Category Archives: Biking

Just Forget Your Second Wind

Athletes who are competing strenuously in an endurance event have been know to experience something referred to as the second wind. For example, a runner is participating in a 10 kilometer road race. After thirty or forty minutes they seem to have come to the end of their endurance. Their legs are wobbly and there is a feeling of being out of gas. If the runner persists in their effort they may notice, after ten minutes of agony, a resurrgance of energy.

I will not go into all the theories or explanations for the second-wind phenomena, except to explain on my own terms what is the cause, how it can be overcome, and how it has nothing to do with breathing.


The energy your body expends in physical effort comes from glycogen stored in your muscles and liver. At least this is the energy source at the outset – enough for thirty to sixty minutes of strenuous effort and readily available. When an inexperienced or out-of-shape runner goes past this point for the first time the effects will seem strange and awful.

When your glycogen stores run low, your body will switch to an alternate energy source – burning fat. This energy source is not so readily available, and if your body is not used to this switching-over process, it may not happen very quickly either . Hence, the runner experiences a lack of energy for a few, very long minutes, then slowly it comes back. They may have had to walk for a little while, but that second wind eventually did kick in.

As the athlete gets in better shape, and repeats this process of switching from glycogen to fat-burning, the switch becomes less noticeable and more efficient. You no longer need that second-wind and you now know it has nothing to do with breathing or lung capacity.

Dealing With Dogs

If you are a runner, hiker, or biker you will encounter dogs along the way. With a better understanding of dogs and some tactics to deal with them you can finish your workout safely.

Dogs are territorial. If someone approaches their yard they will bark and growl by instinct. It’s important to keep this in mind, they are wired to be aggressive no matter the odds.

Their barking may a response to fear – on their part or yours. There’s no need to scare them any further, do what you can to placate them. Run on the other side of the street or just don’t engage them. But always keep an eye on them.

The signs of an angry dog are:

  • Ears back
  • Tail not wagging
  • Teeth bared

The signs of a happy dog are:

  • Ears out
  • Tail wagging side-to-side
  • No teeth

To befriend a dog, stand still or crouch. Your manner and voice should be non-threatening. Say something soothing. Put out the back of your hand well below their face. Curl your fingers into a fist. Let them smell you.

Here  are some dog situations and what to do in each case.

Dog is tied up or fenced in.  Leave them alone. They can’t hurt you, it is their instinct to bark and growl. Just keep going.

Dog is loose. Keep your eye on them, even after you have gone by. Let them know you see them. Stay calm, don’t look nervous. They can sense it.

Country dogs or wild dogs.  Carry a rock in each hand while you run. One the size of a golf ball is not too heavy, but will hurt. In a pinch you can bluff a dog by picking up an imaginary rock and throwing it.

The dog is attacking. Yell “No”! Keep a foot between their teeth and you. Kick them in the nose or face.

Little yapper attack.  Don’t ignore them. They have sharp little teeth and if they break the skin you get to go get a tetanus booster and have the dog checked for rabies.

Big dog attack.  Don’t run away, face them. Kick them hard in the face or anywhere you can land a hard, painful kick. This works for Dobermans, German Shepherds, Great Danes and Mastiffs. You will seldom have to kick them more than once, if at all.

Wild boars or tigers.  Start looking for the nearest tree.