What I’ve been thinking about this week is about our bodies. And how amazing and incredible they are. I am reading a book called The Body, by Bill Bryson, so yes, this has influenced my thinking. But it is worth pausing to reflect on how amazing and awe inspiring our bodies are in all that they do for us.
I know it’s easy to get disappointed with our bodies when we feel they’re letting us down. They may not run as fast as we’d like, they get fatigued, they break down and get injured, they get sick. This is true. But don’t get down on your body – it is on your side and doing an incredible job and fighting for your well-being every single second.
Millions of years of evolution have led to some of the most complex processes some of which still aren’t fully understood by modern science. Here is an example of a wonderous design that we might take for granted: the circulatory system. Every single second of every single day for your entire life, your heart is hard at work moving blood around to every organ and muscle in your body. It moves over 6,500 litres of blood a day (!) and makes sure that every part of your body gets the required amount – whether you are sitting down or running hard intervals. One of the many things your heart pushes around is red blood cells. These are perfectly evolved cells which work tirelessly in service for you, transporting oxygen from your lungs to your working cells. Science has not been able to make artificial blood because no other system has been found with the precision of a red blood cell to pick up oxygen, and not drop any until it reaches its intended destination. Your red blood cells zoom around your body every second of every day (about 150, 000 round trips, or a life of 4 months) at which point they have served their purpose for you, become too battered to go on, and are scavenged up by other cells.
Another example of your awe inspiring body is your immune system. You come complete with a full army of different types of cells which are ready to jump into action and sacrifice themselves all in the name of keeping pathogens out and you healthy. They are often referred to as security guards and an attack force, and that is in fact how they function when they sense you are being invaded. They are also incredibly smart. This is why vaccines work. They learn from one encounter to the next, and can rally and mount an immediate defense against something they’ve seen before. These little guys are working for you all day and every day. There are thousands of microbes and pathogens constantly trying to attack our bodies. It is said that the wonder isn’t that we get sick, but that we don’t get sick more often.
This is not even to mention the structure of your body, and how you evolved a skeletal system and muscular system that allows you to do so many things that you take for granted. Every upright footstep is actually a wonder of balance, coordination, free-falling and landing, all formed to help support our brains and occupied hands. Not to mention, even though we don’t generally think of the human species as great athletes compared to other animals, we actually are the best equipped endurance land mammal around with highly perfected systems of movement, cooling and energy delivery.
Just reflect on a few of these amazing things about your body. It is such an ally and is constantly working to help you out. It was designed to keep you alive and it will do everything it can to that end. So if it’s a bit tired or sore or injured, and you start to feel yourself getting down on it, just remember that it is a remarkable intricate system and it’s doing a lot of hard work behind the scenes that you take for granted and should probably thank it for.
On that note, onto workouts for this week!
- 2×1600 at 10K pace with 2 rest, 2 x 800 at 5K pace w 1:30 rest, 2 x 400 faster w 1 rest (3 min bw sets) (I warned you this one might resurface)
- Fartlek style: 2 x 6 min w 2 min easy, 2 x 3 min w 1:30 easy, 2 x 1:30 w 1 min easy, 3 min bw sets
- If you did the above last week, Hills for you!
- Tempo 1: (longer option) – 2 x 18 min, 1 x 4 min w 3 min rec
- Tempo 2: (shorter option) – 2 x 10 min, 1 x 5 min w 3 min rec
Have a good one everyone!