I vaguely mentioned this in the last post, stating that Italian Coach Renato Canova has noted the different approach to hard workouts that western and African runners seem to have. Of course this has a physiological impact, perhaps they rely less on stress hormones to get them through it, but it also likely has a psychological impact. Which brings me to my point.
I stumbled across an article in the New York Times discussing the research on willpower. In the article it talked about how our willpower has not changed over the generations according to research, just the amount of stimuli that trigger our use of willpower has increased. In food terms, that might mean back in the day we didn’t have to pass an endless supply of chocolate or candy every time we checked out from the grocery store.
Labels: Psychological Aspects
As runners we take pride on pushing through pain and testing our limits. It is essentially what the sport is about. However, there seems to be a finite number of times that we can dig as deep as we can and pull out all the stops. Obviously on race day is one of the particular times when we try and give everything that we possibly can, but what about during practice? Obviously hard workouts are required, but I'm not talking about any old hard workout, I'm talking about those workouts done at maximum effort where you are completely done afterwords.
From my experience, there are several different schools of thought of how hard workouts should be. On one extreme you have coaches who say that workouts should be under control and you should save the race for race day. Others take the opposite approach and say that workouts are used for callusing and that you should work use hard workouts to mimic what you would feel on race day. What’s the correct answer? How often should we give that extra 2% during practice to take it from a hard workout to an extremely hard workout?
Labels: Going to the well