Running roundup

A couple of interesting things about running in the news recently…

The metabolic secrets of good runners

A healthy heart and svelte physique are not the only physical changes wrought by exercise: researchers have also identified a host of metabolic changes that occur during exercise in physically fit athletes.

These changes suggest that exercise revs up the pathways that break down stored sugars, lipids and amino acids, as well as improving blood-sugar control.

Jogging into the unknown

A Calgary distance runner is set to run his 100th marathon of the year on Sunday. Five days a week, when most adults are at work, Martin Parnell runs 42.2 kilometres. Each session lasts about 51/2 hours, not counting a couple of eight-hour marathons he walked in minus-30 degrees with a leg injury this winter, a water pack frozen on his back.

He is raising money for Right To Play, a charity that uses sport to improve the lives of children in developing countries. The organization’s core values match the beliefs instilled in Parnell when he rode a bicycle through 10 African countries, stopping to kick rag-tied soccer balls with youth who owned little else.