Sometimes it IS all in your head

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.

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2 responses to “Sometimes it IS all in your head

  1. 35000? Caroline, you’re my swim idol.

  2. Vitamin B-12 is now my answer to flagging energy.

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