How Long-Distance Running Shapes Your Muscles PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marathon Guru   
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 05:52

8-3-2011_1-50-09_PMAny athlete while training has to consider many different facets of muscle growth when developing the muscles they need for their specific activity.  Marathon or half Marathon runners may not be as concerned with growing large extensive muscles, but muscle growth and adaptation will still occur when training for a marathon.


This knowledge of how your muscles work and how they adapt to intensive training can determine the difference between an effective work out and breaking down with overuse injuries.  If you work out too hard you can damage your muscles and joints causing longer recoveries and endangering your ability to run marathons.  So consideration of your muscles ability to adapt is key in marathon training.


Muscles are made up of many cells that aid in movement.  When you use your muscles in intense exercise small tears form in your muscle and your body responds to repair those tears, but because the body is a plastic system the body responds by increasing the number of myofibrils, muscle protein strands.  The increase of muscle cells increases the strength of the muscle allowing it to adapt to your increased level of activity.  If you think about how when learning the guitar you develop calluses on your fingers over time in response to the stress on your skin from the strings.

This response is your body adapting to that stressor.  With marathon running, your muscles and joints are having to adapt to the stress of long distance running and your muscles will adapt accordingly.  The degree that muscles grow and respond to training is dependent on diet, hydration, amount of sleep, and genetics.  So taking care of your body is key in speeding up the time it takes for your muscles to adapt.


So while training you should be considering how will this effect my muscles and what level of training can I put myself through before I cause too much break down? and is the intensity of this work out too high and will it over work my muscles and use up my glycogen stores?   Most people read about training only without understanding the physiology of their muscles, but each individual response to training may be very different.  So it is important to understand the inner workings of your muscles and mold your training around how your body responds. The Marathon Guru training plans that you are following have a balance between the level of difficulty of your training and the speed that your body can respond to the training.


Login Form



Would you select Haile for the Olympic Ethipian team?