Category: Physiology

(R)Evolutionary Endurance

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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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…
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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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Can physical training impact our mental toughness?

We are all aware of the importance of mental toughness, or resilience, in coping with stressors in sport and driving optimum physical performance. But, what if it also works the other way round – can physiological factors drive our mental state, and can we use this to our benefit? Research suggests that physiological stressors can…
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Does running change the physiology of the brain?

According to Schulkin (2016), based on animal and human studies, the act of running impacts the physiology of the brain, as a result of: neurogenesis – the process that forms new neurons in the brain neural plasticity – the ability of the brain to adapt and change throughout the course of the individuals life memory…
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Aerobic training drives psychological changes

Early analysis of, as-yet, unpublished research, suggests aerobic training for an ultra-marathon may be linked to psychological changes. On a single case study, of an individual training for a first ultra-marathon, psychological measures of personality, motivation and mental toughness were taken before and after training, fifteen months apart. Analysis of data reflected: Increased feelings of opportunity to…
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Physiological changes in response to training

According to published research, an increase in training, where the heart pumps against a greater resistance, leads to increased cardiac demand, and a rise in blood pressure, heart rate, blood flow to muscle, and oxygen consumption, to meet the increased metabolic demands of exercise. Over time, aerobic training has been shown to improve the lactate…
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Stress – an adaptive response?

Stress is an adaptive response to an external action or event, mediated by characteristics including personality, age, fitness and mental toughness. Researchers to date have suggested that adaptations are largely specific to the stressor, and they assist a timely return to homeostasis.  A protracted programme of endurance exercise training stresses the human body, often resulting in…
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3.67 million-year-old – first to walk?

It’s taken twenty years to fully uncover ‘little foot’, and an impossibly rare, almost complete, australopithicus skeleton. The work was performed, painstakingly, by Ronald Clarke and team, who are well aware of the huge importance of this small hominin believed to walk bipedally (https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2018/11/29/481556). Hard data is likely to follow, and potentially shed light on a hominin…
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