Sports Medicine

, Volume 37, Issue 4–5, pp 306–311

Physiological Regulation of Marathon Performance

Conference Paper
  • 914 Downloads

Abstract

Running a marathon at the fastest speed possible appears to be regulated by the rate of aerobic metabolism (i.e. marathon oxygen uptake) of a limited amount of carbohydrate energy (i.e. muscle glycogen and blood glucose) and the velocity that can be maintained without developing hyperthermia. According to a model proposed by Joyner in 1991, people possess the physiological ability to run a marathon in ≈1:58:00. This could be accomplished if the current world record pace for the ‘half-marathon’ is maintained for the entire marathon. The ultimate limit to marathon performance might be dictated by the limits of running economy and a recruitment of the running musculature with a pattern that minimises fatigue, possibly by spreading the work over many motor neuron.

References

  1. 1.
    Costill DL. What research tells the coach about distance running. Washington, DC: American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, 1968Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Farrell PA, Wilmore JH, Coyle EF, et al. Plasma lactate acconnotation and distance running performance. Med Sci Sports 1979; 11: 33844Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bergstrom I, Hermansen L, Hultman E, et al. Diet, muscle glycogen and physical performance. Acta Physiol Scand 1967; 71: 140–50CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Levine SA, Gordon B, Derick CL. Some changes in the chomical constituents of the blood following a marathon race. J Am Med Assoc 1924; 82 (22): 1778–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Milvy P, editor. The marathon: physiological, medical, epidomiological, and psychological studies. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1977; 301:1–1090Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ahlborg G, Felig P. Lactate and glucose exchange across the forearm, legs and splanchnic bed during and after prolonged leg exercise. J Clin Invest 1982; 69: 45–54CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Phillips SM, Green HJ, Tarnopolsky MA, et al. Effects of training duration on substrate turnover and oxidation during exercise. J Appl Physiol 1996; 81 (5): 2182–91PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Romijn JA, Coyle EF, Sidossis LS, et al. Substrate metabolism during different exercise intensities in endurance-trained women. J APIA Physiol 2000; 88: 1707–14Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Coyle EF, Coggan AR, Hopper MK, et al. Determinants of endurance in well-trained cyclists. J Appl Physiol 1988; 64: 2622–30PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Coyle E. Fluid andfuel intake during exercise. J Sport Sci 2005; 22: 39–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Coyle EF. Integration of the physiological factors determining endurance performance ability. Exerc Sport Sci Rev 1995; 23: 25–63CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gonzalez-Alonso J, Teller C, Andersen SL, et al. Influence of body temperature on the development of fatigue during prolonged exercise in the heat. J Appl Physiol 1999; 86: 1032–9PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sawka MN, Young A. Physiological systems and their responses to conditions of heat and cold. In: Tipton CM, editor. American College of Sports Medicine’s Advanced exercise physiology. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott William and Wiltons, 2006: 535–63Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Webb P, Annis J, Troutman SJ. Human calorimetry with a water-cooled garment. J Appl Physiol 1972; 32: 412–9PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Coyle EF, Gonzalez-Alonso J. Cardiovascular drift during prolonged exercise: new perspectives. Exerc Sport Sci Rev 2001; 29: 88–92CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Jones AM. A five year physiological case study of an Olympic runner. Br J Sports Med 1998; 32: 39–43CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Jones AM. The physiology of the world record holder for the women’s marathon. Intern J Sports Sci Coaching 2006; 1 (2): 101–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Conley DL, Krahenbuhl GS, Burkett LN, et al. Following Steve Scott: physiological changes accompanying training. Phys Sportsmed 1984; 12: 103–6Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Coyle EF. Improved muscular efficiency displayed as `Tour de France’ champion matures. J Appl Physiol 2005; 98: 2191–6CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Joyner MJ. Modeling optimal marathon performance on the basis of physiological factors. J Appl Physiol 1991; 71: 683–7Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Kinesiology and Health EducationThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

Personalised recommendations