Tag Archive for 'fatica'

The second wave gets us over fatigue

The “second wave” is a phenomenon typical of long-distance running, but which is applicable to any situation in life. It occurs in situations when you think you have used up all the energy you had and , instead, suddenly find the strength to continue.

It is certainly something that happened to me when during the 100km del Passatore, all of a sudden starting at 75km I had the certainty that I would finish the race and found the energy to run the fastest I was capable of until the finish line, without worrying about the route anymore.

The “second wave” was first described in 1906 William James in his speech to the American Philosophical Association and entitled “The Energy of Man”: “The existence of a reserve of energy which is not ordinarily available to us is very familiar in the phenomenon of the “second wave.” We usually stop when we encounter this lying, called, fatigue. We have walked, played or worked enough and desist. The amount of fatigue is a good obstacle. However, when an unusual need presses us to continue, something surprising happens. Fatigue grows to a certain point, then gradually or suddenly disappears and we are fresher than before. We have evidently uncorked a new level of energy.”

Mind fatigue: how to trick it

Walter Staiano, Andrea Bosio, Helma M. de Morree, Ermanno Rampinini e Samuele Marcora (2018). The cardinal exercise stopper: muscle fatigue, muscle pain or perception of effort?  Progress in Brain Research, 240, 175-200.

The ability to sustain high-intensity aerobic exercise is essential for endurance performance. Is cessation of high-intensity aerobic exercise due to muscle fatigue, muscle soreness, or increased perception of exertion?

Study participants performed a cycle ergometer test at constant load and high intensity.They were pushed to provide the maximum effort possible. The results show that at the moment when the athlete voluntarily stops pedaling (theoretical moment of maximum exhaustion) he or she actually still has a high exercise capacity. This means that from a physiological point of view, when the athlete perceives himself as exhausted, in reality he can still produce about twice as much power as that which led him to exhaustion. The data highlights that the factor that prevents the continuation of the exercise, when you stop during an intense effort, is not the lack of strength to continue at that intensity or the perception of pain in the muscles. The reason for stopping or decreasing the intensity during a high intensity effort lies in the perception of the effort.

A trick to continue at the same intensity is to distract the mind with a thought that sustains this effort for a few seconds or a few meters, that is the decisive moment of the race because those who do not think in this way will stop or slow down excessively while we continue.

10 good reasons to take a deep breath

10 good reasons to learn to take a deep breath

  1. improves self-control in stress situations
  2. improves the management of physical and mental fatigue
  3. first action to take when you want to relax
  4. precedes the visualization of a technical or competition action
  5. reduces the mental tension and stimulates effective thoughts
  6. promotes muscle stretching during this phase of training
  7. reduces impulsive verbal responses
  8. facilitates immediate recovery after a high intensity exercise
  9. further deepens the focus on the task
  10. reduces pre-race or competitive activation if it’s the case


“Happiness does not come automatically. It is not a gift that good fortune bestows upon us and a reversal of fortune takes back. It depends on us alone. One does not become happy overnight, but with patient labor, day after day. Happiness is constructed, and that requires effort and time. In order to become happy, we have to learn how to change ourselves.”

Luca & Francesco Cavalli-Sforza


Hard work must become a way of life

Some athletes have responded to the blog I wrote about the need to be the best fan of ourselves, saying that it’s really hard to do it, because the mistakes as are the negative performances too harshly test this belief. I agree and in fact I consider the self-confidence as the culmination of a process of psychological maturation and certainly not the starting point. This does not mean that we have not to do everything must be done to become self-confident, without which we cannot sustain the commitment needed in sport, school or job. Who wants to excel must be prepared to strongly support the commitment through any kind of difficulty. In this sense, we can say that the hard engagement must become a lifestyle, not something to show only when all goes well. In fact, we should know that we must be prepared to spend more hours than that in the beginning we had planned.

My run of 100km

At the end of the month of May it has been run the Passatore 100km, from Florence to Faenza, with a climb of +1000 meters. I participated in this race in 2011. I came from years when I had run several times ultra- marathons and skyrace and at that point I began to think of this experience. I did it for the challenge with myself, and to see what they tell you your brain and your body while you’re involved in making an effort so long. The training is different from that of a marathon, because my run has become slower and because in many sessions have been engaged for four/five hours having only meant to run and let the time goes (this for me that I had the goal to be a finisher). These are tests that train to be patient, calm and develop thoughts that are not challenging, not wasting unnecessary energy. I learned that the warm-up time (the first 35/40 minutes) is not only necessary for the body but also the mind, to gradually move away from its usual state in which dominate the daily thoughts, to concentrate on a mental statemuch more restricted. In other words, once you established that the body begins to respond to the impulse of that type of run and it’s finding the stride you want to keep, my mind turned away from this focus on the body and on itself, leaving to slide thoughts and moods as they appeared but without giving them importance. It’s interesting to feel how the body finds the right stride without an apparent intervention of the mind. The motor memory is well stabilized and this ease access to the stride and especially the ease to keep it for a long period allowed me to better manage fatigue and save energy. In this sense, run alone was particularly useful because it is difficult to find companions who follow this pace without tending to accelerate over the miles. I was happy with how I lived the experience of training; was a major achievement to be able to live with satisfaction the passing of the days, without thinking about what would happen in the race.

