Armstrong, 35, stepped over the finish line in Central Park just under his goal in 2:59:36. His dark green shirt soaked in sweat, the superstar cyclist admitted that the last few miles of the race were a struggle. “Even after experiencing one of the hardest days of the Tour nothing has ever left me feeling this bad,” he said at a post-race news conference. “[My shins] started to hurt in the second half, but the bigger problem the last 7 or 8 miles was the tightness in my calves and thighs. My calves really knotted up. I can barely walk right now.”
Armstrong called the race “the hardest physical thing I have ever done.” While he competed in triathlons as a teenager, Armstrong had never attempted a marathon.
Gary Moller Comments:
Cycling is almost 100% concentric exercise; whereas running is highly eccentric in nature. While they have an aerobic commonality, concentric exercise does not prepare the muscles and tendons for eccentric exercise as Lance Armstrong found out.
This also explains why the lifespan of a runner at the elite level is usually so short as compared to that of a pro cyclist.
If you would like to learn more about this, go to my E-Book on training for a marathon and read the sections that explain concentric and eccentric exercise and their implications for training, competition and recovery.
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