Tuesday, January 5, 2010

An Interesting Distraction

With the bitterly cold weather over the weekend (wind chill of +1 when I awoke), I decided to run on the treadmill on Sunday. Snow, ice, and cold have forced me to run on the "dreadmill" more than usual the past month, but I think I may have found a way to cut the boredom.

I downloaded a running podcast for my iPod on Saturday night, "4 Feet Running", which is a husband-and-wife team talking for an hour about a race they just completed and all of the festivities surrounding it. If you're not a runner, this probably isn't interesting to you (and maybe even IF you're a runner). But I turned it on as I started my "run" on Sunday morning, and was enthralled by the witty banter and stories. Before I knew it, I had run for 62 minutes (6 miles), and felt like I could go some more.

So I tried another experiment today on my outdoor lunchtime run. I downloaded another podcast, "Running In the Center of the Universe", which is shorter (approximately 35 minutes) and would work better for my lunchtime run. Surprise for me, it made the run go faster! And easier! I ran a 9:17 pace for a scheduled "easy run", about a minute faster per mile then when I slogged along with music.

I'm amazed, and I'm at a loss to describe as to why podcasts work better than music for me. My only inkling is that with music, I know what's coming up next (at least in the song, and indirectly, in the playlist). With a podcast, it's all new to me, so I'm waiting to hear what comes next, and forgetting about the lonely road.

I don't know if that's really why, but I'm going to keep on using the podcast as a way to make the minutes go by faster.

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