Are there 2 different biological processes to provide muscle energy?

In summary, the author successfully completed a hike/jog and was able to jog further than they had been able to in the past. However, they attribute this success to the fact that they were able to walk at certain points along the trail and that the first 2 miles was relatively easy.
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Q_Goest
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I don’t jog much. In the past I’ve only gone up to about 2 miles. At that point it seems like I can’t go much further. I hit this ‘brick wall’ and I don’t have any energy left. I’ve never tried jogging much past about 2 miles.

Last week, I went jogging for just over 8 miles though. It was along a hiking trail and I had to pause after a mile or so when my foot cramped up. But after 5 or 10 minutes, I set out jogging again and I was fine. Periodically, I’d have to walk because the trail was too rocky or I felt out of breath. But in the end, I jogged 8.5 miles in less than 2 hours, which for me is a first.

I thought it was very strange that I was somehow able to jog so far without hitting that brick wall. I attributed it primarily to having to walk at points along the trail and I caught my breath so today I tried an experiment.

I went for another hike/jog today. This time I hiked out 4 miles (to get warmed up) then jogged back. I got on a different section of the trail that had a nice, flat road I could jog back along so I didn't need to stop to walk along rocky sections. After the first mile or two of jogging, it gradually got easier. Not easy but I seemed to get past this ‘brick wall’ that’s prevented me in the past from exceeding 2 miles. The first 2 miles takes about 20 minutes.

That seems to coincide with another observation I’ve had while working outdoors in the winter. After about 20 minutes I feel about as cold as I’ll ever feel. Within another 15 minutes or so, I’ve found my body tends to warm back up without added exertion.

The question is, could there be some biological mechanism or biological process which provides ‘short term’ energy, say up to 20 minutes of hard excertion and after that it essentially runs out? Once that first biological process uses up all the energy available in some form of chemical energy, could it be that there’s a second biological process which the body switches over to in order to provide an energy source for muscles? Or could there be some other explanation for the observation?
 
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  • #2
You are probably referring to aerobic, which uses oxygen, and anaerobic metabolism within the muscle cell.
http://www.neurosoma.com/griner_MuscleMetabolism.html
which also describes different types of muscle fibers.
Mitochondria are the players for aerobic metabolism.

The wall that you refer to is the buildup of lactic acid within the cell giving you feeling of fatigue.

Differences in the two types:
http://www.diffen.com/difference/Aerobic_Respiration_vs_Anaerobic_Respiration
Notice the phrases such as ATP, Kerb's cycle, and others which you might want to investigate.

The resting part between exercise will allow the lactic acid to be removed from the cell by the bloodstream in about 3 or more minutes, whereupon you can exercise some more. The liver breaks down the lactic acid back into glucose but that takes more time.

Seveal sites on the internet discuss exercise.
 
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  • #3
Thanks 256bits. I'm getting in over my head pretty quick here. I'll have to do some more research on what you've mentioned.
 

Related to Are there 2 different biological processes to provide muscle energy?

1. What are the two different biological processes that provide muscle energy?

The two main biological processes that provide muscle energy are aerobic respiration and anaerobic respiration.

2. How does aerobic respiration provide muscle energy?

Aerobic respiration uses oxygen to break down glucose and produce ATP, the main source of energy for muscle contractions. This process is more efficient and can provide sustained energy for longer periods of time.

3. What is the role of anaerobic respiration in muscle energy?

Anaerobic respiration, also known as glycolysis, does not require oxygen and instead breaks down glucose into ATP and lactic acid. This process is less efficient but can quickly provide energy for short bursts of intense activity.

4. Are both aerobic and anaerobic respiration necessary for muscle energy?

Yes, both processes are necessary for proper muscle function. Aerobic respiration provides sustained energy for longer periods of time, while anaerobic respiration provides quick bursts of energy for intense activity.

5. How do these biological processes differ in terms of energy production?

Aerobic respiration produces significantly more ATP than anaerobic respiration, but it requires oxygen and takes longer to produce energy. Anaerobic respiration produces ATP faster, but in smaller quantities and with the byproduct of lactic acid build-up.

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