Today, we investigate the ‘second wind phenomenon’.

Remember the pre-covid times when you started a run, game or event really strong?

Then you slowly faded.

Before all of a sudden finding Thor’s level of strength and could power through to the finish line.

To my understanding, there isn’t a singular cause, more of a sum of its parts.

𝗙𝗶𝗿𝘀𝘁𝗹𝘆, 𝘄𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝘀𝘆𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗹𝗼𝗴𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗲𝗰𝗵𝗻𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹/𝘁𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁.

This is where you may start a race, game or event really hard and aggressively before slowing down and settling into a steady pace before re-dialling up the intensity fully knowing that you can see the finish line. I.e. one final push…

𝗦𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗱𝗹𝘆, 𝘄𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗵𝘆𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗹𝗼𝗴𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗲𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗰𝘁.

During the first phase of exercise (otherwise referred to as the adaptation phase), there’s a large increase in the muscles demand of glycogen to drive performance.

Once muscle glycogen has become lowered and the muscle is ‘lacking in fuel’, there may be a compensatory effect in which the body increases the availability of free fatty acids and glucose derived from the blood to support the working muscle.

Therefore, the ‘second wind’ can be considered as the restoration of energy stores.

𝗧𝗵𝗶𝗿𝗱𝗹𝘆, 𝗶𝘁 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗯𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗮𝗻𝗻𝗮𝗯𝗶𝘀…𝘄𝗲𝗹𝗹, 𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗮.

Endocannabinoids are small molecules that bind to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain (similar role to the THC found in cannabis), and subsequently activate the brains reward centre. In return decrease sensation of pain and reduced anxiety – therefore coined as the ‘runners high’.

𝗙𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗵𝗹𝘆, 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗮𝗹𝘀𝗼 𝗯𝗲 𝗮 𝗺𝘂𝘀𝗰𝗹𝗲 𝘁𝗲𝗺𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗮𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝘀𝘀𝘂𝗲.

Many team sports players may experience a loss in performance in the first 10 mins of the second half due to the lowering of body temperature at half time. Therefore, the ‘second wind’ in this case is the muscle temperature increasing to its pre half time state.

At the moment, it’s very much hypothetical in athletes as to what exactly happens, but some of the above could be key factors….

Food for thought.

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