Which Surrenders First.. Mind or Body?- Mtbr.com

Poll: Which Surrenders First?

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  1. #1
    No. Just No.
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    I'll pre-empt one of your upcoming posts by asking where you think faux-narcolepsy belongs in this poll.

  2. #2
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    Which Surrenders First.. Mind or Body?

    Read an interesting interview with Dave Scott and how the mind effects performance.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    I'll pre-empt one of your upcoming posts by asking where you think faux-narcolepsy belongs in this poll.
    Easy... the body.

    I'm looking forward to reading Iron War that just came out. Part of it is the first look into what made The Man so tough. Just to put it simply put it... the guy was tough.

  4. #4
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    Easy. The Mind. What do I win for the right answer?

  5. #5
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    All depends on the situation and it depends on an individual's genetics and brain chemistry. Anyone's mind, spirit and body can be broken. I've seen people fight to the bitter end and not give up (until death)

  6. #6
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    For me it depends on the situation. If its just a regular day out on the bike or on a run, the definitley the mind gives up first. But in a race situation, its my body that gives up. I just ran my first marathon 2 weeks ago. At mile 18 mile leg muscles started spasming and locking up. I still went the last 8.2 miles like that and finished my race.

  7. #7
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    As with many things in life, my opinion is that it's not black or white, but a continuum of many shades of gray.

    I've had situations where the body just gave out (though relatively rare), others when the mind went on vacation, but more often than not, they often work together and feed off each other.

    As cyclelicious said, some people have an iron will and are capable of pushing through anything most anything physical with a good mental attitude.

    Pain is a state of mind.

  8. #8
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    Until I got pregnant, I would have said the mind. While preggars, it was definitely the body that limited me.

  9. #9
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    Surrender? Never!
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  10. #10
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    They trip over each other in their rush to surrender first.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  11. #11
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  12. #12
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    Hmm so far Cyclelicious and Capt Sydor have got it teed up. But can anyone actually hit it to the 200 yard marker? It has the greates effect on what gives first.

    Hint.... Phil Ligget loves to expound on this ability.

    Hint 2... It is learned.

  13. #13
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    Wait, there is a right/wrong answer here?

    We either pass or fail?
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    Wait, there is a right/wrong answer here?

    We either pass or fail?
    Not really a wrong answer. But it's an aspect that truly effects us.

    It is the one area that has been ignored by sports scientists for years. Groups like Dr Hillier and the famous LabMan crew probably have noted this at some point. There is very little research into it.

  15. #15
    BMW 2002, Dodge A100, etc
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    For me: core, back, legs, body, mind. I can ride the wall for a little while, but after a bit your mind just gives in to what your body is telling it.


    "Hitting the wall"

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Hint.... Phil Ligget loves to expound on this ability.

    Hint 2... It is learned.
    So this is a "suitcase full of courage" thing?

    There was some interesting research done that suggested that nutrition plays a role in the breakdown of both body and mind. Specifically, they pointed to the role of glucose and the ability to hold onto your marbles under duress.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    There was some interesting research done that suggested that nutrition plays a role in the breakdown of both body and mind. Specifically, they pointed to the role of glucose and the ability to hold onto your marbles under duress.
    Funnily enough Dr Robert Laird mentioned that in a recent article. He was the first to start looking the bodies reaction to high performance. The catalyst was when he volubnteered as the race doctor at IM Hawaii back in 81 or 82. He consulted with collegues and such. To his amazement there was absolutely no research into this. This guy is a legend.

    Legendary Ironman doctor Bob Laird marks 20th year aiding athletes | Active.com



    It's people like Laird, Dr Doug Hiller who first researched electrolytes, Dr Pam Douglas, Dr Mary O"Toole, Dr Hisao Iwane, and Toshihito Katsumura who got in on the ground floor of research how the human body actually reacts to high performance conditions. These guys where finding out stuff that had never been discovered before and covered by medical research.

    It was these guys who found out about Hyponatremia. And speaking from experience it sucks.. royally.
    Last edited by Enduramil; 12-16-2011 at 04:36 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    There was some interesting research done that suggested that nutrition plays a role in the breakdown of both body and mind.
    For the record, I just couldn't get the beet juice down.

    I tried.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  19. #19
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    So a few thoughts here. First of all no researcher has found the limiting factor to performance or the biggest contributer to fatigue. That is because there is so much going on during exercise. So mind and body are one in this case.

