Tag Archives: heart

How Your Weight Affects Your Running Speed

To run faster you need to be leaner. Just look at the world beating Kenyans, they are razor thin. Off cause you dont need to be that thin to achieve your running goals.

To understand why a leaner person is faster than overweight person look at this example.

Lets compare an a Subaru and an Audi, The Audi has more horsepower (335), but that horsepower has to pull a bigger mass (4,300 pounds). The Subaru has a little less horsepower (300), but since it has to move less weight (3,300 pounds), it’s much more nimble and can accelerate like a bullet.

When you run the biggest load is your body weight. The heavier you are the more fuel you need, and the more water you need. The lungs and heart of a heavy person will need to work twice as hard as of a lean person to do similar work.

So, if you want to improve on your running times, cut on those extra pounds. The more weight you lose the faster you can run.

How Much Energy Your Brain Uses

Up to 10% of your running energy can be consumed by your brain. That is according to a report I have just read by  Charles Pedlar, endurance physiologist with the English Institute of Sports.


During running every runner indulges in many thoughts. Sizing up the competition, your dreams and fears, your mile by mile strategy on a mental loop these can be energy sapping as running itself.

Its worth noting that most of this energy is used up at the pre start when runners are anxious.

“Your heart beats faster, and your brain, being a hugely inefficient and sizable organ, can use up to 10% of your stored glycogen energy reserves before you have even begun” adds the report.

The elite athletes try to cope with this pre race anxiety by taking time from the crowds to keep calm and maintain their pulse at no more than 10 beats over the resting heart rate.

So, save your energy by not thinking too much!

An Endurance Athlete Heart

As an endurace athlete, you will develop an athlete’s heart which is very different to the non athlete’s heart. You will have;

  • Low resting pulse rate of under 50 beats per minute – Scientifically referred to as Bradycardia.
  • Thickening of the heart muscle wall
  • X-ray reveals an enlarged heart
  • Blood tests shows raised muscle enzymes

The above for the average person (non-athlete) indicate a probable heart block, hypertension or heart failure.

Should you need to go into hospital or see your doctor, you should inform them you are an endurance athlete.

My Doctor told me, Athlete’s heart also known as athletic heart syndrome is a medical syndrome in which the human heart is enlarged due to excessive amounts of exercise. Common in athletes who exercise more than an hour almost every day and occasionally in heavy weight trainers, this syndrome is believed to be a benign condition.

How an Athlete Heart  Develops

During intensive, prolonged endurance- and strength-training, the body signals the heart to pump more blood through the body to counteract the oxygen deficit building in the skeletal muscles. Enlargement of the heart is a natural physical adaptation of the body to deal with the high pressures and large amounts of blood that can affect the heart during these periods of time. After time, these pressures cause the muscle mass, wall thickness, and chamber size of the left ventricle of the heart to increase.

Bamboo Bike for Heart, Lung Exercise

Looks cool! A work of art!

I was flipping an old copy of Newsweek magazine when I came across this fine Bike, ITS MADE FROM BAMBOO!

How strong is this bamboo bike? Calfee designs, the guys who pioneered use of carbon fiber material on racing bikes claim on their site that “a Calfee Bamboo bike won 1st place in the open class at the Great Western Bicycle Rally’s Concourse d’Elegance show.”

I was schooled in a boys boarding school and I remember our principal had a bamboo stick that he used to spank anyone who misbehaved. Today, Corporal punishment has been banned in Kenya schools and its good to know their is now a better use of bamboo stick than using it as a weapon.

Bamboo Bike Features:

  • High performance frame. Weighs about 4 pounds but has good stiffness.
  • Crash tolerant. Bamboo is a lot of tougher than most people realize.

Do you ride a bike as part of your cardiovascular exercise? May be you should try a new bamboo bike.