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Why understanding your metabolism impacts your training and results


The M factor – why there’s so much hype about metabolism

Understanding the way your metabolism works and how to influence it may be the missing puzzle piece to achieving your dream body. To rev up your metabolism and finally get to your goal, you are well advised to integrate the following knowledge in your running routine. Read on to learn about the energy supply in your body and which running workouts impact it the most.

Why it’s time to step up your running game

Running is an integral part of many types of sport and trains your overall athletic capabilities. Each time you take your running to the next level your body reacts and adapts to the new stimulation. This means an increase in your speed, distance or intensity, leverages your physical potential to new heights. You become more resistant and it takes longer until you reach your personal breaking point. The performance of your cardiovascular system and your muscles develop as well. Moreover, blood circulation and nutrient supply improve, which is why you become able to train longer with less time required to regenerate.

Behind the scenes: What also happens in your body in terms of energy supply

Chances are you’ve heard of metabolism. You know it’s associated with weight loss. But how much do you really know about what happens in the body? It’s important to understand your metabolism, which is the process of how your body converts energy. Ever heard of aerobic and anaerobic energy supply before? The energy supply system is closely linked to your calorie expenditure and overall training success. There are four different systems of energy supply that are active to varied degrees depending on the intensity your running training.

Brace yourself – now it’s getting technical. The energy supply relies on aerobic and anaerobic mechanisms. The aerobic energy pathway requires oxygen, whereas the anaerobic does not require any oxygen.

Let’s begin with the anaerobic part: The anaerobic metabolism can be divided into another two sub categories: alactic and lactic. The anaerobic lactic system is the muscle’s ability to produce energy fast without the immediate use of oxygen. This pathway is used in very short but intense exercises, as for example in a 100m sprint. To train this system intervals workouts at a maximum effort are most suited.

After about ten seconds, a different pathway is then tapped for energy. Your body goes back to either aerobic energy generation in the case of long-term loading or to anaerobic alactic energy supply in the event of high intensive loading. The latter process burns carbs only partially and cannot be sustained for a long time. The anaerobic lactic system is used for high intensity workouts that exceed 15 seconds, which would be a 400m sprint for instance. In this state, the body has to continue performing at sub maximum stress while taking in less oxygen. If you want to train in this state interval workouts with 60 to 95 percent of maximum loading are best.

Now, let’s come to the aerobic metabolism: Carbs and fats are burned completely here. Read on to know how to get into this state while running.

The secret about your individual anaerobic threshold (IAT) and how it improves your performance

If you want to burn your energy reserves considerably, you should train at your individual anaerobic threshold (IAT). It will push your aerobic metabolism to its limits. But you do not only lose weight; you also become much fitter. Even though it does not demand your maximum effort. Running at a medium or higher loading for a longer time is totally sufficient to gear up your metabolism. Let the speed be high, but not so high that your muscles get sore. Increased long distance runs at medium speed or interval workouts are perfectly suited to enter this desired stage.

Talking about performance – how the volume of air you breathe impacts your endurance

Did you know that you can train your lungs and the volume of air they take in? Usually the amount of oxygen your body absorbs is genetically determined. Which does not mean that you cannot train it. Your endurance performance basically relies on this parameter called V02max. It implies the maximum amount of oxygen used by your body in a certain time during maximal exercise. The higher your V02max, the more oxygen can be absorbed. To increase your oxygen uptake moderate and high intensity intervals are recommended. Which in return helps you to train at your IAT for even longer.

Athlete, if you learned one important thing about losing weight, it’s this: to boost your aerobic metabolism you should work on your maximum oxygen uptake and train at your IAT. Both can only be achieved by a combination of different running workouts. Freeletics Running offers the right mix for you – including a variety of distances and interval workouts. Adapted to your current fitness level. Designed to push you to your limits for maximum results.

Your metabolism only works as hard as you do. Start running towards your goal now.