Friday, January 4, 2019

Mighty-Chondria Soup

I commonly get asked why I name my long slow runs on Strava as "Mighty-Chondria Soup."

Long slow runs are the key to any endurance training plan. And on of the key reasons is the development of mitochondria in your muscle fibers. Mitochondria are "the enzymes that catalyze the chemical reactions involved in aerobic metabolism." That's science fancy speak you can run faster and longer if you develop these mighty little buggers and their ability to provide more oxygen to your muscles. Think of your muscles as factories, and the mitochondria as the workers. The more workers your factory has, the more productive your factories will be.

So the more you run, the more mighty little buggers you get. And true, you can develop them if you sprint 75km in a week, but you don't need to. You will develop equally if you run slowly for 75km in a week. Except if you try sprinting it, you'll break down with an injury at some point. So run it slowly, and you'll be able to run even more.

It's just another reason why running slower actually allows you to run faster. And come race day, you will be thankful for investing in Mighty-Chondria Soup.

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