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Sometimes at races I'm asked, "Do you think you'll have enough air for this race today Coop?" "Sure do" I say. That's the short answer, but the real answer is, might surprise you. You see, you'll never run out of air for the race you've trained for. Your lung capacity is not the problem. As long as you build your legs strong enough to take you to the finish line fast enough for your satisfaction, there will be no problem. Mixing hill training into your formula at least once a week usually works. Runners and swimmers have the most developed lungs of all sports. It has been estimated that there are more than 600,000,000 air cells in the lungs. The two lungs form a pyramid shaped mass which rests on the diaphragm. The top of the lungs is up behind the collar bone. Between the lungs are the esophagus, the heart and the larger blood vessels. Your long runs will equip you will that long slow deep rhythm of breathing you'll need for racing. The lungs are united by the windpipe or trachea. The trachea divides into a right and a left bronchus after it enters the chest cavity. Each bronchus enters a lung about midway between the top and bottom. Then it divides and subdivides into countless minute tubes. The smallness of these tubes open into cup-shaped hollows known as air sacs or alveoli. Each alveolus has on its inside a network of tiny blood vessels called capillaries. The alveoli are arranged in groups known as lobules united in lobes. There are two lobes in the left lung and three in the right. The bronchial tubes together with the blood vessels, lymph vessels and nerves of the lungs are all bound together by elastic tissue. The lungs can stretch like rubber bags when they are filled with air. In proportion to their size, the lungs are the lightest organs of the body. A runners lungs weigh about three and one-half pounds. The lungs of a baby are pinkish. Those of an adult runner are slate-colored and mottled. Those of elderly runners are darker. The work of a runners lungs keep the body cells supplied with plenty of oxygen. It takes some practice but what you want to do is try exhale slower than inhaling. The lungs keep the body cells supplied with plenty of oxygen. As the blood circulates throughout the body carrying nourishment to the tissues it gives up oxygen and absorbs carbon dioxide. It must be sent to some central supply station to get more oxygen. Every time a runner takes in a breath, fresh air containing oxygen enters the lungs. The oxygen seeps through the thin walls of the air sacs, their capillaries and is absorbs by the blood. From there the blood then carries oxygen to all parts of the body. The waste material carbon dioxide is expelled as the air is breathed out. The process of taking air into the lungs is known as inspiration and that of breathing it out is know as expiration. Scientists estimate that about twentyfive ounces of oxygen are taken into a normal adult body each day. However, this varies with the

amount of running one does each day!

Gary Cooper is an author, publisher and veteran runner with well over one hundred races under his belt. He lives with his wife and a pet named Brandy near Dallas, Texas. Gary continues to enjoy networking with friends and new associates around the globe. Stop by his website for the latest tips on running, training, articles and gear. Skype: gary.cooper471

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Runners Lungs Have More Than Enough Air