How To Understand Physiology And Endurance Training

In my opinion, certain knowledge about heart, lungs and blood, will support you really well because you are making progress here which lifts you up in your training. How to understand physiology and endurance training will support you in your training in many years. I have chosen Marathon training as a model since Marathon training starts at all running levels and can benefit almost every part of your body.

It is incredibly effective in making you healthier in many ways. The largest physical health benefits In Marathon Training are the huge improvements of the heart, cardiovascular system, lung functions and blood effectiveness.

Central Organs

The most important element when performing physical work is that the body supplies with Oxygen. As long-distance runner, you have to run far and in a long time. Therefore, it is necessary that the body and particularly the working muscles can absorb oxygen and consume oxygen, so the necessary muscle work can continue.

The most essential precondition is the heart and the oxygen transport system. In this system are the lungs, heart, circulatory system and the blood important central organs. We could say they work as a team, to bring oxygen out to the cells and tissues in the body.

Local significance

The tissue structures, the muscles, the small veins in the muscles known as capillaries, the oxygen-transporting protein in the muscles called myoglobin, the combustion organs called mitochondria’s, and the necessary specific enzymes in the muscle cells, have crucial local significance in the working muscles.

The purpose of aerobic training is greatly to increase the supply of oxygen to the muscle fibers in the working muscles. Thus, the changes occur in the systems that are involved in transporting oxygen to the muscle fibers. Aerobic training means training “with” Oxygen as the opposite of anaerobic training which means training “without” Oxygen.


I know that this can be a little difficult to understand but know that there will be great improvement in this system during your training

The Pulmonary system

The pulmonary system is the movement of blood from the heart, to the lungs, and back to the heart again. In the lungs, the blood receives oxygen from inhaled air and at the same time delivers carbon dioxide (CO2), a waste material from the energy release, to the atmospheric air. The replacement of oxygen and carbon dioxide happens through the lung’s highly specialized construction.

They act as a bellow. The walls of the finest ramifications represent an area of about 100 square meters. It is through these very thin walls that the oxygen from inhaled air and CO2 from the blood passes. The replacement happens due to pressure differences on either side of the walls.

The blood, which is in the fine blood vessels around the lung walls, has just delivered oxygen to the working muscles, which could be your legs when running, and comes back to the lungs through the right side of the heart.

When the blood reaches the lungs, it is oxygen-poor but contains in return CO2 from the energy turnover. When the oxygen-poor blood in the pulmonary capillaries meets the oxygen-saturated air from the breathing air, an automatically exchanging occur, or more exactly a pressure equalization, which means that the oxygen pressure on each side of the lung walls approaching each other.

Now, the blood “fills” with oxygen and continues to the left heart half from where it pumps out to the working muscles again. At the same pressure equalization, releases the blood CO2 through exhalation. Lungs and the respiratory system automatically perform this vital process.

The Breathing

The air replacement in the lungs happens through breathing. When we are at rest, we typically draw breath from 10 to 15 times per minute. Each inhalation contains about ½ liter of air. By physical work increases the need for oxygen and therefore increases both the depth of breathing and the number of breathing per. Minute.

A moderate run means that the number of inhalations increases to between 40 and 50 times per. Minute and the amount of breathing air increases to about 3 liters/breathing. Besides, respiratory muscles in the diaphragm, the chest between the ribs and throat becomes stronger over time because of the rapid breathing.

As you come in shape, the numbers of alveolar in lung tips increases, so more oxygen delivers to the blood. More capillaries creates, so the oxygen’s road from the blood into the muscle cell becomes smaller. You will also experience deeper and slower breathing and over time, your lung tissue becomes more flexible and more elastic.

Heart and Circulatory System

Again, I know that this can be a little difficult to understand but know that there will be great improvement in this system during your training

The Circulatory System

The heart’s job is to circulating blood throughout the body and it is mainly the heart, which causes our shape progress. The heart has liked the lungs’ considerable reserves that adapt to external circumstances – like running. The heart’s pump activity, can increase considerably and thus it can pump significant amounts of blood around in the system if circumstances require it.

