Sunday, March 07, 2010

Running in the Science News

When I wrote about running and posture last month, I linked to an interesting article about when running burns muscle instead of fat.
When the exercise load exceeds a critical level, which is different for each person, the adrenal cortex secrets a massive amount of cortisol. It is not a one-shot secretion. The longer the level is sustained, the more cortisol is released.

According the University of New Mexico’s Len Kravitz the critical level that results in excess cortisol secretion occurs after about 45 minutes of exercise--some people hit the critical level earlier, others later depending on variety of genetic and other variables.

Two of the effects of excess cortisol are fat retention, it makes your body want to hold on to fat instead of burn it, and muscle catabolism, it makes you body use skeletal muscle for energy...
More about that topic is here.

I have continued to pay attention to my posture when I run.

Although there is no official distinction between jogging and running, in my mind the difference is clear: I naturally keep my center of gravity over the balls of my feet, which in my mind is "jogging". When I concentrate it is easy to shift my center of gravity farther forward, past the balls of my feet: this feel much different and in my mind is "running".

"Jogging" is more comfortable. But it is poor posture. It is less efficient and slower, because less of my strides' energy propels me forward. "Jogging" also allows me to sometimes land on a heel instead of the center or balls of my feet, which is so harmful there is new fad of running barefoot.

It takes quite a bit of concentration to have my center of gravity forward and also keep my lower back in proper posture instead of lordosis. But when and where I run nothing else demands my attention. It is a great way to start the day.

With math lecture slides done, and most of the early Spring rush of yard work complete, I also have time to use my dumbbells and weight bench again. Here is an interesting article about weight lifting for runners. (Since I do not run enough to be a "runner" it only partly applies to me.)

No comments: