Performance

What a glorious day it was on Saturday!  A good-sized group gathered to walk, most to do 15 kilometres (once around the park, out to the lakeshore, east to Coronation Park and back to the Grenadier for breakfast.)  I enjoyed the walk but found myself a little light-headed when we finished, reminding me that these longer distances need a little more fuel. 
I’m still stuck on a speed of a little under 10 minutes per kilometre.  This will need to be a full minute lower by the time I walk the Montreal half in September.  Thinking about this reminded me of a book I’d read recently.  In Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, I learned that research has demonstrated that most people improve performance the greatest amount when competing against someone at about their own level.  The improvement is most pronounced when “winning? switches randomly between the competitors.  I’ll need to find another slower-paced buddy to challenge to a “race? from time to time.

The other research the authors noted that I thought would be of interest to our group is that men and women use quite different criteria to decide when to compete.  A woman is more likely to compete when she calculates good odds of winning (however she defines that.)  A man is more likely to be influenced by the size of the prize and will compete for an attractive prize even if the odds are long.  I’d  say that our group recognizes that our odds of staying fit and healthy are excellent as we encourage one another along.

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