The limits of human performance, an interview with Alex Hutchinson

In the first episode of the Human Performance Podcast I’m joined by Alex Hutchinson. He writes Outside magazine’s Sweat Science column and is the author of a new book titled Endure: Mind, Body and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance. 

In the show we discuss:

  • Alex’s journey from an athlete, to a physicist, to becoming a journalist.
  • The origins and some of the journeys which contributed to the book, as well as his time with Tim Noakes.
  • Are we wired to never reach our physical limits?
  • The Central Governor Theory
  • How the perception of your limits may be trainable with brain endurance training.
  • How athletes can tolerate more pain than sedentary people.
  • Testing endurance-enhancing, brain-zapping headphones.
  • How subliminal images can improve performance.
  • Training solo vs in a group.

It was great to finally get my podcast underway, a project I’ve had a pin in for months now. If you can manage my dulcet tones and softened accent, Alex really provides some useful take-aways. Personally, I’ve applied some of these messages to my own training, when that interval is really hurting or the hill feels too steep, I question whether it’s my body or mind that’s limiting my performance. Alex’s messages certainly make you push further than you did before.

The episode will be available for download on iTunes shortly, once Apple gets its login page bugs fixed! Typically, the week I launch a podcast there’s a bug meaning you can’t publish podcasts with iTunes!

If you have Soundcloud, the episode is also available there:

Also, if you enjoy the podcast, please leave a review. Any questions or feedback are highly appreciated, send them over to

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