Deadhorse Hill Climb and Neurogenesis
Did the Deadhorse hill climb this morning. Ian Torrence has been posting some great workout articles on iRunFar and I treat the Deadhorse climb sorta like he describes the Mountain Climb workout. 4.5 miles up from 9,000 to 10,700 at a constant, semi-fast pace. Then turn around and try and keep a fast(ish) pace back down. I did the 9.1 mile run in 1:20:43 today.
Yesterday I posted a brief note on how running and exercise can possibly be considered a drug in terms of psychophysiological affects. In another study out today, running also seems to trigger hippocampal synthesis of dihydrotestosterone and increases adult hippocampal neurogenesis via androgenenic mediation. What that means, when you get beyond the scientific jargon, is that running and exercise helps create new neural connections in the hippocampus. The hippocampus plays an important role in the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory, as well as spatial navigation. Basically, running and exercise helps keep the mind fresh, allows one to incorporate information into their long-term memory, and improves their spatial navigation abilities. So, when you come back from a nice run in the woods or mountains, feeling fresh and clear in your thoughts, perhaps it is because the run helped move memories from your short-term memory to your long-term memory, allowing for that fresh, clear mind sensation. Just a thought, but perhaps there is something to that old saying about how taking a run clears one's head.