Thanks for joining! My name is Abi Heywood and this is a little insight to where I’ve been and where I intend to go. I graduated from Leeds Beckett University in 2018 with a BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercises Science, and I am not going to lie, I thought physiology was for me. But here I am a Sport Psychology Masters Student.
During my time at university I gained an interest in ultra-endurance athletes and I was lucky enough to support some amazing athletes. Whilst cheering on a friend in the Ring Of Fire, a 3-day event consisting of 135 miles ran over Anglesey, I saw a broken woman unlikely to finish about 10 miles from the finish line. I saw the same broken women 5 miles from the finish in terrible shape and needing assistance to walk. The final time I saw the broken women I was running along side her just 400 meters from the finish and slowly she pulled away from me and began to sprint.
The broken women who we all believed would be pulled out of the race by the medical team was sprinting. She saw the finish flags and it was as if all the pain she felt melted away. From a physiological perspective her muscular fatigue and feedback mechanisms should have prevented further energy expenditure, but she was sprinting. So I began to question how and why athletes at the limits of fatigue carry on and improve their performance e when the finish is in sight.
And so started my exploration of endspurt in endurance events. I have tailored my undergraduate studies and dissertation to begin imvestigating the endspurt phenomena and I’m in the process of compelting my post graduate dissertation building on my previous findings. I hope to continue my research through a PhD and have the opportunity to teach alongside my research. I suppose this is where the journey really begins.