Most of us back off during endurance activities when we feel we can't do anymore, not when we truly can't do more, according to this article by Jon Doran at www.outdoorsmagic.com in the U.K. The article has endurance athletes, rugby players, and a Joe Simpson reference, so I couldn't resist.
Stopping is for wimps!
New research shows you can push harder than you think.
Just because your muscles feel exhausted, doesn't mean they are according to new research from exercise physiologists at Bangor University, who say that 'perception of effort, not muscle fatigue, limits endurance performance'.
Up until relatively recently, it was thought that exhaustion occurs when when the active muscles are unable to produce the force or power required by prolonged exercise. In other words, they feel like they're physically unable to continue and you stop.
But according to research by Dr Sam Marcora using rugby player as guinea pigs, endurance athletes generally give up feeling that they're exhausted before they reach their 'absolute physiological limit'. Or in simple terms, it may feel as if your legs simply can't carry on, but in reality, they can, you just don't know it.
In fact, says Marcora, immediately after exhaustion, the leg muscles are capable of producing three times the power output required by high-intensity cycling exercise.
Something to think about on your next challenging hike, climb, or run.