This month, I came across an article tangentially related to a blog post I wrote just a day after my post appeared. I also read about napping and running with friends. Who doesn’t like either of those things?
Earlier this month, I posted about tracking devices. I was writing about both the fitness tracking and workout tracking aspects but I found it pretty interesting that, the very next day, this was posted at Digital Trends.
As I read the article, I realized how much the author was discussing basically what I was saying we need to guard against. Don’t get too caught up with what’s being tracked. Use it for after the fact analysis when appropriate but don’t get too carried away with thinking about it while you’re running.
Fitness trackers do offer benefits and can shed some light on things but, as I mentioned, they largely tell you what you already know if you’re listen to your body. Worse, if you get too lost in the numbers, you might lose the enjoyment of the activity. Make use of the tool but remember, it’s just a tool.
Is napping good or bad? Maybe a bit of both? It turns out that napping appears to be beneficial for chronically sleep deprived individuals. It doesn’t appear to be beneficial for those who get over 7 hours of sleep per night. Interesting results. Worth some follow up.
Just as interesting, though, is Hutchinson’s discussion of the research. Understanding how to read research is important and he delves into that some as he explains this study. Worth the read, both for the discussion of napping and the discussion of reading research.
Running with friends
It’s well established right now that we run faster when we’re running with people. This is one of the reasons we can run faster in races than in workouts that we run by ourselves. But why?
Well, the answer is we really don’t know.
What we do know is that some of the answer may be drafting. In the study above, cyclists received a pretty significant drafting benefit even while riding at an incline that theoretically should not have allowed for a drafting benefit.
There was some additional benefit, though. It would appear to have been psychological but, based on answers given after the time trials were over, not in the expected manner. So the psychological side seems to still be at least a bit of a mystery.
What we do know, though, is that running with people indeed does seem to help.