I have been wrestling with fatigue in my long (3 miles+) swims, and the most frustrating aspect to this fatigue is that it begins to set in between 1000 and 2000 yards, when I know perfectly well that my body can’t possibly actually be physically fatigued yet. I know there is a mental aspect to this problem, because it only happens on my long swim days, when I get to 1500 yards and know I still have 5000 or 6000 to go. If I’m doing a shorter swim, I can go nonstop to 3000 or 35000 [um, make that 3,500. What a difference a 0 makes, eh?] without feeling tired at all.
Fatigue, it turns out, is something of a mystery for researchers too, and increasing evidence suggests that there is a significant mental component to fatigue. Although it doesn’t address quite the problem I’m having, I came across an interesting study yesterday on the topic:
“When participants performed a mentally fatiguing task prior to a difficult exercise test, they reached exhaustion more quickly than when they did the same exercise when mentally rested, a new study finds.”
To read the complete report on the study, follow this link.