Q: How can one increase bio-mechanics of the lungs? In other words can one train the lung muscles to be more efficient? - Steve, 2/24/04

A: I can't speak from a qualified physiological perspective, but I can give you my swing thoughts on lungs. First, when I haven't trained in a while, the image I have of what my lungs look like are two shriveled up garbage sacks that have had every ounce of O2 sucked out of them. If I am to be successful in deploying them into the garbage can chest of mine, I need to jam my fist down them to spread them evenly down the walls of the can (e.g. my rib cage) to accept everything that I am about to dump into them. That happens to be a lot of air. If only it was that easy. Well, as you know, it isn't. You can't pave the way with a fist down each lung...you have to make room by repeatedly forcing air down into every nook and cranny inside your rib cage. How do you do that? Hills and intervals, baby. After a while, you will be amazed by how far out you can push your anaerobic threshold. To get into top racing condition, I try to keep pushing this key indicator out to a point where I can hang on for a long hard sustained pace without going into oxygen debt. Hills and intervals (along with some good hard three milers) are the best ways I can think of to help prepare me for this.

Hope this helps. The Rage

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