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.