10 - EXTREME RUNNING
This Won't Hurt A Bit
Just how fast and how far can a human go? This week, the physiology and stories of extreme runners. Ultramarathon Man, Dean Karnazes tells us his extraordinary story. We find out about Diane Leather and we get some answers from sports writer David Epstein, and Sports Medicine Physician Dr Matt Baird.
In this episode
- 03:01 - What was more impressive than Robert Bannister’s 4-minute mile record?
- 05:30 - What are the men’s and women’s mile records?
- 07:20 - Why are runners faster now?
- 09:34 - When it comes to sprinting, is there a limit to how fast a person can go?
- 10:30 - What is the difference between elite sprinters and an ordinary person?
- 12:49 - What gives us that burning feeling when we run?
- 17:27 - What happens to us physiologically when we start to train?
- 20:55 - What are some things that exercise prevents?
- 25:57 - When do marathon runners have a chance to eat or go to the bathroom?
- 28:43 - Where does running discipline come from?
Smash Notes summary for this episode
What was more impressive than Robert Bannister’s 4-minute mile record?
It was 23 days later when Diane Leather broke the record for running a mile under 5 minutes by running a mile in 4 minutes and 59.6 seconds. Unlike Bannister's race, there was no video footage to capture Leather's race. When she retired, she had a personal best of 4 minutes and 43 seconds.
What are the men’s and women’s mile records?
For the men’s record today, the one mile record stands at 3 minutes, 43 seconds. The women’s record is 4 minutes and 12 seconds.
Why are runners faster now?
The reason why is because these records give people confidence to go out a little faster than they would otherwise. They now have something concrete to chase. Our brain is also responsible for holding back a lot of our physical capacity because its concern is more about us not hurting ourselves.
When it comes to sprinting, is there a limit to how fast a person can go?
The current 100-meter record is currently 9.58 seconds. From various recent work, speed is limited by the contraction speed of muscle fibers. You also have to weigh in the track surfaces. When considering both, the limit is around the mid 9.4 second range.
What is the difference between elite sprinters and an ordinary person?
In about one tenth of a second or less, elite sprinters will put 5 times their body weight worth of force into the ground as quickly as possible. The repositioning of limbs between strides is all about how much force you put into the ground and how quickly.
What gives us that burning feeling when we run?
A high level of lactate gives us this common burning feeling. Lactate acid is an acid that builds up with muscle use and muscle damage. If it gets to a high enough level, our body will shut the activity down.
What happens to us physiologically when we start to train?
Exercise is muscle use. As we use our muscles, it requires metabolic changes and more oxygen as we’re going from not using our muscles to using them. Your heart becomes bigger and has to pump harder as your blood volume increases.
What are some things that exercise prevents?
Exercise protects against illnesses like strokes, heart disease, diabetes, and maybe some cancers. It not only changes your body, but also your mind.
When do marathon runners have a chance to eat or go to the bathroom?
Runners eat on the fly. Usually, they’ll eat as they run. When it comes to going to the bathroom, he will go to the bathroom as he’s running with a kind of waddling technique. If he has to poop while running, then that’ll be about the one time he would stop.