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Jason R. Karp, Ph.D. Friday, 18 November 2011 11:24 TWEET COMMENTS 6

Physiology Lessons - Page 4

How to Train the Heart Muscle

:: Run intervals close to one-mile race pace for recreational runners and two-mile race pace (10 to 15 seconds per mile faster than 5K race pace) for trained runners. You should be within a few beats of your maximum heart rate by the end of each interval.

:: Work periods should last three to five minutes and recovery periods (jog to keep oxygen consumption elevated) should be equal to or slightly less than the work periods.

LESSON 4: Metabolism is tightly regulated by enzymes.

Enzymes function as biological catalysts that speed up chemical reactions, providing you with quick energy to run. The amount of an enzyme also controls which metabolic pathway is used. Having more aerobic enzymes steers metabolism toward a greater reliance on aerobic metabolism at a given sub maximum speed.

Enzymes are also activated or inhibited, determining which metabolic pathways are functional during certain cellular conditions. Thus, enzymes essentially control metabolism and therefore control the pace at which you fatigue. Research has shown that aerobic training increases the amount of enzymes in your muscles.

How to Efficiently Train Enzyme Function

:: Progressively increase your mileage each month.

:: Interval training (see "How to Train the Heart Muscle" above).

Dr. Jason Karp is a nationally recognized speaker, writer and exercise physiologist who coaches runners of all levels through RunCoachJason.com. He holds a Ph.D. in exercise physiology and is founder and coach of REVO2LT Running Team. He is also author of 101 Developmental Concepts & Workouts for Cross Country Runners, the forthcoming Women's Running Bible and 101 Winning Racing Strategies. For more information, visit RunCoachJason.com.


What's Your Fiber Type?

To determine your fiber type, you can either get a muscle biopsy or ask yourself the following questions:

• When you race,

(a) Are you able to hang with your competitors during the middle stages, but get out-kicked in the last quarter to half-mile?

(b) Do you have a hard time maintaining the pace during the middle stages, but can finish fast and out-kick others?

If you answered a, you have more ST fibers. If you answered b, you have more FT fibers.

• Which type of workouts feel easier and more natural?

(a) Long intervals (800-meter to mile repeats), long runs and tempo runs.

(b) Short, fast intervals (200s and 400s).

If you answered a, you have more ST fibers. If you answered b, you have more FT fibers.

• Which workouts do you look forward to more?

(a) Long intervals and tempo runs.

(b) Short, fast intervals.

If you answered a, you have more ST fibers. If you answered b, you have more FT fibers. (People tend to get excited about tasks at which they excel, while being more anxious about tasks that are difficult.)


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