Young phenoms, a good night’s sleep, perceived heat

Another month, another lot of reading. This month, I’m pulling from a variety of sources for a variety of types of topics.

Young phenoms

You’ve probably heard of these people before, you might have even encountered them. The young stars who seem certain for greatness later in life. The 12 year old who wins local 5Ks, the 7 year old who can beat middle schoolers, even the high schooler who is running times that seem more in line with high level collegiate stars.

Have you ever noticed that these young phenoms don’t turn into adult stars as often as it seems like we would expect? Why? Well, Ross Tucker offered some thoughts on this.

He has a point. Many times, these athletes seem developmentally advanced. The 7 year old looks like a 12 year old, the middle schooler looks like a high schooler, the high schooler looks like an adult. The problem is that, as the physical development of others catches up with these individuals, so does their athletic ability. Meanwhile, in some cases at least, these individuals have been convinced that they are easily better than the competition and they are not taught the skills to overcome challenges. As a result, they get frustrated, burn out, or simply quit the sport.

This doesn’t happen with all young phenoms but just be careful about labeling a young phenom the next great. The young phenom is a young phenom, that doesn’t mean they are destined to be the next Usain Bolt or Eliud Kipchoge.

A good night’s sleep

How much does a good night’s sleep matter to athletes? Hopefully you already know the answer, I know I’ve stated it before: a lot.

This article not just points out the importance of sleep, it also gives some thoughts on how to get better and more sleep if you struggle to do so. Be sure to read it, it might help you improve your running even without running a single extra step.

Perceived heat

It’s hard to even think about heat right now. I’m busy thinking about how cold it’s been and, even with March right around the corner, how cold it continues to be. However, we’re not that far from spring, summer, and the associated heat that we’re not acclimated to.

However, on the topic of heat, have you ever considered how much the actual heat affects you and how much your perception of it does?

This is an interesting study intended to test the perception of heat and how it affects our performance. It turns out the mere perception of heat, even when core body temperature is the same, results in performance declines and increases in perceived effort.

The mind is a powerful thing.

Of course, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t mean there is no physiological reason we slow down in the heat. There most definitely is. However, some of the slow down may also be related to how we perceive the heat. Things you do to feel cooler, even if they don’t lower your core temperature, may help you run faster in the heat.

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