    I have bonked before, they pulled me off of a tri course because I thought I was running but I was kind of stumbling along in a nice wide zig zag. Then this past fall I pushed through cramping and tired legs to ride a full 8 hour race with out stopping. I have also slowed down in a race before because my head wasn't in it.

    The body is a complex thing so many things going on in so many different places. When training or just riding you need to work on all aspects both physical and mental.

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrastories View Post
    First of all no researcher has found the limiting factor to performance or the biggest contributer to fatigue.
    The January/February issue of Inside Triathlon has an article about this subject. And mentions how they are only starting to pay attention to this aspect.

    When it comes to athletic endurance performance that has the most effect on whether your mind or body surrenders first is................................................ ...... the ability to mentally handle and suffer. Dave Scott and Mike Pigg are great examples of being masters of suffering.

  21. #21
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    As a person with 30 years of health professional experience and life experience, I don't quite support this idea that suffering will make a person stronger. If you are stronger after hardship (such as bad luck, ill health, adversity) it is probably despite, not because of the hardship.

    Developmental research has shown that traumatized children are more, not less, likely to be traumatized again. The same holds true for adults. The more your body is stressed the weaker it becomes

    Stress and suffering doesn't toughen you up, and doesn't prepare you well to deal with hardship. Tender love and care toughen you up, because they nurture and strengthen your capacity to learn and adapt, including learning how to fight, and adapt to later hardship.

    For biking (despite crashing, sometimes feeling tired etc) and other aspects of life, what keeps me going both mentally and physically is support and encouragement.

    I like the motto: Never let the odds keep you from pursuing what you know in your heart you were meant to do

  22. #22
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    Sorry double post

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post

    Stress and suffering doesn't toughen you up, and doesn't prepare you well to deal with hardship. Tender love and care toughen you up, because they nurture and strengthen your capacity to learn and adapt, including learning how to fight, and adapt to later hardship.

    Sorry but from observation and personal athletic experience shows me that is incorrect. Plus there are numerous examples in the world as well.

    Good example... I went infantry training in 1993. For nine weeks we where pushed by our instructors beyond what most would think is normal. About 75% of the time we where sleep deprived. I could go further but it's hard to explain but it was suffering. But I learned mentally that I was tougher then I thought. I learned how much farther I could go.. this was not possible without being pushed hard by the instructors. It's thanks to this that after Gabi was born I was able for weeks on end keep going an a high level with little sleep.

    - Joely's volleyball team plays well on the weeks they run a boot camp training session 3 times that week. They are pushed and no time outs. Just continous hard activity. When they don't they don't play well on game day.

    - Kenyan runners have been proven to have no genetic advantage over the rest of the world. They have through hard training learned to deal with suffering during the race.

    - Circlip mentioned how he didn't run well off the bike. My experience at racing Tri and Du has taught me that yes when you try to run 10k after riding 30k hard it's painful, uncomfortable, and the mind can't understand why you are suffering. Yet if you during the 8 weeks to the event train to do that you actually run better off the bike at the event. Because you have taught yourself and your mind is able to now deal with the discomfort of running off the bike at race pace.

    The examples as I said are endless.

    The reality is Capt Sydor termed Iron Will is less a natural born ability. It is gained by pushing your body and mind in training, by doing things in adverse conditions, and pushing past your comfort zone. Lance , Dave Scott, Mike Pigg, and Ned Overend to name a few performed well at races because they actually trained as hard or harder then they raced.

    It's always funny when medical people blow off this stuff. But I always keep in mind the following,

    " The best scientists in the world are the athlete themselves. who, through long years of trial and error have arrived at the most important conclusion of all: what works and what doesn't"

  24. #24
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    lol, those silly medical people and scientists... what do they know...

    look at the long term health problems that veterans have.

    things are not always what they seem

    Veterans' health concerns demand more research funding - Health - CBC News

    meanwhile, the health problems of high level athelitcs are starting to surface...

    Female Athletes: Health Problems Caused by Extreme Exercise and Dieting - Your Orthopaedic Connection - AAOS

    and this...

    http://www.douglaslabs.com/pdf/nutri...%20(10-06).pdf

    we are just begining to understand what the long term problems are. as most things the answer lies somewhere in the middle...
    Last edited by singlesprocket; 12-18-2011 at 11:27 AM.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket View Post
    we are just begining to understand what the long term problems are. as most things the answer lies somewhere in the middle...
    Singlesprocket is right.

    This is a complex area, with circumstance playing a critical role.

