The Enemy Within

Not to be trusted.

Not to be trusted.

What if all of us possessed the ability to be super human athletes, but our brain was playing the role of the over protective parent who prevents us from realising our full potential?

Turns out that might not be too far from the truth.

Last week I stumbled across an experiment they did at Northumbria University on the role that the brain plays in when it comes to athletic performance.

They got a group of cyclists to pedal as fast as they could on a stationary bike for 4km.

Using that as a benchmark, they were then made to ‘race’ an avatar of their quickest time. Only the avatar wasn’t their quickest time at all – it was intentionally quicker.

Unsurprisingly all of the cyclists ended up matching what they thought they had done previously, thereby going quicker than they had ever gone before.

Which makes you think – just how much is my brain holding in reserve? And how can I consistently trick it into allowing my body to push its limits (short of developing amnesia and repeatedly racing avatars)?

Highlight of the week: Last week I clocked 12 hours’ worth of training, and still managed to have some semblance of a social life which bodes well for the next few months!

Lowlight of the week: Still haven’t managed to sort out my knee which is starting to get really frustrating. I JUST WANT TO GO FOR A RUN. On the plus side, all the rehab and stretching means I can touch my toes for the first time in my life. It has also meant that I have been able to concentrate on swimming and cycling, both of which have improved heaps.

Life for the next 5 months.

Life for the next 5 months.


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