I saw a great post on active.com written by Laura Beil for Women’s Health describing our body’s reaction during a 30-minute run. This pretty much sums up why it takes me about a mile before I feel good!
Within the first 90 seconds
- Our bodies start using ATP (adenosine triphosphate) these are the energy molecules that our body makes from food
- As only a limited amount of ATP can be stored in muscle cells, and so ATP is converted into ADP (adenosine diphosphate).
- ADP will only provide 2-3 seconds worth of energy, so ADP needs to be converted back into ATP. The body does this by breaking down glycogen (a form of glucose stored in our muscles), and through glucose in our blood.
- This process causes our muscles to release lactic acid
After the initial surge, during the next few minutes
- Our muscles require more oxygen to use the glucose that is releases
- Our heart beats faster and directs blood to our muscles and away from bodily functions we aren’t currently using
- We begin to breathe heavy
- Our glutes, legs and core work to keep us erect, control our gait and extend the hip joint so our feet can push off the ground
- We begin to burn calories at a rate of about 100 calories per mile.
- As we burn glycogen and oxygen for energy, our body temperature rises. In an effort to keep from overheating, our circulatory system diverts blood flow to our skin and our sweat glands release moisture.
Within the first 10 Minutes (or for me, at about the mile mark)
- If we are in good shape our bodies efficiently uses oxygen, burns fat and glucose and we feel strong.
- If we haven’t been keeping up with our training, or we are running faster than usual (as in a race) the ATP can’t keep up with demand, lactic acid floods our body, and we feel it!