Search This Blog

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Last night I gave a talk to a running group at the side of a windswept track on the merits of using the run/walk method of training & racing. A point I make about the benefits of the method is the profoundly positive impact it has on cardiac drift. At the end, a runner, who is doing an Ironman® later in the season was very interested in this concept
Cardiac drift is a characteristic of heart rate in all endurance events in which the heart rate increases progressively as the workout or race progresses even if the output is the same. Then in the later stages, no matter how hard you push yourself, it begins to drop. There are a number of reasons for this, foremost of which is most likely fatigue, followed by hydration aspects. There is some evidence that heat may be a factor also – or heat accelerates fatigue & hydration imbalance, but the net result is the same.
As far as the heart rate dropping it would seem that as our peripherals start to fail/grow weak & we are unable to return blood to the chest cavity (heart & lungs) for re-oxygenation, decreasing the need for the cardio-vascular system to operate at higher levels.
Bottom line, the run/walk method helps to slow heart rate increase, making it possible for us to operate more efficiently for longer. The overall heart rate average is lower, thus improving our chances of being metabolically more efficient, (burn more fat for longer, sparing our carbohydrates). Finally, the vascular pumping action of walking & the relative reduction in fatigue because of the intermittent, rather than continuous running ensures that we can keep the heart rate up deeper into these long events & thus be able to perform better.
The walk run method helps in SO MANY ways – this just an illustration of how it can help in respect of cardiac drift.
As always, have fun & if you feel you need Leg Speed, contact us at & see if we have something for you.
Bobby McGee
Check out the trailer of my new DVD on the home page of my website:

No comments:

Post a Comment