Hello all. I've got two questions regarding the way runners run.

Firstly, what I've always thought is that stopping immediately after completing the run (1k / 2k / 3k / 5k) is bad and we should like carry on at a slow pace for some distance.

But why is it that the runners in this video stop immediately after they've completed the run? Isn't it bad for their bodies? (Once my friend even told me that they would get "rectum pus" whatever that is.)

Secondly, what I've always thought is that we should open our mouth "bigger" to allow for more intake of oxygen during the run. What I've seen in the same video is that they do not do so. Does anyone know why is it so?

2 Answers 2

  1. You're right that it's very important to cool down after exercising. Cool down should consist of three phases: gentle exercise (to gradually lower the heart rate and prevent dizziness), stretching (to reduce muscle stiffness), and refueling. Here's another useful article on cooling down.

    In general, as xpda points out, a lot of runners neglect the cool down because they're so exhausted at the end of a race (I know I'm guilty of this from time to time). A cool down is designed to restore your body to pre-exercise conditions, but it still takes effort. Stretching can be somewhat painful if you've really worked your muscles.

    In the video you linked to, however, the runner was immediately swept into celebration following the race, so he didn't exactly have the opportunity to cool down.

  2. According to this article - it's best to breathe through both the nose and the mouth while running. So perhaps it's unnecessary to open the mouth very wide if you're also breathing through your nose.

  1. In a race, you may not be able to jog for a while afterward, especially if you put everything into a sprint in at the end.

  2. The size of the mouth is not normally the limiting factor for air intake, so you don't need to open it any wider. Incidentally, CO2 output is as important as oxygen intake.

  • could you elaborate on the point on CO2 output?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 3:17
  • For each molecule of O2 you inhale, you have to exhale a molecule of CO2. Otherwise, you'll get too much CO2 in your system and your muscles will quit working, or at least slow down. This is automatic, though, because you always exhale after you inhale.
    – xpda
    Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 4:50
  • i mean.. do you mean to say there is something we can do to have more CO2 output ?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 15:32
  • No. It's automatic. Here's an interesting site that shows how CO2 output increases with exercise: sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/…
    – xpda
    Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 15:35

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