exercise fatigue

Real or perceived fatigue during the Cape Argus Cycle Tour

source: www.sportsillustrated.co.za

I have talked about the perception of fatigue. In my previous post I mentioned that Professor Tim Noakes states that the brain, when it senses that the athlete is overstretching him- or herself, sets off a series of sensations that the body translates as symptoms of fatigue. The brain does so to protect itself, the heart and the rest of the body. “Its main function is to make sure you don’t get into trouble in whatever exercise you’re doing”.

I just completed my very first Cape Argus Cycle Tour, with a wind resisted time of 5 hours and 17 minutes. For the most part I felt stronger than I had expected, but there were times when all I could think of was “when will this end”. I have to wonder at what point my brain was correct when it told my legs, “hey slow down”. It is incredibly difficult to know how far to push yourself. Athletes who have down years of endurance training seem to develop an accurate sense of how far they can go. For those unschooled in endurance sports it is a process of trial and error.Read More »Real or perceived fatigue during the Cape Argus Cycle Tour

Mind Over Matter – Prior experience and the perception of fatigue

Continuing on the topic of mind over matter, and specifically in relation to exercise, I am reminded of some work done by Professor Tim Noakes several years ago. Professor Noakes challenged a long established belief that fatigue originates in the muscles (when the muscles run out of oxygen, glycogen or ATP), or when there is too much lactic acid. This model was called the “Limitations Model”. Rather, Noakes and his colleagues proposed that fatigue originates in the brain (I can now hear all coaches saying “you’re not tired, it’s in your head). According to Noakes, “fatigue is a complex emotion affected by factors such as motivation and drive, other emotions such as anger and fear, and memory of prior activity” (read more here).Read More »Mind Over Matter – Prior experience and the perception of fatigue