Aug 19, 2011

Sweat Science on Running Every Day

Every now and then somebody much smarter than me articulates an opinion in a way that my inferior intellect is incapable of doing. That is what just happened when reading the Sweat Science blog, written by Alex Hutchinson. The article was called "Decision Fatigue and Workout Planning", and he explains the reasoning behind exercising seven days per week in the context of decision fatigue.
 In terms of my current fitness goals, six days would be plenty and possibly even preferable to seven — but as soon as you introduce that element of choice, every morning suddenly gets much more complicated. Should I take my day off this morning? How tired am I? Is it going to rain? How do I expect to feel later in the week?
The scenarios he describes are in-line with my personal experience of 5 day/week workout schedules, which I've never been able to maintain for more than a month or so. However, when I decide I'm going to run 7 days per week, I become incredibly more consistent - I've been running 7 days per week for all of 2011 so far. This type of schedule obviously applies only to a small subset of runners, but Hutchinson and I are apparently both part of it. He concludes thusly:
Being flexible and fitting in exercise when it’s convenient may sound good in theory. But for me, at least, my will power isn’t strong enough to do that on a regular basis. 
You can read the article here: http://sweatscience.com/decision-fatigue-and-workout-planning/ He also has a book. I read it a couple of months back and recommend to all readers: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/006200753X.