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Fitness Skating and Training Forum Discussions about on-skate and off-skate training, hydration, sports nutrition, weight loss, injuries, sports medicine, and other topics related to training and physical fitness for skaters.

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Old March 9th, 2014, 10:00 PM   #1
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Default Ultra Distance Training

I just hired Dr. (Mad Dog Mike) Schreiber to design my training program for the Montreal 24hr. One of the best ultra distance trainer out there. This should be interesting, he has trainer so amazing ultra distance runner for all kinds of amazing runs, including 7 day desert runs, he also trains triathlete and now he trains long distance inline speed skaters. I'm stoked, big time. Two 12 week programs, time to get serious.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 11:59 AM   #2
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Be interesting to hear about your training Carl
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Old April 4th, 2014, 06:40 PM   #3
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Some interesting reading on Zone 2 training from one of the science whizzes over at Training Peaks:

http://home.trainingpeaks.com/blog/a...rance-athletes
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Old April 23rd, 2014, 09:35 AM   #4
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How's the training going ?
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Old April 29th, 2014, 12:47 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by theDonnybrook View Post
Some interesting reading on Zone 2 training from one of the science whizzes over at Training Peaks:

http://home.trainingpeaks.com/blog/a...rance-athletes
Really interesting possibility raised in that article:
Quote:
Besides fat utilization, type I muscle fibers are also responsible for lactate clearance. Lactate is the byproduct of glucose utilization which is utilized in large amounts by fast twitch muscle fibers. Therefore, lactate is mainly produced in fast twitch muscle fibers which then, through a specific transporter called MCT-4, export lactate away from these fibers. However, lactate needs to be cleared or else it will accumulate. This is when Type I muscle fibers play the key role of lactate clearance. Type I muscle fibers contain a transporter called MCT-1 which are in charge of taking up lactate and transporting it to the mitochondria where it is reused as energy. Zone 2 training increases mitochondrial density as well as MCT-1 transporters.
What I wonder about though, is that, yeah, higher intensities recruit more type IIa and IIb fibers, but aren't type I fibers ALSO recruited maximally at these intensities? (I could be wrong about that). If so, is the benefit of low intensity training that all of the body's growth and repair goes into type I fibers, vs having to be shared with type IIa and IIb ones.
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Old April 30th, 2014, 05:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ajasen View Post
What I wonder about though, is that, yeah, higher intensities recruit more type IIa and IIb fibers, but aren't type I fibers ALSO recruited maximally at these intensities? (I could be wrong about that). If so, is the benefit of low intensity training that all of the body's growth and repair goes into type I fibers, vs having to be shared with type IIa and IIb ones.
I think the point of this portion is to note the benefit of Zone 2 training in building more mitochondrial density to assist with lactate flushing. The Type I fibers are recruited, but in a way that doesn't build mitochondrial density, at least as the present science suggests, at all or as well as Zone 2 training. Joe Friel keeps commenting on Twitter about how good endurance athletes spend more time below AT than above AT. I think this supports his point and highlights the need for Zone 2 training for all forms of endurance athletes, marathon inline skaters included. I have added a lot more Zone 2 training in my plan so far this year, and will continue to do so in hopes of building the density they are talking about. Thus the importance of the long slow skate.
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Old April 30th, 2014, 06:47 PM   #7
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First of all, I have an issue with how we are supposed to know what zone # matches up with what level of pace intensity we are training at, and targeting as a goal for our competitions?

Also, what prevents the benefits available from zone 2 time from also being available from zone 3 time.

My system is based on four pace level "zones"
1) Training time well below desired race pace
2) training time at below, but near, desired race pace
3) training time just a little faster than race pace
4) training time at flat out speed for much shorter than race distance intervals

I improve most rapidly with the following allocation:
1) ~20% 2) ~45% 3) ~25% 4) ~10%

-Armadillo
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Old May 1st, 2014, 03:34 AM   #8
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First of all, I have an issue with how we are supposed to know what zone # matches up with what level of pace intensity we are training at, and targeting as a goal for our competitions?

Also, what prevents the benefits available from zone 2 time from also being available from zone 3 time.

