Saturday, March 9, 2013

Trust Your Gut

Just trust your gut instinct, we've heard it so many times it's become a cliche. But it's become one because it holds true nearly every time it's said. Certainly more than people would care to admit. I can't count how many times I've seen someone get a school test back and groan, saying, "Damn, I got that question wrong because I changed my answer at the last second!"

In sports, trusting your gut is critical in nearly everything. Science can tell me that the average distance runner can "kick" about 200 meters at the end of a 5k. So should I kick at 200 meters from the finish, knowing that if there's someone with me, they'll kick too and possibly outrun me in the final 200? Or should I try to open up a gap on the pack I'm with at with a mile to go and just lift the pace? See, in this instance, I can't preemptively foresee how I'll feel in that situation, if I would feel good enough to solo alone with a mile to go or try to out-sprint the competition.

Trusting your gut is also backed by science, which is rather odd. But in a recent study, it was concluded that runners ran the fastest when they drank a carbohydrate mix as they felt they needed. Many people have a long standing belief that the body needs ~60g carbohydrates per hour of exercise, but those people performed worse than those who simply drank as their thirst dictated.

Funny how science tries to dictate, then corroborates trusting your gut. The most simple thing in the world is also a huge performance enhancer. Funny how that works...

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