The way of the frog

  American author Mark Twain wrote a humorous novel “The Famous Leaping Frog of Calaveras County” in 1865. Frogs have been jumping since his time, and even earlier.
  In the absence of obstacles, the frogs sprint with both legs at the same time, and can quickly jump out of a long distance in a short time.
  The current champion of the jumping frog world is a bullfrog named Rose Libitt. He set a world record for a triple jump at 21 feet 5.74 inches (654.66 centimeters) at the annual Leap Frog Joy in Calaveras County, California.
  Frog legs are extremely explosive. Like sprinting cheetahs and human runners, frogs do not need to use oxygen immediately to burn sugar when jumping, that is, they rely on anaerobic metabolism, which comes at a price. Within seconds, lactic acid builds up in the body and their muscles tighten. If Rose does a triple jump after winning, the distance between each jump will be shorter.
  A colleague of mine at the University of California once put lizards on a miniature track and made them run as fast as they could until they were paralyzed from exhaustion. By analyzing the amount of lactic acid in the lizards after different sprint times and after different periods of rest at the end of the sprint, he concluded that it took some lizards an hour or more to completely metabolize the lactic acid built up in the body. Frog movement is similarly restricted.
  Some frogs are excellent endurance players. Every night, the male frog cranked up its horsepower and barked for hours on end until it was almost dawn. Of course, not all players can last all night.
  The trunk muscles and leg muscles of frogs are just opposite, which mainly carry out aerobic metabolism. Like geese, antelopes and human distance runners, these muscles are rich in mitochondria. Mitochondria are tiny dynamos that gather in all cells that require aerobic metabolism. Frog mitochondria contain citrate synthase, an enzyme that plays a key role in aerobic metabolism. The enzyme is present at higher levels in frogs than any other cold-blooded animal tested so far. Not only that, the mitochondria in male frogs also contain 12 times the amount of key enzymes for fatty acid metabolism than in female frogs. From this, we can judge that the oxidative metabolism of fatty acids plays a key role in the long-lasting song of frogs, and in the process of evolution, frogs have reached a balance between the maximum output power and the longest duration.
  The implication of this for human marathon runners is to pay attention to the issue of pace and pace.
  In the laboratory, frogs’ aerobic consumption can be determined by measuring the frequency of frog calls. In the wild, people can estimate the energy consumption of frogs by the frequency of their croaking, which is similar to measuring the energy consumption of people. Comparing the average aerobic output estimated in the field with the maximum aerobic output observed in the laboratory, the frog’s average power output as a percentage of maximum output can be calculated. This value is about 60% of VO2 max output. However, the frog’s chirping is gradually rising, not immediately loud.
  Human marathon runners typically don’t start fast, as do male tree frogs. At the beginning of the night’s chirping contest, they made about 600 chirps per hour, then gradually accelerated over the next two hours, with individual differences, and finally gradually slowed down as the day dawned. Measuring the amount of lactic acid accumulated in their bodies, it will be found that although the frogs croak slowly at the beginning, the amount of lactic acid accumulated in the first half hour is actually more than when the frequency of the later calls is the highest. It can be seen from this that frogs need a long period of warm-up before they can be converted into fat metabolism. This phenomenon occurs when locusts are flying and when humans are running a marathon.
  So one of the lessons we’ve learned from frogs is: start slowly and keep a slower pace until the final sprint.

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