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March 21, 2006

This question came up during a coaching meeting in the Netherlands and it reflects a very interesting mind-set regarding performance from coaches and athletes. Indeed, what can we do when fatigue emerges in our run? Do we have some options in how to deal with fatigue? Obviously not many options exist, nevertheless many coaches and athletes "hope" that there are some magic tricks to go around, gambling with rising fatigue by using something yet unknown to science.

Is it a question "what do I do?" when a tennis player, swimmer or any other athlete in any other sport get tired during their performance? Do they ask to stop the game, racing to get some rest? Not at all, no one has that kind of luxury, because this is the essence of sport to find out who can overcome the most obstacles of performance, including fatigue in order to win.

Then, what can we do when we get tired in running? The answer is as simple as it is complicated. First about the complicated part. It comes from the complex nature of fatigue, which is never just physical fatigue, but has mechanical, anatomo-physiological, psycho-emotional, mental, and spiritual parts. Which one of these states is more "tired" is very difficult to identify, but there is something known from our experience and science about relations and their influence on each other.

Generally, from science and experience it is well- known that the psycho-emotional aspect of fatigue appears much sooner, long before real energy exhaustion in the physiological component of fatigue. Our psychology reacts in advance trying to "prevent" the danger of growing fatigue and to convince our mind to stop the performance. Therefore the brain receives lots of signs of fatigue in the form of burning sensations, pain, and reducing strength of muscles.

How do we deal with this psycho-emotional component of fatigue? Simple, our mind has to, and I am emphasizing this, stick to the action. In different sports it's a different thing, but the meaning remains the same it is something that allows us to continue our performance. In running, from the Pose Method concept point-of-view, it is the action of pulling the foot from the ground. Do we have any other option, trick to continue our performance? The answer is clearly no.

Our "business" is to keep our mind out of discouraging influence of our negative emotions about signs of growing fatigue, danger of it to our life, and recruiting defensive mechanism of the body to shut down our performance. Our mind is supposed to stay focused on the action no matter what is going on in our perception. In the Pose Method of running the only action to stick with is the action of pulling the foot from the ground while you are falling forward from the Pose.

This and only this focus of your mind will allow you to avoid unnecessary energy expenditure and keep utilizing it into your running no matter how fast and long you run. It is the essence of training and racing performance.

Dr. Romanov

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