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Runner Therapy: To Chat or Not to Chat

Posted Nov 19 2010 3:25pm

There is no question that talking during a run will burn more calories and expend more energy. But this brings up many other points.  Its kind of like going to a hairdresser or massage therapist. Do you want them to talk, or do you want them to leave you alone so you can enjoy the experience with peace and quiet…maybe as a way to store energy for use later?

First, what’s the objective of your run? Speed and efficiency or fun? You can’t beat being social AND working out at the same time, in my opinion. Plus, what other time can you deal with the unabridged story of your girlfriends’ terrible blind date last night?

However, on the other hand being able to carry on a conversation while running doesn’t mean you are superbly fit. Almost the opposite. It proves you simply aren’t pushing hard enough to make real gains. How do I know? Chatting without loss of breath means you heart rate is stable and only mild to moderately elevated. Meaning, you still have plenty left in the tank.

So the choice is yours. If you are looking to enjoy yourself and get a workout in, keep up the chatter, but if you are looking to set a PR or push your body further to see more gains, keep your trap shut!

So decide what you want out of your run, then decide who to take with you. Your ipod, your thoughts, or your BFF!

Do you run with a buddy and chat a lot? Do you have time scheduled for “social” runs and “training” runs?

- Marisa

(Marisa, a MS PT SCS ATC, is a member of  iRunnerBlog’s team and writes Runner Therapy, she is a physical therapist in private practice in midtown NYC.  She one of a dozen or so therapists  in the state of NY to be board certified in sports.)

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