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  • Second Wind

    Is there such a thing? When we were kids on the farm in the 30s-40s, we used to run four-mile "races" around the section line in opposite directions. The land was so flat you could not cheat by cutting across. (Not that running on plowed ground would help). We were running in overalls and work boots with no history/aspect of training (other than a lifetime of chasing down jackrabbits in our native grass pasture). At some point during the race, the "stitch" in our side would abate. Mine came about halfway as I passed the Vineyard place on the opposite side of our section. We called it "second wind". I do not know how long it took us to run four miles but we would have two races between 1 pm Sunday dinner and 6 pm milking.
    I was never a distance runner, other than prescribed warm-ups, and do not recall experiencing "second wind" in high school and college.

  • #2
    When you run anaerobically, you are using all the available oxygen in your muscles. When you run aerobically, the oxygen is replenished as you go. Sounds like you used up the first and shifted to the second.

    Endorphines may also come into play, but that's the thing I never remember prospering from. There was never a 'runner's high' I experienced!!
    Last edited by Atticus; 05-03-2021, 05:23 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Atticus View Post
      When you run anaerobically, you are using all the available oxygen in your muscles. When you run aerobically, the oxygen is replenished as you go. Sounds like you used up the first and shifted to the second.

      Endorphines may also come into play, but that's the thing I never remember prospering from. There was never a 'runner's high' I experienced!!
      Here's a good picture of a runner's high - this was me back in the 1980s doing the last leg of a triathlon. Don't I look happy?

      Filler MallonBi1.jpg

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      • #4
        I don't remember ever consciously experiencing "runners high". The few 5k and 10K road races I ran in the 70s and 80s were pure torture after the first K. I ran a popular local charity 10K about 20 years ago with a goal of running 6:30 miles. I remember maintaining pace through three miles but have no recollection of the remainder of the race. I woke up sitting in the shade at the finish area with an IV in my arm. I received a finishing line photo attesting I finished in 41:15. I a pretty glassy-eyed in the photo but no after effects, other than resolving to never run another 10K.

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        • #5
          bambam, I sure hope you did not need to cut some patient later than day......

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          • #6
            I think what is referred to as "runners high" is not really meant for races. As someone who's been a distance runner for 50 years there is something which seems to happen after a period of activity which just makes it all easier. If your running an easy 8 miles as a recovery day run that means after the first few miles it gets so easy, I described it to people as no more stress than they felt when they were on their post dinner walk. If it was a workout such as 16x400m, the first few reps might be harder than then next 12 with only the last couple being difficult. Sometimes this is just warming up or getting a "second wind" or whatever term one wishes to use.

            Most races I've run, no matter the distance, it was always the 3rd quarter of the race I found difficult and I knew if I could just get through it I just had the run for home.

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            • #7
              There is definitely a warm-up effect in any activity. Most people are loathe to fully warm up, so that continues through the beginning of the actual activity.
              If we had to run 4 all-out 300s (thank you, Payton Jordan) in college, the first was awful, the second was OK, the third was hard and the last was warmed-over death.

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              • #8
                Yeah, not distance second wind but Coach Higgins had us run a hard 50 a few minutes before the 440. He wanted us sweating and just a little tired on the starting line.

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                • #9
                  Long ago when my training runs would stretch out to 15+ miles there were both second winds & runner's high, two different (and mostly mutually exclusive) phenomena. One picks you up when fatigue is the factor of the day, the other is the basic endorphin-juiced high that keeps many/most endurance folks enduring.

                  Pretty much anyone doing any physical activity can get a second wind (after a refreshment, for instance) but in my case it took four or five miles for a runner's high to kick in. (Your mileage may vary!) Also, runner's highs were common and second winds were not, which was mostly a factor of my conditioning back then. Haven't had a runner's high in decades but now get second winds all the time.

                  There is also running while high, which was an occasional college activity of mine. This is not to be confused with the normal runner's high . . .
                  Last edited by bad hammy; 05-04-2021, 04:29 PM.

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                  • #10
                    I only experienced runner's high once when I was in 8th or 9th grade too, as a not-so-fit kid. I agree with what's said by other posters that 2nd wind is normally how your body gets into the groove after warming up by using the first few couple of kms in the run.

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                    • #11
                      And then there's the bane of all runners (though kids today never talk about them) - side stitches! I used to get them as an early teen, and when they hit, that was that!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Atticus View Post
                        And then there's the bane of all runners (though kids today never talk about them) - side stitches! I used to get them as an early teen, and when they hit, that was that!
                        That what Im tawking bout. We just ran through em. You mean now they just suffer in silence?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by lonewolf View Post
                          That what Im tawking bout. We just ran through em. You mean now they just suffer in silence?
                          Supposedly, stitches were caused by insufficient hydration (that wasn't even a thing until the 70s!), and if there's one thing we've drilled into runners nowadays, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I just don't think they're common anymore.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Stich in the side.....
                            The #1 guy on the first high school cross country team I coached was a beautiful long-stride, high knee lift kid who seemed to flow effortlessly rather than run.
                            He'd encourage teammates on long training runs by saying, "Hey, if you get a stitch in the side, just run harder so your whole body hurts and then you won't notice it!"

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Atticus View Post
                              Supposedly, stitches were caused by insufficient hydration (that wasn't even a thing until the 70s!), and if there's one thing we've drilled into runners nowadays, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I just don't think they're common anymore.
                              Hmmmm.. that may explain something... I don't think we were ever concerned with hydration as kids. We just went thirsty until we found water. I don't remember getting a stitch in college, even during our 3 mile XC course warmup.

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