My system is based on four pace level "zones"
1) Training time well below desired race pace
2) training time at below, but near, desired race pace
3) training time just a little faster than race pace
4) training time at flat out speed for much shorter than race distance intervals

I improve most rapidly with the following allocation:
1) ~20% 2) ~45% 3) ~25% 4) ~10%

-Armadillo
This highlights the main criticism with using HR as training data because it isn't a terribly accurate, reliable, or consistent piece of data. In addition, it varies based on activity. However, absent something similar to a power meter for skates, it is the best datum that we have to gauging effort/exertion on skates. Interesting that Armadillo's Zone 2 still proves to be where he has his best benefits. I agree entirely with this breakdown based on effort.

The point of the post was the science behind the use of type I muscle fibers and how important it is for endurance athletes. I hadn't come across this in my research prior to this article. I haven't really done this kind of training. When I go skate, I like to go out and hammer away. This isn't conducive to building a good endurance base, specifically developing the mitochondrial density that supports lactate clearance, increases VO2 Max, raises AT, etc. It seems like a workable analogy and makes sense to consider for cross training. I don't mean to suggest that this theory applies directly to skating, but a little science from cycling can help provide guidance in preparing training plans.
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Old May 1st, 2014, 06:16 AM   #9
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I have always believed if you want better stamina, look no farther than swimming. So much work, so taxing, builds your lung capacity and cardiovascular prowess better than anything out there.

Virtually no impact, rapid cooling, what else would you want?
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Old May 1st, 2014, 11:11 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by theDonnybrook View Post
I think the point of this portion is to note the benefit of Zone 2 training in building more mitochondrial density to assist with lactate flushing. The Type I fibers are recruited, but in a way that doesn't build mitochondrial density, at least as the present science suggests, at all or as well as Zone 2 training. Joe Friel keeps commenting on Twitter about how good endurance athletes spend more time below AT than above AT. I think this supports his point and highlights the need for Zone 2 training for all forms of endurance athletes, marathon inline skaters included. I have added a lot more Zone 2 training in my plan so far this year, and will continue to do so in hopes of building the density they are talking about. Thus the importance of the long slow skate.

Good post - this is my understanding as well.

Low intensity training will make you faster by recruiting more slow-twitch type1 muscle fibres, improving your aerobic system.

So conversely, in order to go fast, we must spend a good proportion of our time training slow, not just to focus on the technical aspects pertinent to our sport which we all know about, but also the physiological adaptions that happen during low intensity.
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Old May 3rd, 2014, 01:17 AM   #11
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...Low intensity training will make you faster by recruiting more slow-twitch type1 muscle fibres, improving your aerobic system....
strictly speaking, low intensity training won't make you faster. If that's your goal, you are on a slow road to disappointment.

Low intensity training builds the physiological support mechanisms an athlete will need to support high intensity training, which is where the athlete will improve their speed.

In a nutshell, if you want to improve speed, performance, and general athletic capability, you need to follow a plan incorporating appropriate amounts of endurance, speed work, tempo work, and recovery, and each in the proper amount and at the right time. No one of these done in isolation or to the exclusion of the others will produce nearly as much benefit as incorporating them all into a training program.

From my experience, if your training program is really working, when zone 2 training comes up on your workout schedule, it's not so much that you choose to do it, it is more that you physically have no choice but to do it (because you are too wiped out to do anything more). However, it is too often the case that athletes make the error sited by Floyd Landis, as he says that most athletes go too hard on the light days and too light on the hard days.

Edit: btw, i just re-read the original article, and the author does very much advocate an overall plan made of differing intensity levels.
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Old May 3rd, 2014, 02:10 PM   #12
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strictly speaking, low intensity training won't make you faster. If that's your goal, you are on a slow road to disappointment.

Low intensity training builds the physiological support mechanisms an athlete will need to support high intensity training, which is where the athlete will improve their speed.

In a nutshell, if you want to improve speed, performance, and general athletic capability, you need to follow a plan incorporating appropriate amounts of endurance, speed work, tempo work, and recovery, and each in the proper amount and at the right time. No one of these done in isolation or to the exclusion of the others will produce nearly as much benefit as incorporating them all into a training program.

From my experience, if your training program is really working, when zone 2 training comes up on your workout schedule, it's not so much that you choose to do it, it is more that you physically have no choice but to do it (because you are too wiped out to do anything more). However, it is too often the case that athletes make the error sited by Floyd Landis, as he says that most athletes go too hard on the light days and too light on the hard days.

Edit: btw, i just re-read the original article, and the author does very much advocate an overall plan made of differing intensity levels.

