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036: Overcoming Running Fatigue - Mind vs. Body

podcast running May 17, 2018



Why am I so tired?

Runners know what it is like to be tired.  As real life runners, with jobs, families, and other responsibilities, we definitely know what it is like to be tired.  But what exactly is fatigue?

Scientists used to try to figure out what exercise-induced fatigue was through strictly physiological models.  They figured that the body just ran out of fuel at some point, which caused us to feel fatigue. They talked about fueling, the build-up of by-products in the body (why do you think everyone knows about lactic acid!?), and the other physical changes that occured within our cells.  

Sure, that can explain fatigue, but is it the whole story?  As busy parents, we know that it’s not just physical things that cause us to be fatigued.  When we have a lot of mental stress or a million things going on in our lives, we can feel tired, even though we may be getting enough sleep or eating the right food.  What, then, is the whole story?

We can’t forget about the brain and the role that it plays in fatigue.  Our brain tries to protect us, and sends messages to our body telling us that we are fatigued before we actually reach our physical limits.  Why?

In today’s episode we talk about:

  • The energy systems in our body
  • How our body naturally switches fuel systems when running low
  • How the physical build up of by-products can cause us to feel fatigued
  • Why lactic acid doesn’t actually cause fatigue and muscle burn like you have always thought
  • The role that oxygen plays in this equation
  • The newer research into the brain’s role in interpreting the body signals as fatigue
  • How the brain tries to protect the body by anticipating danger
  • How the brain must take in all of the information and then decide to push forward or slow down
  • DeKonig’s hazard score - how our level of fatigue is related to how far into the run we are and how much we have left
  • And much more!

Hope you enjoy it!! Let us know if you have any questions that you would like answered on our show!  

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