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Sports, oxygen and the three energy systems

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Excerpt from msn.com | 26 March 2012 | By Charles Q. Choi

Every sport makes demands on three energy systems: Aerobic metabolism uses oxygen to convert nutrients into energy; when intense bursts of energy are needed, lactic anaerobic metabolism generates energy without oxygen, exclusively from sugars such as glucose, with lactate as a byproduct; and for very short bursts of energy, alactic anaerobic metabolism produces energy without oxygen and without producing lactate. Aerobic sports include long-distance running, anaerobic sports include weight lifting.

Excerpt from LATimes.com | March 24, 2012 | By Kevin Baxter

Angela Bizzari, left, and Jen Rhines run along a quiet road near Mammoth Lakes. Training at an altitude of 7,800 feet helps athletes produce more oxygen-carrying blood cells, boosting endurance at lower elevations. Like London: under 100 feet. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Physiologists long ago concluded that the thin air at high altitude causes the body to produce more oxygen-carrying blood cells, making athletes more efficient in endurance activities at lower levels. That also explains the dominance of East African marathoners, many of whom were born and raised in Kenya’s Rift Valley or the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, both of which are more than 7,500 feet above sea level.

“When you anecdotally look at how many people are getting the medals and are training at altitude, there is enough evidence that most people shouldn’t overlook” it, says former UCLA track coach Bob Larsen, who has been coaching Keflezighi since he won four national titles for the Bruins in the late 1990s. “You have to conclude that if your red blood mass increases dramatically when you’ve been at altitude for a while, you’re going to have an advantage when you get to sea level.”

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Originally posted 2012-03-28 15:05:20.

July 14th, 2017

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