When I first moved to San Diego, I was amazed at how many highways the city has. The great thing about a lot of highways is that you never have to drive very far on local roads to get to your destination. You get off the highway at one of its many exits, and BOOM—you’re close to where you need to go. If I had to drive on local roads all the time, it would take much longer to get anywhere. 🚗
Capillaries, the smallest of blood vessels, are your muscles’ highway system. They surround and traverse the muscle fibers like a spider web, leading to places deep inside the muscles. Oxygen molecules in the blood “drive” along the capillaries, waiting to take an exit. 🏃
If there are only a few capillaries around the muscle fibers, the oxygen molecules have to drive a far distance from an exit to get to their destination—the mitochondria. But if there are a lot of capillaries, oxygen molecules don’t have to drive very far to get to the mitochondria. The larger the spider web of capillaries surrounding the muscle fibers, the shorter the distance oxygen must travel from the capillaries to the mitochondria. And the faster that oxygen can get inside the mitochondria, the faster you will run. 🏃
When you run day after day and run for long periods of time, the constant push of oxygen into the muscles causes the number of capillaries surrounding the muscle fibers to increase, the capillary beds to expand, and the membraned walls of those capillaries to become thinner, creating a greater highway system and a more rapid diffusion so that more oxygen can be delivered to your muscles. 💪
Who’s going to make more capillaries this weekend? 🏃
Sign up for the REVO₂LUTION RUNNING™ certification course, and learn all about capillaries and how to train right to deliver more oxygen to your muscles.