The Priming Effect

I’ve been reading numerous articles of late, which cover the science behind running – how it affects your body, and how to make improvements.

One piece that I did find quite interesting, is about the Priming Effect. I’m all too aware of warming up, stretching, etc before a run, but I wasn’t aware of priming.

I’m interested in giving this technique a whirl, and will report back on how I get on with it. Hopefully it’ll help with my sluggish legs ☺

When you first start running hard, your muscles immediately demand more oxygen. The rest of your body tries to respond with a higher breathing and heart rate, dilated blood vessels, and metabolic changes within the muscles that all speed the delivery of oxygen. But by the time these systems have ramped up, your oxygen-starved muscles have already dipped into anaerobic energy reserves (this is when you get that quicksand feeling).

However, if you include a few minutes of strategic hard running as part of your warmup, you will bring your oxygen delivery system up to maximum efficiency while still allowing enough time for your anaerobic energy reserves to recover before the start of your repeats or race.

Source: Runners World