You improve by spending more time at lower intensity. Do you need speed work as well? Yes, but empirical studies show that the best athletes spend more time at lower intensity (total + %age wise) than average and recreational athletes. Going hard too often leads to suboptimal performance plateaus and a higher risk of injury. Yes, you will get faster due to improved fitness, but in most cases not as fast as you would have got had you spent more of your time building your aerobic base.

worth a read: http://running.competitor.com/2013/0...e-faster_52242
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Old May 3rd, 2014, 06:59 PM   #13
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You improve by spending more time at lower intensity. Do you need speed work as well? Yes, but empirical studies show that the best athletes spend more time at lower intensity (total + %age wise) than average and recreational athletes. Going hard too often leads to suboptimal performance plateaus and a higher risk of injury. Yes, you will get faster due to improved fitness, but in most cases not as fast as you would have got had you spent more of your time building your aerobic base.
we are not completely disagreeing, but i think you may be missing my point.
I just came across a post in a runner's forum that i participate on, and it makes my point exactly. The context was a response to a desire for a runner to drop their 5 k time by a rather large amount this year, and how to go about it.
Here's a part of what his poster, "wcrunner", posted:

Quote:
I've found my best results are closely related to my base mileage and running frequency. One year I roughly doubled my mileage from 20 mpw to 40 mpw and dropped my 5K time by about 3 minutes in 5 months. This wasn't due entirely to the mileage increase, but the quality workouts I ran I could not have run if not for the additional base and endurance resulting from the higher mileage.
So, my point is, just increasing your lower intensity workouts will not do much for you, and it is folly to think so. In point of fact, i see this phenomenon all the time. On my running club, there are a ton of runners who put in a fairly good amount of mileage each week, and they continue to be slow. Like, not just 'i'll hang with you most of the time, but fall behind a little bit on race day' - more like, i couldn't race or train at your pace ever.

The reason is becuase the proper volume of lower intensity training is just the start. Sure, you can sabotage your training plan by not doing enough of it, and many do. But the point is it will only really help if you build on top of it, quality workouts involving tempo and speed (they are not the same, btw).

In a nutshell, it's the plan that counts, and different parts of the plan (like low intensity workouts) build certain key parts of the whole picture. For people who are developing their own training programs, it's important to understand this.
Edit: i feel compelled to mention, though, that in that particular discussion on the running forum, there are in fact, more than a few runners who go on to say that they did improve just by increasing their low intensity mileage, without doing the speed work. It just made them stronger and faster at all speeds. So, what to gather from all this? Certainly increasing the base mileage will help, if it means increasing one's overall volume (weekly mileage), especially for those that are not putting in enough base mileage to start with. This will yield results in itself. But to really maximize the potential benefits, building on those new-found strengths with speed and tempo word will offer the greatest gains.
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Old May 4th, 2014, 09:48 AM   #14
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we are not completely disagreeing, but i think you may be missing my point.
I just came across a post in a runner's forum that i participate on, and it makes my point exactly. The context was a response to a desire for a runner to drop their 5 k time by a rather large amount this year, and how to go about it.
Here's a part of what his poster, "wcrunner", posted:



So, my point is, just increasing your lower intensity workouts will not do much for you, and it is folly to think so. In point of fact, i see this phenomenon all the time. On my running club, there are a ton of runners who put in a fairly good amount of mileage each week, and they continue to be slow. Like, not just 'i'll hang with you most of the time, but fall behind a little bit on race day' - more like, i couldn't race or train at your pace ever.

The reason is becuase the proper volume of lower intensity training is just the start. Sure, you can sabotage your training plan by not doing enough of it, and many do. But the point is it will only really help if you build on top of it, quality workouts involving tempo and speed (they are not the same, btw).

In a nutshell, it's the plan that counts, and different parts of the plan (like low intensity workouts) build certain key parts of the whole picture. For people who are developing their own training programs, it's important to understand this.
Edit: i feel compelled to mention, though, that in that particular discussion on the running forum, there are in fact, more than a few runners who go on to say that they did improve just by increasing their low intensity mileage, without doing the speed work. It just made them stronger and faster at all speeds. So, what to gather from all this? Certainly increasing the base mileage will help, if it means increasing one's overall volume (weekly mileage), especially for those that are not putting in enough base mileage to start with. This will yield results in itself. But to really maximize the potential benefits, building on those new-found strengths with speed and tempo word will offer the greatest gains.
This is a good discussion to have.. and I agree, we are not entirely disagreeing.
However, here is my take on a few points-

5km is not an endurance distance, and you can run it above LT level and live with the lactate buildup for 20 minutes; but eventually you will reach an intolerable level of lactate and your pace will be unsustainable. So yes, over shorter distances, mileage is maybe not such a key factor and you can do the job well enough on more type-2 muscle fibres where power is compensating for efficiency and running economy.

