Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Human Body - Pushing the Limits.

I'm a documentary freak. Specially when they're medical or ecological related. I used to watch way more documentaries than I do now, but yesterday, as I was bored out of my mind, I started looking into some and found one that used to be my favorite. It's a Discovery Channel series called "Human Body - Pushing the Limits". It has 4 episodes: 1) Strength / 2) Sight / 3) Sensation / 4) Brain Power. They're unbelievably awesome. It shows us the capacity our bodies have when we push them beyond what we think we can. I'll leave you with the link of the first episode, so you can just follow up the other ones in the related videos tabs ;)

The difference is not in pain threshold, is how much you'll put up with before you say "that's it, I quit".

This video yesterday actually came in a heck of a good time. Saturdays are usually the hardest training day for me and my running group. It's the day we do the long speed workouts, like 800m/1000m/2000m. I've done them ONCE in my life last year, mostly because I was either injured or I had a race on the following Sunday, so I would just take it easy. Now, I have no choice. If I ever wanna get better, I MUST do them. We all know the benefits of doing speed training and how it transfers afterwards to out halfs and marathons. So those nice long jogs you do really need to be pared up with some quality time on the tracks. What are the benefits? Well, you're gonna must likely raise your VO2max (from Runner's World):

In their laboratory research, scientists frequently measure this delivery and use of oxygen, calling it maximum oxygen uptake or VO2 max. They consider maximum oxygen uptake to be the most basic measure of aerobic fitness, and they've shown that it increases as you train more and harder.  (source)

How to do it:

The best and most efficient way to increase your aerobic capacity is to run slightly faster (10 to 30 seconds per mile) than your 5-K race pace. Faster runners should be closer to the 10-second figure, and slower runners closer to the 30-second figure. For example, if you can race a 5-K at 7:40 per mile, you should run your max VO2 workouts at 7:20 to 7:30 pace. This isn't a pace that you can maintain very long in training. You can run for distance (800 meters) or time (3 to 5 minutes). (source)

So, back to my dreadful Saturday. The first 1000m hit and I did it at 5:15min. It nearly killed me. I couldn't breathe and thought I wasn't gonna be able to finish it - at all. The second one I slowed down a bit and did it at 5:30min. After that one, I was laying down on the grass wondering why on god's creation I had to do that. I was totally done, but my friend insisted we did a light "jog" just to finish it up. And we did. At 5:25min and I was happy and alive! But... wait a minute. How on god's creation did I run faster and felt effortless? It was because she used the magic word: jog. As soon as my brain figured I wasn't gonna do anymore speed, it twisted from the "I can't do this shit" mode to the "Let's do that" mode. I know, right? I gave that a lot of thought and it's amazing the power our brains can have over our overall performances. So it's up to us to push ourselves to the limit, knowing that you always have more in you than your brain let you think you do - or our ancestors would hunt forever 'till they collapse due to exhaustion ;) 

On a side note... have this ever happened to you?

Apparently, my socks are really sentimental... so when I forget about them, they hide themselves to claim for attention. 

And, on a side note part 2:

I know Adidas is our group's sponsor, but I just can't get enough of Mizuno. They fir me perfectly and feel like heaven on my foot! 

"Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster man. Sooner or later, the man who wins is the man who thinks he can." 
Vince Lombardi.

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