Month: May 2019

(R)Evolutionary Endurance

Adaptations From Our Evolutionary Past Impact Sports Psychology Today

The effect of evolutionary psychology on sport The Theory of Natural Selection is able to unify all species, past and present. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection shook the world when it was first published in 1859. The theory had huge implications and provided answers to the following previously unanswerable questions: How do organisms change over…
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Mismatch Illnesses — Why We No Longer Fit the World in Which We Live

What can save us from ourselves? A giraffe wandering the plains of the African Savanna reaches high into the lush foliage near the top of the tree. An impala – a small antelope – is left tugging at the few remaining leaves on the much lower branches. It strains to get higher but fails to…
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Exercise Can Help Reduce the Impact of Alzheimer’s Disease

As little as 10 minutes of exercise improves cognitive impairment Recent research has shown that not only does exercise benefit our general cardiovascular health, but also our mental well-being. Indeed, physical exercise has been strongly linked to adaptation in both our behaviour and our neurobiology — including the structure and function of the brain. Importantly increases have…
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Mental Toughness Provides the Athlete With Both a Natural and a Developed Edge

But do we really understand what mental toughness is? A better understanding of the psychological factors that elevate sporting performance will lead to improved evidence-based, practical, psychological intervention for athletes. During competition, an athletes’ behavioural responses rely on various psychological factors, including mental toughness, and its role is pivotal in supporting adaptive responses to pressure.…
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There is No Magic 10,000 Hours Rule

The popular account of deliberate practice is wrong No one, no matter how gifted, is born an expert in chess, or with the ability to play the violin. And no one, no matter how much they practice, can be an expert in everything. It is widely accepted that the path to becoming an expert is a long…
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Why We Need to Stop Relying on the V02 Max Test

There are better measures to predict endurance performance The V02 max test is a measure of the maximum amount of oxygen our body can use during intense exercise. The test is brutal and pushes the athlete to their absolute, physical limits over a short, but increasingly difficult, performance. The V02 max test, is a measure,…
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You Don’t Have to Be Mentally Tough to Be an Ultra-Marathoner, but It Does Help

Or, why we all have the psychology to run very long distances It all started with a very long run…. The Mourne Mountains sit between Belfast and Dublin, nestled beside the Irish sea. They are a wild, and beautiful range, with hidden loughs, nearby forests, and trails throughout. It is a dream for any mountain trail…
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Adventurers and athletes have always pushed the limits, but how do we adapt and what does it mean?

Sport and adventure in the extremes requires an optimised psychology “I can’t do another 15/16 hours.” I think having a little cry probably helped. I got back out of the van more focused, determined and positive.” – Nicky Spinks Adventurers and athletes have always pushed the limits, but how do we adapt and what does it…
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Exercise Can Help Reduce the Impact of Alzheimer’s Disease

As little as 10 minutes of exercise improves cognitive impairment Recent research has shown that not only does exercise benefit our general cardiovascular health, but also our mental well-being. Indeed, physical exercise has been strongly linked to adaptation in both our behaviour and our neurobiology — including the structure and function of the brain. Importantly increases have…
Read more

The Brain, Not Our Body, Limits Our Endurance Performance

Wanting to stop “There is still 20 km of running to go, almost half a marathon. I want to stop. I really do.” My inner dialogue is becoming more desperate. It’s my first 100km ultra-marathon and I’ve been moving for more than 10 hours. I physically cannot move for much longer, there is nothing left in the tank.…
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