When you are talking longer endurance distances, overall training mileage is key. So you need to go at a pace where you can maximize this variable. For runners, that is just jogging pace.

However, we know that running places a heavy wear and tear on the body. For other activities (swimming, cycling, skating) where it is much less impacting on the joints, I would say that the optimal training plan would have you spending more time at higher intensity than for running.
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Old May 5th, 2014, 06:01 AM   #15
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let me throw another one your way.
endurance training is important at all distances, and it important because it will allow the athlete to train longer and harder on the high intensity training (HIT) workouts . Speed and tempo work has conclusively been shown to yield significant performance results in both middle and long distance events, and it goes without saying, in sprint distances as well.
And just anecdotally, there is a ton of skaters on this and other websites who say they did not really take off until they starting doing the speed and interval work. But i can tell you even more who say they tried hammering out workouts and just found no improvement over the long haul. What's the difference? The appropriate mix at the appropriate time. Build the endurance base first, and intersperse hard workouts with easy ones. Make the hard ones genuinely hard, and make the easy ones "active recovery" of sorts.
And sorry, but i just don't buy your explanation of the 5k roughing it out based on fast twitch muscle capability. IF the athlete had built their aerobic base through a steady diet of endurance training, they would be able to lay the speed work over the top to train at some really beneficial level to raise their LT, and perform at a higher level.
In the world of running, the price of stupid training is greater. You try to base a training program on too much quality and not enough mileage, you get hurt. And it happens ALL THE TIME.
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However, we know that running places a heavy wear and tear on the body. For other activities (swimming, cycling, skating) where it is much less impacting on the joints, I would say that the optimal training plan would have you spending more time at higher intensity than for running
I don't think so. Not if you want to improve. IF you do (spend too much time at higher intensity), you plateau, and get mediocre results over and over again, with never enough rest and never enough of a foundation to genuinely re-group and stretch your capablities like you should ideally be doing on an ongoing basis.
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Old May 5th, 2014, 02:47 PM   #16
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The appropriate mix at the appropriate time. Build the endurance base first, and intersperse hard workouts with easy ones. Make the hard ones genuinely hard, and make the easy ones "active recovery" of sorts.
So this is really the key: Perioditization

What a lot of the coaches get at with this volume approach to endurance training is the first two cycles of the year, your base and your build, should, for the total number of work-outs in these cycles, be spent below AT. So your base should be one hard work out and a lot of Zone 2 style volume. Your build will have a lot more tempo and speed work but still have 2 sessions of Zone 2 style base cardio. When you transition in your race phase, that is when you spend a lot of time hammering away at intervals and tempo, and by this point, you have the base built up from all the Zone 2 training to really get the benefit of the higher intensity work outs. I think the idea is that you need to be doing those long slow work outs to maximize the race specific training, and without the base, you aren't building on anything that will allow realistic growth. However, when you count the number of workouts for the season, your Zone 2 numbers should be higher than anything else.

For athletes who train doubles, this is easy. Weights in the morning, zone 2 in the afternoon; plyo/dryland in the AM, zone 2 in the afternoon; zone 2 recovery bike x2; fartlek in the AM, Zone 2 in the afternoon; intervals in the AM, zone 2 in the afternoon. In this example of a doubles work out, you have 6 zone 2 work outs mixed with just about every other kind of training. For us mere mortals with other obligations like jobs and families, this kind of training isn't realistic. Rather, base build should look more like day of weights, day of zone 2, day of intervals or plyo, day of zone 2, day of speed work, day of zone 2. I this example, you are still getting volume build in Zone 2 as there are more of those work outs than any other kind. These would just be base or build phase routines, though. Once outdoor inliners get into the season, around mid-May to Mid-June depending on your race schedule, the training needs to change to be a lot more race oriented with longer volume skate distances, intervals, and speed work.

