It does not matter if you are used to running for fitness from a very young age or recently started, it is important you understand what exactly happens inside your body. Understanding this makes it easy for runners to avoid sports injuries because of negligence or sometimes, even tackle with issues before they arise. Not everything that happens in the body when you run is good. There are some adverse effects that occur when you run, which is why it is important to understand it. Because of evolution, the body of humans is evolved from being able to run and are heading to a sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, while there are some good benefits with running, there is only so much your body is capable of handling.
Many runners complain about experiencing stomach pains. If you have ever run even a short distance, it is likely you have experienced these cramps in the abdomen. The main reason these abdominal cramps occur is that the body is pumping the muscles that are exerted with blood. The blood originates from the gut and is directed toward the muscle, and this causes the cramps. This is the main reason why experienced runners say that you should not have a heavy meal before running. Running after a meal also means that the body slows down its ability to digest food because of the redirection of blood. The idea is not to go hungry before you run. However, a small piece of fruit or a small protein shake without dairy in it is perfect to keep fuelling the body while you run and requiring little digestion.
Often when you speak to runners, they claim to feel ‘high’ from their favorite activity. This is not a silly statement. The truth behind the ‘high’ is that, when you run a long distance, the endorphins that are released into the body, creates a sense of complete euphoria. Pain vanishes, feelings of ability, pleasure, etc. are increased due to the endorphins. The activity resembles Dopamine being released into the body and provides the runner with everything that is needed to overcome any mental blocks. The pleasure-filled experience is only a limited time benefit but can be very addictive. Hence the statement, ‘Once a runner, always a runner.’
Cardiac System and Respiratory System
When you run, you slowly begin to increase the pace of your strides. At this stage, the cardiac system and lungs are the first to take the stride with you. Their main aim is to allow your blood to be available to your muscles with oxygen to be able to sustain you on your run. This is also one of the reasons people get a stitch when they run. It is important never to train your body to run a very long distance all of a sudden. It is advisable to let your heart and lungs adapt to the runner’s routine. The right way to do it is to run so that you can gradually increase the volume of oxygen that you can process during a run. This, in turn, trains your muscles to take in oxygen according to what is available.