Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Morning Light, 20080723we0633

I woke this morning around 5:00 AM, but decided to sleep for another
hour since I went to bed late last night. I've been going on longer
runs than usual, and I know my body needs to get plenty of sleep to
heal between runs.

Normally my runs are 36 minutes, but over the past five days I've been
going for 54 minute runs. Also, when I'm home, I usually carry my
heavy backpack in my bicycle trailer, and I carry fewer things. Being
on the road, I have more electronics gear, so the bag is heavier. So,
my body is really feeling the soreness of these additional demands.

I have a theory that every time a person engages in heavy exercise,
there are micro injuries. In weight lifting, it's the recovery from
these micro injuries that produces more muscle. Most micro injuries
can be healed in 24 hours, assuming a good night sleep. However, some
will need 48 hours. This is why weight lifters alternate the muscle
group worked on from one day to the next.

The amount of healing that takes place depends on the amount of sleep,
rest, and other factors. Some people go running everyday. For many
people, the body can recover in 24 hours from a short less intense
run. Howerver, if there are cumulative micro injuries, these may
result in a larger injury. For example, if a muscle is fatigued and
not provining the support or balance needed, more weight and strain
will be shifted to other muscles or ligaments. This could result in a
more serious injury.

As the body becomes conditioned and stronger, more muscles and stamina
infrastructure are created. The same workout seems easier because more
of the body is efficiently engaged in the task. This produces less
strain on any single area of the body, resulting in fewer micro
injuries and faster healing times. However, one should always be
mindful of the potential for cumulative micro injuries from repetitive

I find that trail running feels better than running on cement. The
surface is typically softer, and the slight variations in the trail
ensure a random and distributive stress on the entire body which
presumably would result in less identical repeated stressors - as
would be the case in walking or running on cement or stair climbing.

The stairs on Great Wall of China are of unequal height. Presumably if
they were the same height, fatigue would set in much faster since
doing even an easy task, repeatedly, can become hard if it is the same
task over and over without variation.

I'm going to start my morning routine of stretching (Yoga/Pilates),
breathing exercises, meditation, and then running.