Wednesday, February 6, 2008

ATP ----> ADP + energy + Pi

English translation of post title: Adenosine Triphosphate produces Adenosine diphosphate + energy + inorganic Phosphate

My translation: The above compounds represent the breakdown of energy in your muscles at the cellular level during exercise.

So we don't feel good after running an ultramarathon. Legs are tired, lungs scorched, body drained. Duh. But do we really have a true understanding of why? Has what is going on inside our bodies after running for 10, 15 or 20+ hours (besides turmoil) been critically studied through a means of scientific process? Fortunately for us endurance junkies some (really smart) scientists have attempted to study the various impacts to the human body pre-, during and post ultramarathon.

The attached document ( is an executive summary of research articles on the physiological, psychological and medicinal issues associated with ultrarunning forwarded to me by my sister, Jennifer Kulak, Phd. She was kind enough to provide a short note of scientific translation for my less then nimble mind. My summary is as follows:

- Loading up on antioxidents such as Vitmain E and C provides little to no protection against muscular damage.
- Ibuprofen (aka. Vitamin I) is bad for you during races. It's probably not very good post-race either considering your liver and kidney's are working overload.
- Ego aside, the longer you're on the course the more you will hurt.
- Wear sunscreen.
- Your brain really does turn to mush during an ultra. I'd wager a bet that most politicians have exercised induced cognitive impairment.
- Your body chemistry and genes force you to crave beer, burgers and ice cream post-race (any race, any distance). This data has been compiled through my 14 years of dedicated, exhausting, tedious research on the topic of post exercsie fluid consumption needs.

The human body is an experiement of one.


AJW said...

Now that's some good research. I pretty much have the post-race fluid replacement thing down.

By the way, is the loser buying the beer this year at VT?


Paul DeWitt said...

So your sister is the smart one in the family it looks like!

Looks like I'll be doing VT also this year (as it is on my 40th birthday). If I can manage to puke, it'll be just like my 16th -21st birthdays!

- paul

Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...

too funny. tell your cerebral sister thanks for the compilation, as I hadn't seen most of those. btw, ultrarunner/physiatrist Marty Hoffman was principal investigator in that first one. I am waiting for him to do a more rigorous beer study so I can be a volunteer.

Penny said...

My sister thinks she is the smart one in the family, and she probably is!

Love the beach in the photo - makes me want to go for a run down the beach - if only my back didn't hurt so much!

If I took a few minutes on my teeter hang ups inversion table first maybe I could do it.