Updated: Jul 24
Many of us are familiar with physical fatigue, from training, from work.
Mental Fatigue - Endurance Sport
Mental fatigue can also contribute to your overall ‘fatigue’ level or load on your body.
Mental fatigue increases with prolonged or demanding cognitive activity, stress, emotions and/or travel.
Mental fatigue can impair exercise performance. This includes physical performance, change in technique, decision making and tactical or skill execution.
This will often present as an increased perception of effort due to changes in hormone levels in the body.
Monitoring and considering mental fatigue or ‘life stress’ is important to consider as a coach when periodising & planning training for endurance sport.
There is no simple solution to reduce mental fatigue. Caffeine can temporarily mask this fatigue. Manipulation of sleep, use of social media, travel management and relaxation strategies may all assist with managing mental fatigue.
Take home message:
Mental fatigue will affect your physical performance.
Be self aware of when you are mentally exhausted or not recovered.
Inform your coach and be open to changes in your training to ensure adequate recovery.