A fridge full of energy-boosting vitamin drinks. Evenings spent compiling the ultimate motivational playlist. Run times tracked, recorded and analysed with military precision. Yep, it’s safe to say that you put a *lot* of time into making sure that you get the most out of your run. Now a new study has revealed another way of maximising the time you spend pounding the pavement – and it’s as simple as having an end in sight.
In the study, published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, researchers got 22 runners – 11 male, 11 female – to complete two self-paced runs, identical in distance but with one key difference: one run had a set endpoint that the subjects were aware of, whilst the endpoint was unknown in the other.
The result? Despite participants deeming both runs to be equally difficult, they were more focused and, crucially, ran faster when the endpoint was set. The theory goes that when you don’t know how far you’ve got to go – it could be another kilometer, it could be 10 – you’re more likely to slow down in a bid to conserve energy.
So, next time you down an energy shot, fire up your iPod and pull on your trainers, make sure you also map out your route and endpoint in advance instead of just running aimlessly – and see what a difference it makes to your run.