The other night, I was reading “Born to Run”–No, I haven’t finished it yet. Time is very limited with five kids. And as busy as I am, the act of sitting, alone, puts me asleep; adding a book to the mix, only speeds up the process.– However, taking my time reading, has really given me time to think about and ponder what I just read.
So…like I said, I was reading the other day, and in it, McDougall was describing why it is that a jack rabbit can outrun a mountain lion. According to research, a jack rabbit maxes out at 45 mph, whereas a Mountain Lion’s max is 40 mph. Although the mountain lion can sustain their pace longer, the fact that a jackrabbit can outrun a larger, stronger animal like a mountain lion—even for a short period of time– in itself is just awesome! After further study, it was found that a jack rabbit is built in such a way that when they run, their legs are able to extend back, opening their lungs up wider, so that they can push more air back into their lungs. So, put in easier terms, because the rabbit has more air, they can run faster—when you have more air in your lungs, you are able to run faster! How awesome is that?
So, the other day, I was doing a work-out where I had to run 8 miles, with the first 6 at an easy pace (7:45-8 min miles) and last 2 miles being under 14 minutes (under 7 minute pace). About ¾ of a mile into my 2 mile interval, I began feeling fatigued. My pace started to slow a bit. My breathing was getting quicker, making my lungs burn. I also noticed that my arms and feet were getting tired and my head felt tight. I was worried that I might not reach my goal pace. My first thought was to just muscle through it. It would hurt, but I could do it. Then, I thought about the jack rabbit. I decided to slow down my breathing, focusing on taking deeper breaths, allowing for more oxygen to enter my body. I Immediately noticed that my arms and legs felt stronger and my lungs and head didn’t hurt anymore. I then looked down to see what my pace was at, and to my surprise, I was running at a faster pace than I had thought, and feeling great! I was able to finish the last 2 miles in 13:26, and it felt effortless.
Coincidence? I think not.
So, when wanting to run fast, I say forget the cheetah—think jackrabbit!