This morning I had another thought about the post I put up yesterday on why muscles fatigue. If muscle fatigue is the result of so-called "fight or flight" hormones being overly secreted into the blood supply, is it possible that being overly nervous before a race could actually physically hinder your performance?
I've often been interested in the impact of focusing techniques like meditation and visualization on a person's performance. To use an off-the-cuff personal example, after most of my more memorable races, I realized after the fact that I didn't have a song stuck in my head. That was always one measure for how focused I was prior to a race. I don't see how that could affect calcium leakage, but perhaps there are other mental states (like excessive worrying or being overly excited) that could affect muscle performance?
And how about a more basic question? Why does training work? Are we able to run faster longer as a result of training because the body waits longer to start secreting "fight or flight" hormones, or because our muscles become more able to "filter" it out of our system, for lack of a better word? But this only leads me back to my question about whether this process is mental, physical, or both. Are "fight or flight" hormones being secreted because the heart can't pump enough blood--i.e. something physical--or because the brain is somehow triggered--i.e. something mental? Or is that the same thing?
If the process is primarily mental, then perhaps there are non-pharmaceutical ways of helping the brain to decrease the amount of hormones it is secreting. Through diet, meditation, maybe even simply getting enough sleep.
What are your thoughts?