• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Running a marathon - the best way to get fit?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Running a marathon - the best way to get fit? What can exercise do for me? Exercise does more then reduce weight, it can improve both our health and fitness, and should involve using as much of the body as possible. Exercise has two main benefits: * Short term these are the effects that happen during the activity itself and also contribute to the long term benefits e.g. the heart rate will increase, which will increase the flow and pressure of the blood. * Long term these are the lasting effects which occur and include the following: o Heart becomes bigger, stronger and capable of pumping more blood. o Lungs get more oxygen to the muscles. o Blood volume increases, therefore more oxygen can be carried. o Muscles increase in size and strength, this is called muscle hypertrophy. The muscle energy stores are also improved. This allows the muscle to work harder and longer. ...read more.

Middle

Most people will tend to have a balance of about 50% of these two types of fibres in their muscle. Experiments have shown that long distance runners tend to have a higher percentage of slow twitch fibres (74%) in their calf muscles. One of the main limiting factors to how fast you can run is the amount of oxygen you can get to your muscles. Oxygen is needed for your muscle cells to release energy. The maximum amount of oxygen you can take in and process is known as your VO2 max. The VO2 max of marathoners is 45% higher than an untrained person. But this advantage is largely genetic and research has shown that training only increases VO2 max by 10-20%. What makes so many Kalenjin runners win marathons? As the Kalenjin runners live 7000ft above see level, their genes have adapted for them to be able to live at high altitude, as oxygen levels in the atmosphere begin to fall. ...read more.

Conclusion

With no glycogen left in their muscles, they have to get the energy to continue running from their body fat. But converting fat into energy is much less efficient than converting glycogen to energy - it requires more oxygen and takes twice as long, slowing a marathoner down to walking pace or even stopping them completely. To overcome this problem you need to put your body into a similar situation a few times before the race, i.e. do a couple of 20 mile runs. Endurance training leads to changes in your body's metabolism so that you become more efficient at using stored energy as well as encouraging your muscles to store more glycogen. Before running a race it is always best to seek medical advice and professional help when it comes to training as this will help to minimise any problems which may occur. Marathons are a great way of raising money for charities, making new friend and training towards a healthier life style. Word count 1025 ?? ?? ?? ?? Ynez Symonds ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Anatomy & Physiology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Anatomy & Physiology essays

  1. Skeletal and muscular systems

    Therefore people with more fast-twitch muscle fibres will tend to be better at sports such as sprinting. But people with more slow-twitch muscle fibres will be more talented at sports such as long distance running. Your body contains around 650 muscles in your body and make up roughly half of your body weight.

  2. Physiology Within Sport

    An average person's heart tends to be between 70-75 beats per minute, however top enduring athletes have a much lower resting heart rate for an example Miguel Indurain is a Tour De France cyclist and had a resting heart rate of 30bpm, so this proves that the more endurance exercises

  1. A level Project, Personal Exercise Program on Netball.

    This lack of speed during the sprint could be due to a physiological lack of power in the muscles. This deficiency of speed has a major effect upon the performer's ability to perform during the game. The performer's lack of speed can affect the number of passes that are successful or unsuccessful.

  2. Movement within the Body and the Cardiovascular System

    This may also help with the more cognitive aspect of sports such as strategy, and consciously thinking about the next kick etc, as there is a sufficient amount of blood being supplied to the brain it will function properly and the athlete is more likely to make a better choice

  1. Discuss the short term and long-term effects of exercise on the cardiovascular system, the ...

    and finally, fatty acid from fat stores are secreted into the blood (fatty acids can only be broken down by aerobic respiration). Metabolism of energy during and after a sprint Aerobic Respiration C6H12O6 + 6O2 6CO2 + 6H20 + energy (2880 kJ)

  2. A.S Personal exercise program for netball

    This will allow jumps to be higher and power in the arms will mean there will be more control over the intercepted ball. Chest pass. To be able to pass the ball faster, more directly to the desired player over a much longer distance.

  1. Information on the Physiology of Exercise

    Erythrocytes - Red Blood Cells 2. Granulocytes - White Blood Cells 3. Agranulocytes - White Blood Cells 4. Platelets - White Blood Cells The erythrocytes or red blood cells as they are widely known are the cells that carry oxygen and carbon dioxide in and around the body.

  2. The body's response to exercise- Regular aerobic activity results in a type of cardiac ...

    Cardiac output Each litre of blood carries about 200ml of oxygen. The oxygen carrying capacity of blood normally varies only a bit because haemoglobin content varies little regardless of the exercise intensity. Approximately 5 litres of blood are circulated around the body each minute at rest for trained or untrained

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work