05 Oct '15, 7pm

To run an ultra, it may pay off to sacrifice running economy to avoid muscle damage:

The key difference that Millet points out is that marathoners need to be as efficient as possible, burning as little energy as they can at a given pace so that they can make it to the finish line without running out of fuel. In ultras, on the other hand, being efficient is less important than being able to handle the muscle damage that accumulates over the course of the race. It’s no help being a bit more efficient if your legs are so shot that you can’t keep running. Here are five factors that involve a trade-off between maximizing efficiency and minimizing muscle damage: Leg muscle mass : Skinny legs are most efficient, but thicker, more muscular legs may be able to handle the pounding better. Cadence : We each have an “optimal” cadence (i.e. number of steps per minute) that minimizes energy consumption at any given speed. But since faster cadence is associated with smal...

Full article: http://www.runnersworld.com/sweat-science/what-makes-an-u...

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