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Energy Pathways for Running

energy pathways for running exercise fitness atp creatine phosphate anaerobic aerobic virtual races


written by runnergirl training


There are many forms of energy involved in running. It may seem that once you lace up your running shoes the energy needed magically appears. It’s an interesting process and once you read about it you’ll be energized to dash out the door!


The following information is assumed for working at least 90% effort.

Time:              Type:              From:                                      How To Train:

1-30 sec         Anaerobic       ATP & Creatine Phosphate       Sprints 5-15 sec
                                                (stored in muscles)                  (rest 3-5 min)

30 sec –          Anaerobic       ATP, CP & Muscle Gylcogen   Intervals 30 sec-2 min
2 min                                      (stored in blood sugar,             (1:2 then 1:1, work:rest)
                                                muscle & liver)

3+ min            Aerobic           Muscle Glycogen &                 Intervals 2-5+ min
                                                Lactic Acid                              (1:1, work:rest)
                                                (stored in muscle,
                                                liver & fat)



Hopefully you will have now expanded your knowledge on the energy pathways of running and know how to train them. If you run the 400 meter distance race you will be focused on training different energy systems than a half marathoner. Energy pathways are dependent on correctly setting up your training program and nutrition to support them.


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