Intervals of hard, fast running give competitors ability to sprint at the end


February 09, 1993|By Dr. Gabe Mirkin | Dr. Gabe Mirkin,Contributing Writer/United Feature Syndicate

Did you know that you can actually train yourself to run faster as you approach the finish line?

Your muscles have a natural buffering system than can help to neutralize the lactic acid as it accumulates, preventing the pain and the need to slow down. You can enhance this buffering capacity by intensely training once a week.

Once a week, competitive runners train to improve their ability to sprint at the end of a race by running as fast and hard as they can for 30 seconds, followed by a 30-second recovery period. They repeat this sequence until their legs feel heavy.

On successive weeks, they do 1-minute intervals with 2-minute recoveries, 1 1/2 -minute intervals with 4-minute recoveries and 2-minute intervals with five-minute recoveries.

Doing intervals of longer than 2 minutes slows you down, so you donot increase muscle buffering capacity much further.

* Q: I'm as confused as ever about AIDS and how it is transmitted. Can you give a simple explanation?

A: You're not alone in your confusion. Two physicians in Camden, N.J., recently called AIDS hot lines and received many incorrect answers to their questions.

Here are a few of their questions with the correct answers:

Can you get acquired immune deficiency syndrome from a blood transfusion? Yes, if the blood hasn't been screened properly. The only three known sources of AIDS transmission are the blood, semen or milk of an infected person.

Can you get AIDS from kissing? Probably not. Even though a very low concentration of the AIDS virus has been found in saliva, tears and vaginal fluid, there are no reports of infection from these fluids.

Can you get AIDS from oral sex? Definitely! This form of contact spreads semen and sometimes blood.

Can you get AIDS from sharing a cup with a person who has AIDS? Probably not. There are no reported cases of AIDS transmission this way.

Can you get AIDS from a mosquito bite? Nobody knows. There are no reported cases. The current belief is that the mosquito does not transmit enough blood to cause AIDS.

Can you treat AIDS with vitamins? We wish we could. Right now, there are no drugs that can cure AIDS, and the ones we do use have a lot of serious side effects.

If you are HIV positive, is it OK to drink alcohol? It's probably OK to drink small amounts of alcoholic beverages.

Are heterosexuals safe from AIDS? No. Today, the major source of new cases of HIV-positive individuals is through heterosexual sex.

Dr. Mirkin is a practicing physician in Silver Spring specializing in sports medicine and nutrition.

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