Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How to Make Your Runs Longer?

It's not what you think. Boing Boing recently posted about the science behind why we perceive time to pass quickly or slowly. William Reville, emeritus professor of biochemistry at University College Cork, writes in The Irish Times that:
“Time” is related to how much information you are taking in – information stretches time. A child’s day from 9am to 3.30pm is like a 20-hour day for an adult. Children experience many new things every day and time passes slowly, but as people get older they have fewer new experiences and time is less stretched by information. So, you can “lengthen” your life by minimising routine and making sure your life is full of new active experiences – travel to new places, take on new interests, and spend more time living in the present.
The implication here is that running on new routes or using different techniques will make the runs feel longer. Personally, I also enjoy the meditatively qualities that come with running along a route multiple times, forgetting myself and disappearing into a rhythm, but I think I understand what Reville is saying. It's why trail running is so exciting and addictive - you need to pay close attention to what you are doing or you'll fall, and that's why trail runs always seem to take so much longer than running on pavement.

It makes sense, but I'm not sure how this theory accommodates the flip side of this: if you're running in a place that offers you no new information - like a treadmill - the time can drag interminably. In my book, there's nothing worse that running on a treadmill without an interesting podcast or movie, because time just... seems... to... stop...

What's your experience?

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