Right now, I am trying to catch up on my zone 2 volume, by doing 2 or more zone 2 rides per week on the bike. As the weather gets nicer and we get closer to racing season (my first race this year is likely the Chicagoland), that will change in a big way. A lot more hills, a lot more skate miles, a lot more short-but-fast sessions, intervals, etc. I have learned so much already this year about planning and the kind of work I need to be doing that I am more excited to plan for the 2015 season as I am going to include a lot more cardio base in the off-season than I have previously.
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Old May 6th, 2014, 06:55 AM   #17
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that's along the lines of what i've been exposed to, overall, but not exactly.
I would suggest that in all phases, even the base building phase, two quality workouts a week are advisable (interval and tempo), though you suggest one only in base building phase. In that pahse, the workouts can be lighter, but it's still good to tax that part of your metabolism, albeit not as strenuously as you will later.
Also, the basic premise is that the zone 2 workouts, as you call it, should be present in all phases (seasons), but you would build the volume from a light volume in the early seasons, and slowly add quantity each week as you gain strength and ability. Then about half way through the year, you start emphesizing more of the quality (tempo and speed), while maintaining the zone 2 work. This phase builds until you are just flat-out tired, though it is good practice to build in a recovery week with less volume every so often to recouperate. Then, the volume is cut back just before the race, and you are supposed to feel strong as a horse. But keep in mind that the three basic building blocks: zone 2, intervals, tempo, are present in all phases, just in differing quantities in each, and differing proportion of the total work load in each phase.
hope this helps.
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Old May 6th, 2014, 04:57 PM   #18
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that's along the lines of what i've been exposed to, overall, but not exactly.
I would suggest that in all phases, even the base building phase, two quality workouts a week are advisable (interval and tempo), though you suggest one only in base building phase. In that pahse, the workouts can be lighter, but it's still good to tax that part of your metabolism, albeit not as strenuously as you will later.
Also, the basic premise is that the zone 2 workouts, as you call it, should be present in all phases (seasons), but you would build the volume from a light volume in the early seasons, and slowly add quantity each week as you gain strength and ability. Then about half way through the year, you start emphesizing more of the quality (tempo and speed), while maintaining the zone 2 work. This phase builds until you are just flat-out tired, though it is good practice to build in a recovery week with less volume every so often to recouperate. Then, the volume is cut back just before the race, and you are supposed to feel strong as a horse. But keep in mind that the three basic building blocks: zone 2, intervals, tempo, are present in all phases, just in differing quantities in each, and differing proportion of the total work load in each phase.
hope this helps.
OI, I agree with your explanation but would suggest weight lifting as a good part of base training. What we are really talking about is translating physiological fitness to performance. Physiological fitness is broken down into three parts: aerobic capacity, lactate threshold, and economy. Not enough is yet known from a sport science perspective about the upper limit on aerobic capacity, typically measured by VO2 Max. Training should target all three areas, and the so-called Zone 2 work out is meant to build the support system for overall aerobic capacity and lactate threshold. Training intervals/speed work helps develop lactate threshold. Economy, for speed skaters, is technique. I think we need to work all these areas. Weights help with economy, putting more power in the push with "less" exertion. I have noticed my weight lifting is resulting in lower HR numbers on longer skates. I am pretty sure the correlation fits because I feel stronger putting power to the ground and it is the only thing I have been doing consistently since the end of last season. Speed skating is unique in how much speed we can get simply from working on economy. So all that to say we need to make sure we have a strength and technique focus mixed with cardio training.
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Old May 9th, 2014, 01:14 AM   #19
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even when i skated, i put more emphesis on plyometrics, land drills, bench jumps, etc., than on weights.
If it's working for you, great.
I tend to believe less and less in cross-training nowadays. And even when i did, it was a minor part of my program.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 11:01 AM   #20
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Have you heard of this one, I/O? A radically perspective on the limits of human performance is proposed in the Central Governor Theory:

http://runnersconnect.net/running-tr...vernor-theory/
http://www.irunfar.com/2013/06/peak-...rformance.html

Postulates:

- It's the brain rather than the physiological systems that is key in regulate exercise performance.
- Fatigue is a neurological response by the brain as an act of self-preservation to prevent catastrophic failure (plenty of people have died in pain; no one has ever died from pain).
- The Govenor will calculate how best it can get you to the finish line in the best possible time in light of your physical condition, try to bypass it and it will send response in the form of pain and fatigue saying: slow down!
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