Focusing on the external sights and sounds, rather than what's going on in your body, has made running easier.ile and improved performance.
To make the run seem longer easy, try to pay attention to something other than your body. It 's according to a fascinating new study on how the way we focus when we move can affect the way we feel when we move. The study was small and involved novice runners, but the results suggest that the more attentively runners listen to their bodies, the more exhausting their run can become, both physically and psychologically. Conversely, the more a runner distracts from what their body is doing when they put one foot in front of the other, the more effortless their run can feel and the better their performance.orders.
These results might come in handy for the many runners about to cross the line in a fall marathon or other race . The results could also have implications for all of us who might be wondering how to make our workouts as tolerable as possible.
Exercise n It's not always fun without limits, as most of us know from experience. It can be physically unsettling as we start to move, our heart rate and breathing quicken, and muscles start to moan. However, it has not been entirely clear how best to cope with these discomforts, so that we can stay motivated to eventually become better at the sport we have chosen. or activity.
Many trainers and other authorities,including workout partners and friends, will tell you to pay attention to what is going on inside you and focus on your body physics, including your form and technique. Listen to your breath as you move, you may have been told, or count your steps every minute, or reflect on the process of lifting your knee with each stride.
But some research with athletes suggests that paying close attention to your body and its mechanisms can be a bad way to make movement easier and make you better at your sport. In a much-cited 2003 study, for example, experienced golfers putt more deftly if they weren't thinking about how to putt than when they did, while expert football players dribbled effortlessly through cones when they did. their minds wandered, but tended to do soff the ball if they paid attention to their footwork. (However, football beginners dribbled better when they thought about what they were doing , probably because they didn't know how to dribble yet.)
These results generally correspond to a theory widely held in exercise science known as the constrained action hypothesis. This suggests that our body can move better than our conscious mind. The more we focus on our body or consciously tell it what to do, this theory suggests, the less fluid and efficient our movement becomes.
This idea was confirmed in d 'other studies with people practicing 2017 study, for example, 44 volunteers jumped further during the a standing long jump when they focused on where to land, rather than the correct techniques for jumping, Likewise, in a 2011 study on strength training , 27 men and women activated their arm muscles more fully during bicep curls - meaning their workouts were more effective - when they weren't thinking about how to lift the weight than when they did. And in a 2015 Competitive rowing survey , the 15 athletes rowed more efficientlywhen they let their minds witness almost anything other than the feel of their legs as they row.
Whether this is a simil However, the dynamic that might play out in endurance sports, such as running, is mostly unknown. So, for the new study, published this month in the Journal of Motor Learning and Development, researchers from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran, Iran, decided to see whether runners would perform better if they were distracted, compared to if they were listening to what was going on with their bodies.
They started by recruiting a dozen young women. (The research took place in Iran, where studies with volunteers of both sexes are discouraged, so no male runners participated.) The women were healthy, active, and familiar.with running, although none ran regularly. The researchers invited the women to their lab to check each other's physical condition and maximum treadmill running speed. Then on subsequent lab visits , the women ran for six minutes at a time, running at about 70 percent of their maximum speed, while the scientists monitored their oxygen uptake, the amount of lactate in their bloodstream, and their feelings about the difficulty. every race. During one of these sessions, the women concentrated intensely on the muscles of their feet, in order to turn their attention inward. In another, they were counting the steps, so that their concentration, while staying on their body, was wider and more external. In a third round, they counted down to threes, turning away from their bodies but no leur head. And finally, in a fourth session, they watched a video of a basketball game, a brutal distraction that completely diverted their attention from the race.
When scientists then compared the physical and emotional reactions of women to each run, they discovered that watching a video easily exceeded bodily listening. Women consumed the least oxygen and produced the least lactate when they watched basketball and were the most distracted. Their course, physiologically, was then the least trying. They also told the researchers that when they watched the videos they felt the least tense. In contrast, their running was most difficult when paying attention to their muscles, with the other strategies falling in between.
In essence, the worst strategy for runners "were thinking of their mmovements, "said Jared Porter, professor of human movement at the University of Tennessee, who oversaw the new study. A much better option was to think of something - anything - else.
As is typical of exercise science, this study was small, and the constrained action hypothesis remains only a theory. But as the current results suggest, distractions are likely to make our run more enjoyable and probably faster, Dr. Porter said. So, don't headphones and stream music or podcasts (while monitoring human traffic) and automobile around for your safety, of course.) Listen to birdsong or drink in the scenery while you run outside, or watch TV while you run on a treadmill.
"We were surprised by the importance of the" lors that people's minds drift away from their bodies, he said.
There are many factors that undoubtedly influence the how effectively we perform in a sport and how much we can benefit from our training. This study looked at brief periods of running by inexperienced young female runners. It cannot tell us if the results also apply to men, the elderly, long-time runners, or people who participate in other endurance sports, such as cycling and swimming. "But there 's no scientific reason to think they don ' t do it, " said Dr. Porter.