    My baby will not cry less if I ignore him and tell him to HTFU. Having support is very important in developing the confidence to overcome obstacles. On the other hand, knowing what you can face successfully can help you cope with similar challenges (I've done it before; I can do it again).

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    Singlesprocket is right.

    This is a complex area, with circumstance playing a critical role.
    Complex. Yet it is an area that to date has seen very little actual research. Most of it has come from coaches as well athletes who keep proving it. Not much difference to what Dr Laird found in 1981 in Hawaii, that in fact the medical world actually understood little about the human body. Over the years Dr Laird, Dr Hillier, Labman, and all the medical scientists who all volunteer all keep coming back.

    Dr Laird mentioned in a article years ago that IM Hawaii is the ultimate research lab. They can't duplicate it's uncontrolled real world results. It's why they all go there every year to help at the race and attend the medical conference during Iron Week. They see new things every year that gives them new insites both into human performance.

    As Coach Joe Vigil explained in Born to Run. The next step in human performance research isn't the body. It will be into the mind.

  27. #27
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    As a person with 30 years of health professional experience and life experience, I don't quite support this idea that suffering will make a person stronger. If you are stronger after hardship (such as bad luck, ill health, adversity) it is probably despite, not because of the hardship.

    Developmental research has shown that traumatized children are more, not less, likely to be traumatized again. The same holds true for adults. The more your body is stressed the weaker it becomes

    Stress and suffering doesn't toughen you up, and doesn't prepare you well to deal with hardship. Tender love and care toughen you up, because they nurture and strengthen your capacity to learn and adapt, including learning how to fight, and adapt to later hardship.

    For biking (despite crashing, sometimes feeling tired etc) and other aspects of life, what keeps me going both mentally and physically is support and encouragement.

    I like the motto: Never let the odds keep you from pursuing what you know in your heart you were meant to do
    Progression can only happen when the proper cycle of stress and recovery is in place. The idea that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger is by far too idealistic and simplistic. Whatever doesn't kill you can simply suck you dry and leave you so far into psychic debt that you'll never escape the chaos. People have this happen to them all the time and it is "game over" for many of them because they didn't have support or got confused and thought they could do it all on their own willpower(surprise you're not the übermensch). I'm not saying nobody should dig deep but if you dig deep too often, even on the bicycle, a nearly intractable problem will develop either with your expectations or your body.

    I'd think we all know when it comes to endurance the mind is what surrenders over the long run, while the body likes to surrender in the short term.

  28. #28
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    The mind. How many times have we stopped doing something difficult because we were in pain, or because we were exhausted, or because we concluded it was impossible? This is a failure of the mind, not the body.

    Very few of us have even scratched the surface of our capabilities. Everyone should do themselves a favor and put themselves in a situation where they have no choice. It is a spiritual experience when you cross that line, it will change you forever.

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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Sorry but from observation and personal athletic experience shows me that is incorre't"
    The wimp at the start of TQ1 is a wimp at the end of TQ1. Tougher, but still a wimp..
    My opinion, and it is just an opinion, is that mental toughness is something that you are born with and something that can be developed.
    I also do not believe that you can ever compare the toughness required to get through an athletic event ( or recruit training) with that required to get through some of the more traumatic situations that people face in their lives.

    I also believe that good coffee in the morning can cure most ills, and good beer in the evening can relieve most stress, and I challenge you to prove me wrong.
    Cheers, Dave

  30. #30
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    Have you seen 24 Solo? The guy who won had mind triumph over body - and nearly died.

    I do admit, I've always been puzzled by marathon training in which you never actually run a marathon distance. Seems like you'd be behind the eight ball mentally for the last part of the race. I do understand that doing marathon distances for training is too draining physically, but still...

    I think knowing that you can overcome tough situations is source of mental strength, but actually training routinely like that is not necessarily beneficial.

    Then there are the stories of East German athletes having to train for hours facing a brick wall to develop mental toughness. Or if you watch Kill Bill...

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    Have you seen 24 Solo? The guy who won had mind triumph over body - and nearly died.

    I do admit, I've always been puzzled by marathon training in which you never actually run a marathon distance. Seems like you'd be behind the eight ball mentally for the last part of the race. I do understand that doing marathon distances for training is too draining physically, but still...

    I think knowing that you can overcome tough situations is source of mental strength, but actually training routinely like that is not necessarily beneficial.

    Then there are the stories of East German athletes having to train for hours facing a brick wall to develop mental toughness. Or if you watch Kill Bill...
    That is what the bus is there for, oxygen and to take those off the the ER for an IV or cardiac testing. Didn't somebody pass away at the epic 8 this year? I've seen others taken away also for heat stroke or exhaustion. There have been many tragedies in cycling in the style of Tom Simpson and there is definitely a category of competitors who don't know when to call it quits(and not in a good way).

