Pacing vs. Racing, and the Marathoner’s Brain - @sweatscience

A passage from an article I wrote in the current issue of The Walrus magazine : [...] To understand why, consider a set of records from another sport with a long and illustrious history: Thoroughbred racing. Despite all of the progress in various areas of physiology, winning times at major races like the Kentucky Derby and the Epsom Derby have remained stagnant since about 1950, according to a 2006 analysis by University of Nottingham researcher David Gardner. Over the same period, winning times at major marathons such as the Olympics dropped by 15.6 percent, and 10,000-metre times by 13.5 percent. A champion marathoner and a champion horse are both physiological marvels; the difference is, the marathoner understands that he is in a race. In a study published last year, researchers asked experienced cyclists to ride all out for 4,000 metres on stationary bikes in a virtual...

Full article: http://sweatscience.runnersworld.com/2012/06/pacing-vs-ra...

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