I am currently about two-thirds through with Faster, Higher, Stronger by Mark McClusky. The author is the editor of Wired.com and was formerly a founding editor of Sport’s Illustrated’s website. The chapter that I absolutely love the best is Chapter 8 entitled What Getting Tired Means. Being a former athlete (tennis player and teaching pro), I never truly understood the aspect of fatigue in my sport and others. I always assumed it was because of lactic acid.
I love this paragraph from this chapter in helping my thinking on this. From page 150:
“We propose that fatigue is a combination of the brain reading various physiological, subconscious and conscious signals and using these to pace the muscles in order to ensure that the body does not burn out before the finish line is reached. I am not saying that what takes place physiologically in the muscles is irrelevant. What I am saying is that what takes place in the muscles in not what causes fatigue. Instead, metabolic and other changes in the muscles provide part of the information that the brain needs to be able to calculate the appropriate pace for events of different distance and in different environmental conditions.”
Also, from page 150:
In a sentence, the central governor theory claims that our physical performance is regulated by the brain, not limited by our hearts, lungs, or muscles.”
This book has given me quite a bit to contemplate about incremental progress toward any of my goals as well as reaffirming what Michael Mauboussin speaks of when he talks about process vs. outcome. Read this book and let me know what you think.
I have included a video from Google Talks from the author about the book: