Exercise Physiology

Exercise Physiology

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1) Compare and contrast the energy systems used by yourself completing a run/swim/run event of 200m running, 50m swim and 200m running compared to an elite athlete competing in an ironman triathlon (3.8km swim, 180km cycle, 42km run) (2A) (20 marks)
200m run, 50m swim, 200m run
Lactic acid system, does not require oxygen, it is the dominant source of energy during high intensity activities lasting 30-60 seconds, (200m run) (50m swim). Lactic acid builds up when exercising at a high level and eventually results in fatigue. It is removed during recovery when adequate oxygen becomes available. Following the initial 10 -12 seconds of ATP energy system, PC (energy) stores are empty and need another energy system to supply the energy. The body needs to find an alternate fuel and the lactic acid system becomes the dominant supplier of ATP. This system involves the partial breakdown of glucose to form lactic acid in a number of chemical reactions know as glycolysis. The glucose for this process comes from either glucose stored in the blood or from the breakdown of glycogen in the liver or muscle.
3.8km swim, 180km cycle, 42km run
Aerobic System, the production of ATP requires oxygen, it is capable of creating the largest amounts of ATP. Carbohydrates and Fat can be used to fuel this system by special chemical reactions. Dominant source of ATP production during moderate intensity and prolonged exercise. The carbohydrates produces ATP faster than fat, thats why athletes eat lots of carbohydrates before the race, but we can only store enough carbs to fuel us for 2 hours. The respiratory and cardiovascular systems work together to provide oxygen to the working muscles.
Although both of these events rely on one energy system in particular, in theory, each energy system is working together, adding to the main system and helping replenish the energy stores.

Both systems use Carbohydrates as their fuel source. Carbohydrates come from foods such as pasta, potatoes and bread The carbohydrates are the first nutrient that is used to supply energy, followed by fat, then protein. Most people think that protein is the first nutrient to be used and that’s why people have lots of protein before an event, but in fact this weights your body down. Starch, Cellulose and Glycogen are all types of Carbohydrates that fuel the body. There are 2 types of Carbohydrates, Simple and Complex. Simple Carbohydrates are found in things such as milk fruit.

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Carbohydrates are important during prolonged continuous and high intensity exercise. The body stores glycogen in the muscles and liver, however its storage capacity is limited. The amount of carbohydrates your body needs depends on the intensity, for example, if you are doing low intensity exercise you only need 3-5g per kg BM (body mass), but for very high intensity activity you need 8-12g per kg BM.
Some differences between the two energy systems are. The lactic acid system doesn't need oxygen whereas the aerobic system does. Another difference is the lactic acid system supplies energy much faster than aerobic. The build up of lactic acid causes fatigue whereas the aerobic system has unlimited amounts of energy and doesn't cause fatigue. This isn’t to say a marathon runner won’t be fatigued after a race though, because they are relying on all energy systems for a long period, of medium to high intensity exercise. Lactic acid = 30-60 seconds, which is the dominant source of energy during the run swim run. This contrasts with the energy system used for the triathlon, aerobic which lasts for 1.5-3 hours. Lactic acid energy system is suited to sprint endurance activities such as 400m sprint, 100m freestyle. Whereas the aerobic system is best suited to long duration endurance, for things such as marathon, triathlon.

2) Detail the immediate circulatory and respiratory responses to exercise that your body experiences in each leg of the run/swim/run event. (2A) (20 marks)
The body responds to the commencement of exercise by increasing all the processes involved in transporting oxygen to the working muscle. Oxygen is transported to the muscles through the red blood cells. Red blood cells carry hemoglobin which oxygen connects with as the hemoglobin rich blood cells pass through the vessels of the lungs. The blood cells now are very oxygen rich and carry that oxygen to the cells that are demanding it, in this case skeletal muscle cells. When the oxygen is dropped off by the cells, afterwards it picks up carbon dioxide. The carbon-dioxide is carried through the same cells to the lungs where it is exhaled.
Muscles are supplied with oxygen at 3 times the amount when you are doing exercise as when you are at rest.  Other ways in which muscles are supplied with oxygen are:
◦ Blood flow from the heart is increased
◦ Blood flow to your muscles in increased
◦ Blood flow from nonessential organs is transported to working muscles
These are only some of the many ways in which muscles are supplied with oxygen during exercise.
run swim run
Increased minute ventilation, due to increase of tidal volume and breaths per minute. The normal tidal volume of a person is around 8- 10 ml per kg of weight. So therefore for a 70 kg person, the tidal volume would be 700 ml. The tidal volume how much air a person breaths in at rest. The normal respiratory rate is about 14- 18 breaths per minute.
Increased cardiac output, due to increase in both heart rate and stroke volume. Cardiac output is the amount of blood pumped by the heart per minute (min/mL blood). Cardiac output is measured by the function of heart rate and stroke volume. The heart rate is simply the number of heart beats per minute. The stroke volume is the volume of blood, in milliliters (mL), pumped out of the heart with each beat. Increasing either heart rate or stroke volume increases cardiac output.
Increased systolic blood pressure. It measures the amount of pressure that blood puts on arteries and vessels while the heart is beating. Systolic represents the maximum pressure exerted on the arteries.
Oxygen consumption (V02). When you exercise your muscles are working harder than at rest and as an effect, your muscles require more energy. The ATP energy used by your muscles is generated by oxygen, an increase in exercise intensity will result in an increase in muscular oxygen need. Therefore, increased exercise intensity leads to an increased VO2. This is the reason that your breathing gets faster and deeper as you start exercising to a higher intensity. Your body is trying to provide more oxygen to your working muscles so that they can generate enough ATP energy to keep you moving.
(3) The elite athlete will have been training for a number of years for the ironman triathlon. Discuss the cardiorespiratory changes that would have occurred in their body during this time. (2B) (20 marks)
Gas exchange at the tissues, which is, improved oxygen exchange at the tissues due to increased capillarisation. Gas exchange is the movement of oxygen into the body, and carbon dioxide out of the body. The gaseous exchange takes place in the lungs by the process of diffusion through the alveolar surface. There are millions of alveoli in the lungs. There is a very complex sequence of events that happen for the gas exchange to take place. The cells of the alveoli are what exhaled or inhaled gases must pass through. They also diffuse past tissue fluid between the alveoli and the blood capillaries, and a single layer of cells on the walls of blood capillaries.
 Improved Oxygen consumption allows for quicker attainment of steady state oxygen consumption, and also increased maximal oxygen consumption. This means that the athlete can deal with the oxygen in much better manner, than someone who is not trained. Being able to consume more oxygen, allows the muscles to get as much energy to keep them going in an efficient manner. Being able to quickly attain this oxygen is the result of training for a long period of time.
More efficient respiration, or more efficient breathing. With exercise conditioning, and training, the athlete will increase the amount of air that is regularly inhaled into the lungs each minute, and therefore the amount of oxygen that can be used by the heart and vascular system to the exercising muscles. Along with the changes in the capillaries at the muscle cell level, this training effect allows the athlete to perform longer and stronger without becoming anaerobic in your metabolism, or tiring out.
Higher maximum minute ventilation as a result of increase breathing frequency and maximal tidal volume. Maximal ventilation (max VE) due to exercise and training can reach values as high as 180 and 130 liters per minute in male and female athletes. The large increases are because of the increase in tidal volume and frequency of breathing. In untrained men and women, max VE is lower.  Along with this lower max VE, there is a lower efficiency.

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