How to make training more enjoyable, plus other recent research highlights
Are Anxious Athletes More Likely to Get Injured?
The science: Elite athletes who worry about being sick might actually be more likely to get hurt, finds a study conducted at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics.
Expert EQX insight: “There is definitely a link between anxiety and injury risk. First, anxiety in general can impact the efficiency of your movement, making you less fluid. What were once effortless activities turn into movements the athlete needs to think or worry about. This can result in shortened range of motion, delayed reaction, or altered movement—all of which can increase risk of injury. A specific finding of this study was anxiety about illness and the link to injury. In this scenario, the athlete is likely concerned because they are noticing progressing symptoms of illness the closer they get to competition. When you are sick, your tissues are less pliable and resilient and more susceptible to injury. That coupled with the general response to anxiety independent of illness can be a recipe for injury.”
Should You Snapchat Your Run?
The story:On March 19, the route of the Los Angeles Marathon will be filled with Snapchat geofilters for spectators and competitors alike to use. The more than 24,000 runners and 500,000+ fans have a chance to make history, too, as a part of the ‘Longest On-Demand Geofilter Initiative,’ which would be about 27 miles long. Expert EQX insight:“I am generally against using your phone during a marathon for anything other than music, but using these filters can help to increase the social aspect of the run and create an opportunity to have fun with other racers and spectators. As long as you are being safe, conscious of your surroundings, and not getting in the way of other runners, you should be good to go. That said, I would encourage runners to not let social media take over. It’s like going to a concert and doing nothing but taking video or pictures—you’re not actually experiencing the performance. The marathon is the same but you had to train for months to get into this ‘concert.’”
How Important Is It to Enjoy Your Workout?
The science:Research shows that how much we enjoy exercise impacts how likely we are to do it and how much we’ll benefit from it. Expert EQX insight:“Choosing exercises or training styles that you enjoy makes training intrinsically pleasurable and motivating. As a result, you will be more consistent and have a higher level of engagement and desire to put in the work. Another benefit: It helps to reduce the mental stress of training, which can tax the body as much as physical stress. You are no longer dreading the workout. It is play and when we play, our physiology is still getting taxed—think about a kid running around—while our psychology is able to relax, roam free, and explore.”