Natural selection has resulted in highly trainable physiological systems allowing us to become optimally adapted to changing environments (seasons, food supply, migration etc). It is the continual, day-to-day training of our physiological systems that determines the level of functionality. Modern life is easy; supermarkets, plumbing, heating, cars, money and laws have removed the stresses that maintained and enhanced endurance performance. Everyday life no longer makes us endurance athletes instead we must actively apply the appropriate physiological stresses. This lecture will look at what those stresses might be, the systems they are adapting and why they are not generally implemented.
Christof Schwiening is a cellular neurophysiologist working at the University of Cambridge who also lectures on homeostasis, muscle, the circulation, training and thermoregulation. In 1983 (aged 17) he took-up running and completed two half marathons (PB 1:49:11). Unable to get faster he gave up. In 2009 he began running again. His first marathon in (2011) took just over 4 hours, with a 30min positive split (https://www.strava.com/activities/124693279). His current marathon PB is 2:45:11 (Frankfurt, 2015). His only race win was achieved as a pair (with Kevin O'Holleran) - 260 km in 24 hours at the Thunder Run. He is still recovering from that effort.