Running is a great sport to get in shape, burn some steam, and build muscles. But, have you ever wondered what your body goes through on a 30-minute run? Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced runner, notice how your body changes from beginning to end next time you hit the pavement. Understanding what your body goes through will help you become a stronger runner.
The First Few Seconds of Your Run
As you begin to run, your muscles start using adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the energy molecules your body makes from food. Trust me, using ATP is a great thing.
That surge of adrenaline is the ATP converting to another powerful molecule, adenosine diphosphate (ADP). Your muscle cells will change ADP back into ATP after that initial surge.
The First 90 Seconds of Your Run
During this time, you’ll be establishing your stride. In order to release more ATP, your cells begin to break down glycogen, a form of glucose (fuel) stored in your muscles. Cells will pull glucose directly from your blood, which results in lower blood sugar levels.
As your body uses more glucose and your muscles unleash lactic acid (also known as ‘the burn’), your brain will alert you that you’re under physical stress. Don’t panic. It’s not a bad thing.
The Next Few Minutes of Your Run (and Beyond)
If you’re a new runner, this is where it may become tricky to maintain your running pace. Don’t give up. Keep pushing yourself. Your heart will begin to beat faster. Blood will start to moves toward your muscles and away from other organs that are not requiring energy. It takes an influx of oxygen to make the best use of your glucose at this time. At this point, you’ll begin to breathe heavily.
Once you feel comfortable in your stride (remember you were establishing it in the previous step), your gluteus maximus (also known as your butt), legs and core, work to keep your form controlled, and upright. Your hip joints will extend so your feet can push off the ground. In short, you’ll be running.
The burning of glycogen and oxygen tends to spike your body temperature. This is when you’ll begin to sweat. Again, don’t panic. Your sweat glands release moisture to keep you from overheating.
Within 10 Minutes of Your Run
If you’ve been exercising regularly, your muscles and their ATP supply will be ample. Your body will be able to efficiently move oxygen and burn fat and glucose.
But if you’re new to exercise, your ATP supply might not be able to keep up with the high demand that running places on your body. You will be fighting the oxygen-producing process. Lactic acid will begin to overwhelm your body, making each minute more cumbersome than the last. Keep pushing.
In this situation, the best thing to do is slow down to a jog. Once you feel OK, then pick up the pace to a run again.
After 30 Minutes on Your Run
Take a bow! It’s over. As you slow down and start walking, your energy demand will lessen and you’ll begin to breathe normally.
Believe it or not, you may feel pretty accomplished and energized at this moment. That’s because your body is producing the mood-elevating hormone called dopamine—the ‘feel good’ hormone. The increased levels of dopamine may lead to less food cravings—it’s a win-win situation.
What do you my fellow Tumbr friends think of these shoes with toes? Are they really that good for running or are they just another soon to be debunked fad like Shape-ups?
I am all for man food IE meat! I love beef jerky. It is something that is wonderful on long car trips and just about any time of the day.
However the crap you buy at the store usually has two or three days worth of sodium (exaggeration) and a bunch of preservatives. So I am collecting beef jerky ideas so if you have them please send them to me!