How high or far or fast can humans go? And what about individual potential: what defines a person’s limits? From running a two-hour marathon to summiting Mount Everest, we’re fascinated by the extremes of human endurance, constantly testing both our physical and psychological limits.
In Endure Alex Hutchinson, Ph.D., reveals why our individual limits may be determined as much by our head and heart, as by our muscles. He presents an overview of science’s search for understanding human fatigue, from crude experiments with electricity and frogs’ legs to sophisticated brain imaging technology. Going beyond the traditional mechanical view of human limits, he instead argues that a key element in endurance is how the brain responds to distress signals whether heat, or cold, or muscles screaming with lactic acid and reveals that we can train to improve brain response.
An elite distance runner himself, Hutchinson takes us to the forefront of the new sports psychology – brain electrode jolts, computer-based training, subliminal messaging – and presents startling new discoveries enhancing the performance of athletes today, showing us how anyone can utilize these tactics to bolster their own performance – and get the most out of their bodies.
About the Author
Alex Hutchinson combines a scientific background-he holds a doctorate in physics from Cambridge University-with athletic expertise-he was a world class runner, competing in National and World Championships for more than a decade. He is also an award-winning writer specializing in the intersection of science and athletic performance, and has written articles on Mt. Everest, New Zealand, Tasmania, the Australian Outback, and the Yukon for the New York Times Travel section.
`This book is AMAZING!' - MALCOLM GLADWELL
`If you want to gain insight into the mind of great athletes, adventurers, and peak performers then prepare to be enthralled by Alex Hutchinson's Endure.' -BEAR GRYLLS
`Anyone who has ever felt exhausted, whether from heat or cold or altitude or pain or simply a loss of will, is going to find their own experience in this book." - DAVID EPSTEIN, author of The Sports Gene
An essential read for every endurance athlete." - AMBY BURFOOT, 1968 Boston Marathon winner and editor of Runner's World Complete Book of Running
`This is an excellent resource for anyone seeking to better to understand how our minds influence our ultimate performances.' - TIM NOAKES, emeritus professor of exercise science at the University of Cape Town
`An intelligent, exhaustively researched study.' - The Times