Swear your way to vic­tory!

Re­search sug­gests your per­for­mance could be lifted by un­leash­ing ex­ple­tives

220 Triathlon Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Chrissie Welling­ton might have dug race-win­ning depths with a smile spread over her face but, it seems, our Hawaii leg­end could have com­peted even faster fu­elled by a tirade of ex­ple­tives.

Sci­en­tists at Keele Uni­ver­sity had 29 sub­jects twice un­der­take a 30sec bike test, one mute, the other swear­ing. Lead psy­chol­o­gist Richard Stephens ob­served that the group’s peak power rose by an av­er­age 24 watts when their ca­dence was ac­com­pa­nied by curs­ing. Stephens also noted that an­other group of 52 peo­ple in­creased their hand-grip test max by the equiv­a­lent of 2.1kg when squeez­ing to the back­drop of ob­scen­i­ties. In both tests, the au­thor ob­served that heart rate didn’t rise when swear­ing, leav­ing Stephens to com­ment: “Quite why it is that swear­ing has these ef­fects on strength and pain tol­er­ance re­mains to be dis­cov­ered.” For the in­ter­ests of so­cia­bil­ity, we’d test this re­search on your own (bike break­away?), qui­etly and very oc­ca­sion­ally!

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