Friday, January 1, 2010

Physiology 101


My coach put me onto an interesting site yesterday - http://www.mastersathlete.com.au
It has a bit of information for (how do I put this nicely?) more mature athletes. The information I found most interesting relates to a phenomenon that I've been experiencing in the last week or so and has to do with the effect of heat and humidity. Apparently for every degree over 21 C the heart rate elevates 1.4 %. This morning it was already 24 C when I started out and the humidity was 84% (yes, it did feel like I was running in a warm bath) so the apparent temperature was more like 28C. So for 7 degrees over that should increase my HR almost 10%. And it did! Right from the beginning it felt hard considering the pace. My average HR was 175 (yes I know it's high but my recorded max has been 200 and I've lived to tell the tale - 220 minus age does not work for everyone) So working backwards from there - had it been a cool day with low humidity I probably would have run it at about 160 bpm. Isn't physiology interesting?!

And talking of physiology I've been thinking a lot about the aging process lately. I'll be 47 in just a couple of months and lately I've found that I'm having to hold my book just a bit further away. I'm not worried about wearing glasses. I've been wearing them since I was 10 but that was for myopia. Now I can't even see close distances that well. I think that the long-sightedness should cancel the short-sightedness out. Seems only fair.

The other thing that I think is highly unfair is that at certain times of the month (which will remain nameless) I break out! Surely, as I see the big M looming on the distant horizon, I should not be getting pimples like my 16 year old son. Ah well, my mother always said you're still young if you can raise a pimple!

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