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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

7. Switching On

Exercise science is accelerating the level at which we understand how our bodies function & it is happening at a crazy rate. I feel lost trying to catch up daily & I have been at this for 3 decades! For example, we used to believe in something called a “2nd breath” (way back in the 50s) when we’d start a race & after some time we’d suddenly feel way better – now we know we just weren’t warmed up enough! Granted I had not run many races by 1960! We thought stretching was a good idea before exercise – now we are pretty sure it’s a bad idea. We thought a warm up was for our central physiology only; getting our sweat rate going, our heart rate, getting our muscle core temperature up & so on. Turns out that one has to turn the lights on 1st, before one can prepare the space to play! Muscles that have been passive or even defacilitated through sleep or daily work need to be specifically activated before we begin our warm up & then more muscle fibers need to be recruited to perform optimally, rather than just safely. Add to this that our movement patterns need to be facilitated & initiated effectively before we can perform at our best & get the most from our training & when we compete. One can’t just flip the main switch & hope all the wiring is up to code & the systems are all A-Okay. An airplane needs a huge maintenance crew to keep it in the air. The body needs an opportunity to get fully into gear before it can perform. It’s one thing taking your Subaru out of the garage & driving straight to work & another matter entirely taking your Formula 1 car off the truck & straight into a race. Most of us can go out for an easy run without too much prior prep, but to train hard & race well, require quite a bit more forethought. The art & science of potentiation is relatively new for most individuals who exercise – look into it; you’ll be blown away at the difference it can make for you & hey, what’s not to like about better performance, feeling better & staying injury free, right? Each individual athlete has limitations, be they in their connective tissue set, injury remnants & imbalances, age, muscle type & ratio, oxygen uptake kinetics, exercise response type & many more. Spend a lifetime continually learning what works for you
Bobby McGee – Bobby McGee Endurance Sports

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