When you start-up and complete a marathon training program during a longer period, your heart will be bigger and especially the left ventricle, the largest and strongest, which sends the blood out in the body, expands its capacity. The stroke volume, which means the amount of blood the heart pumps out in one beat increases, both due to increased ventricle size and hence greater blood volume that pumps from the heart out in the body and because of greater effect in cardiac contraction.

The increase in stroke volume also provides an effect at rest. At rest, the heart pumps about 5 liters of blood around in the body per minute regardless of your training level. This is called the heart’s minute volume. The minute volume of very well-trained persons may increases up to 40 liters/minute at very intensive activity. For comparison, a completely open kitchen tap pumps around 14-liter water out per minute.

Minute volume can express as minute volume = Stroke volume * heart rate where heart rate is defined as the number of times that your heart beats in one minute. The effect of a larger stroke volume is that the heart does not have to beat so many times in the minute to satisfy a rest minute volume of 5 liters.

When the stroke volume becomes larger, becomes the heart rate therefore lower at rest. In this way decreases the resting heart rate by 15 to 25 % within 2 – 3 months of marathon training and at the same time, it saves the heart around 20.000 beats a day.

The heart’s stroke volume at rest for untrained persons are about 75 ml per. Heartbeat, while well-trained persons can have a stroke volume up to 150 ml. per. Heartbeat.

The result of marathon training is therefore a significantly lower rest heart rate and a slower heart rate (working heart rate) at a given running work, compared to past or compared to the more untrained persons working heart rate, and a very effective “engine”.


In long distance running is the maximum oxygen uptake (VO2 max.) very important for your performance. The transport of oxygen to the working muscles is therefore very crucial.

The blood is a liquid transport organ, which pumps around in a pipe system of the heart. It brings oxygen and nutrients to the cells and absorbs the cell’s waste products. Some of the waste products removes with exhaled air via the lungs and some of it in the urine by the kidneys. The blood is composed of red blood cells and plasma. It acts as carrier of oxygen from the lungs to the muscles.

As mentioned, running involves an increase in blood volume. This increased blood volume means that the heart, although it has become bigger and stronger, fills up optimally before each heartbeat, and hereby can increase its stroke volume, which gives a lower heart rate – by the same need for blood/oxygen. The increased blood volume also means that more blood and thus more oxygen transports out to the smallest veins, the capillaries in the working muscles.

The total amount of blood and the relative proportion of blood that represents the red blood cells determines the number of red blood cells. The total blood volume describes as the body’s blood volume and is primarily dependent on body size; where a burly man of 190 cm has about 6 liters of blood and a slender man of 170 cm about 5 liters of blood.

The percentage proportion of blood consisting of red blood cells is designated as hematocrit value. Hematocrit value is a measurement of the proportion of blood that consists of red blood cells. This value expresses as a percentage or fraction of red cells in the blood. For example, a hematocrit value of 40 % means that there are 40 milliliters of red blood cells in 100 milliliters of blood. The bigger the hematocrit value the bigger number of red blood cells to carry oxygen. Generally, the hematocrit value for men is between 40 and 45 and for women between 38 and 43.

The red blood cells contain hemoglobin, which binds oxygen and colors the blood red. The amount of hemoglobin increases by running; hereby you improve the ability to absorb oxygen.

By regular running, the content of cholesterol in the blood will moreover decrease. If the cholesterol gets too high, it may be a causal factor for heart and vascular diseases. There is also an improvement in the relationship between “good” and “bad” cholesterol (HDL/LDL- ratio).

Marathon training also implies that the internal regulation of blood becomes more efficient. Blood which is idle from e.g. the digestive system will easier be directed to the working muscles or to under the skin, where there may be a need to get rid of surplus heat.

The body’s temperature regulation becomes improved, and we can rejoice that body parts there previously were stiff and cold, now retain their heat and flexibility. You also work better than before in warm environments.

I hope you like this post and if you have any questions about the topic or want to leave your own Personal review, please leave a comment below.

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2 thoughts on “How To Understand Physiology And Endurance Training”

  1. This is an excellent article, full of essential information for any endurance athlete, who trains and competes at any level. It is essential to understand what happens within your body and the changes that take place so that it can adapt and work for endurance. I recommend anyone interested in endurance reads this. Knowledge is power.


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