Mind + Health Why run­ning fast is a dead cert

Let’s face it, none of us can out­pace the Grim Reaper. But that sober­ing thought can at least make us run a lit­tle faster

Runner's World (UK) - - In This Issue -

HERE’S AN OFF­BEAT STRAT­EGY for nail­ing a PB: spend some time on race morn­ing con­tem­plat­ing your death. A study from the Univer­sity of Ari­zona, US, sug­gests it could el­e­vate your per­for­mance. Athletes who were asked ques­tions about dy­ing (such as, ‘What do you think will hap­pen to you as you die and once you are dead?’) be­tween two bas­ket­ball matches im­proved their per­for­mance by 20 per cent in the sec­ond game, while those who an­swered ques­tions about their sport made no gains. The re­searchers the­o­rise that be­ing faced with mor­tal­ity trig­gers a sub­con­scious ef­fort to boost self-es­teem by ac­com­plish­ing things you care about. ‘Ev­ery­body has their own thing in which they in­vest, as their legacy and for sym­bolic im­mor­tal­ity,’ say lead re­searchers Uri Lif­shin and Colin Zest­cott. ‘This is po­ten­tially an un­tapped way to mo­ti­vate athletes and also peo­ple in other realms.’

MOR­TAL­ITY RATE Live your life in the fast line

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