    Something to think about before you mind over matter a marathon or 24hr event.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    My baby will not cry less if I ignore him and tell him to HTFU. .



    If only it were that simple, eh?
    Strava made me do it....

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    Have you seen 24 Solo? The guy who won had mind triumph over body - and nearly died.

    I do admit, I've always been puzzled by marathon training in which you never actually run a marathon distance. Seems like you'd be behind the eight ball mentally for the last part of the race. I do understand that doing marathon distances for training is too draining physically, but still...

    I think knowing that you can overcome tough situations is source of mental strength, but actually training routinely like that is not necessarily beneficial.

    Then there are the stories of East German athletes having to train for hours facing a brick wall to develop mental toughness. Or if you watch Kill Bill...
    As a runner and someone who has done a marathon, I can answer this. Most marathon runners will top out at about 22 miles in training. The reason being that if you can train yourself to be able to run 22 miles, you can do the next 4 come race day while taking it a little bit easier on your body during training.

  34. #34
    No. Just No.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    My baby will not cry less if I ignore him and tell him to HTFU.
    Have you tried it?

    I did not try it with my own kids, but as they grow into teenagers I am more and more tempted some days.

  35. #35
    No. Just No.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    - Circlip mentioned how he didn't run well off the bike. My experience at racing Tri and Du has taught me that yes when you try to run 10k after riding 30k hard it's painful, uncomfortable, and the mind can't understand why you are suffering. Yet if you during the 8 weeks to the event train to do that you actually run better off the bike at the event. Because you have taught yourself and your mind is able to now deal with the discomfort of running off the bike at race pace.
    In the example above I'd argue the mental side has very little to do with it. As with most types of physical activities, the body adapts to specific stresses and (ideally) discomfort lessens over time. Physical change, not mental.

    As a general comment on this topic, I like riding and racing, but if I am experiencing abnormal discomfort that is lessening my enjoyment of the experience, I'll pack it in and DNF. It's that simple.

    It's not some life and death scenario. I'm there to have fun. I've raced out some 24 solos from end to end and had a good time for 99% of my time in the saddle. I've had a couple of others where things didn't go as expected (sever back pain, the aforementioned faux-narcolepsy) and my stoke was getting hammered. So, game over for me in those events.

    I've completed countless other events, but I've also had 3 other DNFs for back pain, knee pain, and calf cramps. Wasn't going to be much fun continuing to ride, so I called it quits in each of these. I really wasn't worried about proving anything.

  36. #36
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    The most famous example. 1982 Julie Moss nearing the finish.. mind still going yet her body had rebelled. Millions saw this on TV. And at the time it was the catalyst for many to get of the couch.

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/VbWsQMabczM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    15 years later and we see it can happen again.
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/MTn1v5TGK_w" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    How a champion deals with this.
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/g_utqeQALVE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  37. #37
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    There was a really good program on cbc radio last year about this shortly after Jure Robic died.
    It talks about how even for most endurance athletes, the body always has something left. It always saves something for those fight or flight moments and only a handful of people can actually train their minds to get to these reserves.

    I emailed cbc to see if I could get a podcast or article, I'll post up if I find it.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    The most famous example. 1982 Julie Moss nearing the finish.
    Looks like me that time I tried a 15k run.
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  39. #39
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    Now.. permit me to throw a few of wrenches in this.

    - Women genetically have a higher pain threshold then men. This is obvious as it is all about child birth.

    - If one factors in time it begins to skew it a bit. The shorter the event the more it's about the body while the longer the event it's more about the mind.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    Now.. permit me to throw a few of wrenches in this.

    - Women genetically have a higher pain threshold then men. This is obvious as it is all about child birth.

    - If one factors in time it begins to skew it a bit. The shorter the event the more it's about the body while the longer the event it's more about the mind.
    If I may drop a name at this point.

    Longer events indeed.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    If I may drop a name at this point.

    Longer events indeed.
    In ultra running.. 100k the women are close or in some cases beating the men. Leadville 100 Ultra back in the 90's saw Ann Trason duelling with the Tarahumarra. One year she led up till about 10-15k mark before one of the younger tribes men..Juan Herrera took the lead.

    As I mentioned before.. all of the observations about this aspect have been in running where there is really no mechanical advantage. It would be interesting to see research into the bike version.

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