Most of us have a base understanding of what happens to our bodies when we start running regularly — we build more muscle and more stamina. Daily activities, like climbing staircases or cleaning the house, become a lot easier. Due to the release of endorphins, we tend to become much happier people.

However, there's a whole host of things going on inside your body that you might not be aware of. These things change from the time you first start running to when you've made it a year into your running career.



When you start out
So you're sticking to your New Year's resolution to start running more. Good on you!

When you start out, running does all sorts of things to your body. The first thing you will notice when you start working out is that you are out of breath and your pulse is high. You're transporting oxygen to the muscle fibres by breathing oxygen into your lungs. Your heart then pumps that oxygenated blood into your muscle.

So when you start out, your heart rate will be high, your breathing will feel heavy, and you won't feel a hundred percent. However, know that this will pass.

Additionally, your stomach will start burbling at times. You may also experience a less-talked-about side effect: gas. This is completely normal, as your stomach is breaking down energy (in the form of sugary carbohydrates, solid proteins, or rich fats), causing muscle cells to release gas.

Some people will also notice itching. Blood flows into tiny unused capillaries in your skin. For a non-runner, those capillaries will be dormant. When they get flooded with blood irregularly, they swell. This irritates nearby nerve endings, which sends itching sensations to the brain.

Your muscles will start using adenosine triphosphate (ATP), energy molecules your body makes from food. We keep only small stores of both ATP and glucose in our bodies, so as we run our body starts to create extra supplies. In order to create this extra ATP, we need more oxygen, so we start to breathe heavier and faster. In fact, your body may need up to 15 times as much oxygen when you exercise.

After a year of running
You should be proud. You've kept it up for a year. Now there are some different things going on with your body.

First off, your cells start to break down glycogen (a form of glucose stored in our muscles) in order to produce more ATP. The ATP then converts to adenosine diphosphate (ADP). This is an extremely crucial reaction that supplies energy for life processes. Your body only holds enough ADP to give a 2-3 second boost, so after the initial few seconds of exercise, your muscle cells will recycle the ADP back to ATP. The process of converting ATP to ADP and back again causes the release of lactic acid.

Then, if you are in good shape, your body will be able to efficiently use oxygen to burn fat and glucose.

More tips
When we run our feet absorb the shock of 3-4 times our body weight. So no matter what stage you're at, it's imperative that you get the right shoe for you. For example, the Brooks Ravenna 7, which is available in all The Athlete's Foot stores, is perfect for any level of runner. With a whole host of technologies incorporated into the design — BioMoGo DNA, Extended Segmented Crash Pad, Diagonal Rollbar (DRB), Omega Flex Grooves and Adjustable rear and mid foot saddle — it both helps you reach peak performance, whilst also preventing any injuries to your body. And as you can see above, your body is already working overtime.

Visit your nearest The Athlete's Foot store, or online today!

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