Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Run in the Dark

Have you every wondered why you seem to be running faster when you run at nighttime? Well, someone studied that. Scott Douglass over at Runner's World explains why running at night feels faster. I have enjoyed some of those perceived sensations of speed at many times when I used to regularly run at night. My favorite nighttime run was when I was in college and I had just watched Breaking Away for the first time at a theater. I went back to my dorm energized and ran to the track where I busted out a fast mile at close to midnight. That run, however, may have had more to do with being pumped up by the bike racing I had just seen (which for many of us runners during the running boom was the first introduction to another sport that began to grip our imaginations). According to the article:

“An interesting implication of these findings is that different environments may create different perceptions of effort for the same running speed,” Parry told Runner’s World Newswire. “When running at night, in the dark, objects further away aren’t visible and you only have close-by objects to use as reference, and so you get a greater sense of speed compared to running during the day.” Most people who have done track workouts in the dark will agree that it seems to take more effort to hit a given time than when doing the same workout under a sunny sky.
Which seems like a good time to recommend that you listen to a song my son Andrew just recorded in his free time while he is at college. The song is aptly called "Run in the Dark" and tells of his own inspiration on a late night run. You can listen to it here.

Breaking Away is still one of my favorite movies and was definitely one of the inspirations that got me involved with triathlons just a couple of years later. Here is the trailer for the movie.

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