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I’m obsessed with the idea that our mind is as powerful or even more powerful than our body.  With all my experiences in ultra-endurance mountain biking, I’ve seen over and over that mental toughness really plays a roll in how hard you can push yourself and what you believe you are capable of. I was thrilled to find the book: Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance by Alex Hutchinson.  It was jam packed with really interesting research on whether limits live in our mind or our body. I also looked up Alex and learned that he is a National Magazine Award-winning journalist whose work appears in Outside, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and more.  Another fun thing I learned was that he is a very accomplished runner, running on the Canadian National Team and even more interesting, he is actually Dr. Alex Hutchinson – he has his PhD in Physics.  Getting a PhD in Physics would be the true test for pain tolerance!  I did my Master’s in Electrical Engineering which is basically all Applied Physics and it is really something else. I can’t imagine doing the full monty and getting a PhD in Physics! 

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Topics Discussed in the Podcast 

  • pacing and our perception of speed (the example in the book is why you can speed up at the end of a marathon when you see the finish line)
  • the myth of VO2 Max being the indicator of performance
  • physiology testing: in a race vs in the lab
  • evidence and empirical data about positive self talk
  • how self-talk can change perception of things like heat or altitude
  • can you train your brain
  • mental fatigue’s effects on physical fatigue
  • brain’s perception of hydration
  • practical tips on how to use these topics for your own performance


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