In this 3. excerpt from his Hey! Jogging is easy! Winni Mühlbauer focuses attention on
the heart. It will bring you one step further on your way to health and joie de vivre.
We know what a heart thinks when no demands are put on it. Now let's listen
to your heart pondering the fact that you've taken up running. The first few runs
left it disgruntled and confused. "What's going on here?" it asked inindignant protest. "Why
is this guy suddenly tormenting me and the other muscles? Just when I get used to monotony
and routine I'm supposed to hop into action, lickety-split. No way, buster, you can't do that to
me! I like me the way I am."
A few runs later the tune is different.
"Okay, I'll give the thing a try. It'll probably stop soon enough anyway. It's too much for him,
especially since I'm not pitching in." Then it slyly rubs its hands together and snickers: "Ha, ha,
ha! If only he knew that I could adapt to the higher load!"
So, the heart waits to see what will happen.
"For the moment," it decides, "I'll stay as I am and do things the way I've always done them.
The heartbeats may come faster, but the volume of blood I pump per heartbeat will stay as
small as ever."
This game goes on for a while until the heart finds it too stupid to play along."Curses!
He's not as lazy as I thought. He's already into the third week, and he's running regularly and
abit longer each time. Blast! He's actually taking the thing seriously. I'd better start doing something
before this gets too much for me. Why should I go on working myself to the bone when I could
make life easier for myself. I'll just grow a bit. I can pump the same amount of blood with fewer
heartbeats if I thicken my muscle walls and widen the inner ventricles. I'd be a fool to let this guy
get me down for long. Better to adapt, work efficiently, like I used to do when I was a young sprite.
Then I can recover better at night when he's asleep. I'll even have an easier time climbing stairs.
Not bad. Things seem to be looking up."
Thanks, heart, the message has come through loud and clear. Not forgetting, of course,
that the adaptation of the heart is only one of many highly beneficial forms of adaptation caused
by running. Your metabolism, your muscles, yourconsumption of oxygen, and a good many other
things also benefit from the effects of endurance training. I'll have a few things to say about them