Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hill vs Noakes

Two different models (the homeostatic failure–limitations (A.V. Hill) model and the anticipatory regulatory model (central governor model) are currently used to explain human exercise performance.
I got up early this morning and read Professor Noakes' newish article (2011) challenging the accepted norm in exercise physiology as to what governs pace/fatigue. Of course this was brought to my attention by Owen last Wed at the marathon clinic. We did an interesting workout by using down hill runs as a way to train the nervous system to accept a faster pace. I generally am careful to tell my runners not to go too hard on a downhill so as not to injure a hip flexor. I guess to some extent I'm projecting my fear of past injuries on my team. Years ago, I was training in Northern Michigan (Up North!) on these great long hills on a two mile stretch between Torch Lake and Grand Traverse Bay. I would cool my feet in Grand Traverse Bay after two miles and then dry my feet off and do another two miles back to Torch. Nice workout. Anyway I did tear my hip flexor during one workout and it plagued my whole season that year. However, Owen showed me a more thoughtful way to use hills. The faster pace going downhill, coupled with stridouts once the ground is flat, makes for a workout I would never have thought of much less done before. After that we did a set of down hill runs only to the bottom of the hill and sprinted back up the hill. Killer workout. All based on the science talked about in Noakes's article.

While googling around I noticed that none other than Joe Friel also does a breakdown of this article in his blog. I guess I'm in good company

reference:  Noakes, T. D. “Time to move beyond a brainless exercise physiology: The evidence for complex regulation of human exercise performance.” Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, 2011; 36(1):23-25.