? Can the legs be fatigued, but the lungs be good to go? Can the legs hold up to a 6-hour run? Can the lungs? Would the lungs benefit from a 6-hour run? Which system recovers quicker? Can you train the lungs and rest the legs? If so, how? If you can train you lungs while waiting for you legs to recover, why not do it? Do your lungs know the difference between running and cycling? Cycling and swimming?

If your training program only utilizes one mode of cardiopulmonary stimulus, you are assuming that mode of exercise stresses both systems exactly equally. If you admit that the two systems adapt and respond differently to the same stimulus, and you continue to train using one mode, you admit to leaving money on the table? Why leave money on the table?

Clint blogs on FLOTRACK