Interesting on exercise physiology

I have been doing some reading (and re-reading 🙂 ) on physiology around running/performance lately, just to keep myself updated.

Of my particular interest is the theories of the Noakes and Hill. A model they have named the Central Governor…

Model. It is very, very interesting stuff – brings some freshness into the debate with its theories of limitations of performance for endurance athletes. Noakes is a South African medical doctor and one of the prime exercise physiologists in the world.

He makes a point about how those with the best running performance is acutally those with the best cornorary blood flow, the most economical heats plus the muscles with the greatest contractility and elasticity. This is regulated by a central governor in the brains motor cortex – that regulates so that the heart will not get anaerobic.

So he makes a point about how Vo2 max “is not the critical factor determining exercise performance”. Rather “it could be said that athletes heart and muscle strength and fatigue resistance enables them to run at a high speed;once the high speeds are reached athletes need a high rate of oxygen confumption (high Vo2 max). But the high rate of oxygen consumption does not create the ability to run fast – rather the high Vo2 max is the complex result of heart and muscle factors that determine the ability to run fast”

He has worked with many of the best South African marathoners and has done high class research on elite athletes over decades so his latest conclusions are quite interesting ; how the body regulates itself to avoid the heart from going anaerobic (resulting in collapse) rather than the muscles.

The fall is a good time to go into these things. Alot of research does not apply to daily training -most of it is done on just moderately trained and with too small groups (and many, many other factors playing in) but sometimes you find intersting stuff. And I believe, either way that it is important to have a general interst in these things to keep the flame alive. It gives you things to think about, and new challenges develop. You avoid the static by looking at running as a dynamic process.

Things are going fine with training. We still have no snow here in Oslo, so I can run my longer intervalls outside still. So I can run them with the Vidar group. Quite nice, I just run a bit longer and we take the recoveries together. Plus, Henrik will be in full practice again very soon so then we can do those sessions together again 🙂 Another few weeks now with buildup before going up to maximum volume and load in January.

From Oslo,