The race – At the start, all participants appear relaxed, chat waiting for the go, probably because for most of us there is not the problem of time to accomplish. After the start immediately begins the ascent up to Fiesole continuing for 48km with about 10km down in the middle. The race is addressed by the runners in different ways, there are those who always runs , who alternates between running and fast walking. In addition, there are many cycling accompanying the runners. It’s a show different from the usual road racing, as you are 35km from the start the cars following the runners, which by that time will follow the race until the end. It’s a psychological and practical help, you can change the sport suit, eat and receive psychological support. It’s a kind of caravan like for the bike races. The company of friends on this long journey is essential , they run with you even long periods, and this allows you to maintain your pace, to exchange a few words, to run when it is night and the road is very dark with another light next to you. During the race, if the body is fit enough,the mind is always crucial, not so much to think about anything in particular but to avoid negative thoughts that arise from the sensations you feel and understand the pace you have to keep  in the different parts of the race. The last 25km I focused only on the light reflected on the asphalt of my bulb without worrying about anything and in this state of mind I finish it. It was a great experience of 13h5m .

When the goals are decisive in football

The results of a study that I conducted on three Serie A championships showed that the last half hour of play is not only the period in which they are made ​​scored more goals (68% of the total) but it is also the phase where 44.2% of goals are decisive for the final result. In contrast, only 16.3% of decisive goals are carried out in the first half.

In this first day of this football season (still waiting for the today last game ), this data is only partially confirmed. In fact, out of 19 marked, 7 goals are in the period between 61 and 75 minutes and only 1 in the last quarter of the second time. At present these data gives only what it has happened in the first championship day but in the course of the year they will be taken into account, to see if there will be a change in the teams in terms of mentality and physical preparation to reduce the percentage of the decisive goals scored in  the final period of the match, goals that as we approach the end of the game and the physical and mental fatigue are increased are more difficult to recover.

Effort and dreams

Champion: Pietro Mennea won the gold medal at the 1980 Olympics

“Because the effort is never wasted. You suffer but you dream.” Pietro Mennea

Juve is tired and satisfied

For Juventus was one of the many matches to win to stay on top of the ranking, while for Roma was the match of desperation and could not lose it. Roma won 1-0 against Juve. Partly clouded by fatigue of the match a few days ago against Celtic, Juventus has not played with the determination of who wants to win, in fact the game was pretty boring. The players seemed gratified by the positive result against Celtic and played in the hope that nothing happened and that Pirlo’s free-kick could solve the match. It was not in this way and it gave Roma a chance to rise again. At this point we have to wait for the results of the other matches to know if Napoli will play with the necessary conviction of one who knows that it can take just 2 points behind Juve or if this idea, however, paralyze the mind of the team, causing him to lose this occasion.

L’alibi della stanchezza

Fatica è una di quelle parole con mille significati, che solo ogni tanto vuole dire essere stanchi, mentre nella maggior parte delle altre serve a nascondere le ragioni di una prestazione non soddisfacente. Durante questo turno di campionato le prime in classifica hanno raccolto due pareggi e una sconfitta e non certo perchè erano stanche, giacchè è la seconda partita dopo un lungo periodo di vacanza. Se ciò è vero le motivazioni sono quindi altre. Forse per la Juve è la mancanza di abitudine a vincere quando è necessario e il calendario è favorevole. Per il MIlan la partita era difficile ma i tormentoni su Pato non aiutato ed è stato un errore, a mio avviso fare giocare un calciatore sino al giorno distratto da altre questioni. Per il Napoli si è posta la questione che Mazzarri aveva sollevato: la necessità di essere più aggressivi in campo. Per l’Udinese si evidenzia la difficoltà a tenere il ritmo avuto sinora, che è anche un ritmo mentale. Queste spiegazioni non centrano nulla con la fatica o con altre spiegazioni tecniche, si tratta come al solito di guardare alla mente della squadra e di sapere come fare per uscire dallo stress che essere le prime della classe comporta. Oggi stavo con due atleti che fra tre giorni hanno una gara molto importante per loro perchè potrebbe qualificarli per la prima volta per le olimpiadi. I loro pensieri erano del tipo: faccio errori stupidi, penso agli avversari, oggi non sono come vorrei. Avrebbero continuato all’inifinito in questo loro atteggiamento convinti che non ci fosse nulla da fare. Parlando con ognuno di loro gli ho fatto notare che non era questo il loro problema, che non aveva nessuna importanza i pensieri che avevano e che non si può mai sapere cosa si penserà fra un istante. Dovevano invece lottare per eliminare questi pensieri, sostituendoli subito con altri utili a fare bene ciò che dovevano fare. Così hanno fatto e le loro prestazioni successive sono state ottime. Questo è il punto, non importa se sei stanco, può essere, ciò che conta è impegnarsi per mantenere la concentrazione su ciò che devo fare in campo, Questo deve fare ogni calciatore, finchè pensa che è stanco non combinerà più nulla.