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Why Setting Visual Goals Will Improve Your Running

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We all have those days where our legs feel like a ton of bricks or the motivation just isn’t there. Running can really be a tough task – especially when it’s raining outside!

Well, what if there was one simple way to make it a lot easier? The answer: visual goals.

Over at Huffington Post, there is an article which argues setting visual targets can make workouts seem shorter and less painstaking on the body. It leans heavily on a study conducted that involved participants wearing ankle weights:

Researchers had 73 participants walk 20 feet while wearing heavy ankle weights to make the task more arduous. They told half of the group to focus solely on a traffic cone at the finish line and the other half to glance at the cone but also check out their surroundings while they walked. The cone-focused participants perceived the marker to be 28 percent closer than the other group did. Plus, they reached the finish line 23 percent faster and didn’t think the walk was as physically demanding as the unfocused group.

Although this test was carried out on people walking, professors believe it can be transferred to running, cycling or any type of exercise where you can focus ahead. To be honest, I have done similar things myself whilst running and it does seem to help by setting sub-goals along the way. Picking out a unique building or a tree I have found, does make jogging that little bit easier and I would definitely recommend it to people who struggle with running.  It also has some good benefits to people who are training up to something more difficult like a marathon or Ironman triathlon. So head over to the article, get your running shoes on and start setting some visual goals!

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About Matt Lawson Matt Lawson is a UK based sports journalist who covers all the latest football (soccer) news and matches for the Press Association. A keen Newcastle United fan, Matt is usually found either watching or playing the beautiful game.

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