Natural EPO Boost

Many people believe that pregnancy is the end of a serious running career.  Even as the population of professional athletes taking on motherhood grows, there is skepticism that the rest of us could do that as well.  Actually, as any good coach and athlete know, that is not the case.  Pregnancy is- in and of itself- a tremendous physical boost if the athlete is ready and willing to capture the benefits.

I am loving this article talking about the changes in public perception, and touches on the actual physical changes that boost a pregnant woman's capabilities in endurance events.

Here is a quote on the affect of increased blood volume:

Blood volume rises about 60 percent during pregnancy, mimicking the effects of blood doping in which greater blood volume allows more oxygen to be carried to the muscles. Muscles use oxygen to produce ATP or adenosine triphosphate, which fuels muscle contractions. (The volume and speed of this process is aerobic power or VO2max). Male athletes are touted as physiologically advantaged because, on average, a male's VO2max is 50 percent greater than a female's. But how does a pregnant athlete's VO2max stack up? 

They say the increased blood volume only lasts 4-8 weeks after birth, but I took my time coming back after the last pregnancy and felt stronger, faster, lighter- all around a better athlete than I was previously.  With a greater focus on taking advantage of this physical boost this time around, I am excited to see what I am capable of in 2013 and beyond!

What do you know about the subject?  Any articles you'd like to share?  Please post in the comments below!  thx!


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