LivingMath for running the marathon

Math for running the marathon

maraton1Who have ever tried to runthe 42 kilometers of a marathonThey know that there is a phenomenon similar to the “? pájara” of cycling that is called“touch the wall”. It affects practically half of the runners, and usually appears shortly after kilometer 30, when the muscles have run out of glycogen.

Benjamin Rapoport, a researcher at Harvard University, has studied how the body uses energy during long-term physical exercise. And has obtained amathematical formula that helps you not faint during a marathon, published in the latest issue of the magazinePLoS Computational Biology.

During strenuous exercise like running,the human body consumes most of the energy it needs in the form of carbohydrates, instead of dipping into fat stores. Fundamentally, theglycogen stored in the liver and leg muscles, and only a small part of the carbohydrates consumed comes from the glucose that circulates in the blood. When the? Sugar? available is depleted, the body goes into a kind of agony, and is forced to burn fat. By burning fat in the absence of carbohydrates, by-products are released,ketones, that causefatigue.

To avoid this, Rapoport has created a mathematical model that estimates how long and how fast runners can go to “last until the end.” It uses two parameters: aerobic capacity (VO2 max), which measures how much oxygen the body can transport to the muscles during aerobic exercise – oxygen is needed to “break down” glucose -; and the storage capacity of carbohydrates (glycogen) in the leg muscles. The model helps athletes calculate how many carbohydrates to consume in the days leading up to the race so that the reserves last for 42 kilometers. And it is available to any broker through this online calculator:

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