So what do we mean by endurance?

Exploring the potential of the human mind and body

Human endurance is defined as the individual’s capacity to sustain a given energy expenditure for the longest time possible. Races, such as ultra-marathons, require considerable physical and mental effort, and the need to overcome feelings of exertional discomfort.

Some key points to consider:

  • Endurance, as with all human behaviour, has a psychological element and researchers have identified that factors, including interventions, such as goal setting and self-talk, and mental fatigue, affect performance (Mccormick, Meijen, & Marcora, 2015).
  • The findings of muscular endurance training (Crust & Clough, 2005) indicate that mental toughness influences endurance performance, and may potentially reduce, or even remove, the perception of pain. More recently, researchers have suggested that improved psychological strategies may significantly benefit competitive performance (McCormick et al., 2015).
  • Running may have in turn facilitated brain development, including neurogenesis, the growth, and development of nervous tissue (Schulkin, 2016)

References

Mccormick, A., Meijen, C., & Marcora, S. (2015). Psychological Determinants of Whole-Body Endurance Performance. Sports Medicine, 45(7), 997-1015. 

Crust, L., & Clough, P. J. (2005). Relationship between Mental Toughness and Physical Endurance. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 100(1), 192-194. 

Mccormick, A., Meijen, C., & Marcora, S. (2015). Psychological Determinants of Whole-Body Endurance Performance. Sports Medicine, 45(7), 997-1015. 

Schulkin, J. (2016). Evolutionary Basis of Human Running and Its Impact on Neural Function. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience,10.