Science is about objective measurement, so it’s understandable that it has an innate bias for things that can be measured. It’s easy to put someone on a treadmill and read their vo2 max or take their blood sugar reading and say it’s low. It’s not possible to measure the mysterious workings of will. In Lore of Running, Dr. Tim Noakes promotes an alternate theory about how our bodies endure exercise. He believes that a central governor in the brain evaluates the athletic task and determines how many muscle fibers should be recruited. In the case of a run, the brain judges how far away the finish line is, compares it to past training runs, and sets a pace that, barring accidents, the body can maintain without injury. Push too hard, and the brain ramps up sensations of fatigue and pain, trying to fool you into slowing down. Once you understand this, you can reprogram yourself to go much faster. Noakes teaches us to stop giving credence to negative thoughts that are only related to how close we are to the finish line. — Eat & Run, Scott Jurek
Race plan is pretty simple. Have a nice conversation with my central governor about the distance that we’ll be racing, and
slowly but quickly and surely, approach the finish line(s), remarking how fast everything is going. Bendddddddddd the central governor, and push like fucking hell.