Does listening to music make you run faster? New study has the answer. 

28 Jun Featured Image -- 6060


I’ve never run with music (and it’s not allowed in most races), but I’m tempted to sort out a parkrun playlist and give it a go one week.

Originally posted on Is it healthful?:

Short ‘n’ healthful article: 

You’re ambling along, until suddenly your favourite song comes on. Your beat, your jam, your rhythm! What was once a leisurely stroll becomes a shoe scuffing sprint. Are you going insane, or does listening to music make you quick? Like, super quick. Well a new scientific study has the answer for you.


In this study a small group of runners went for, you guessed it, a run. The group were assigned to run with either fast music, slow music, or God forbid, no music. Those that listened to fast music ran at a faster pace, achieved a higher peak heart rate, but didn’t feel like they were working any harder than the other groups.

Therefore, based on this study, fast music may directly improve your sport performance, or at least optimise your training sessions, indirectly improving performance. 


Our verdict: moderately healthful, if your music is fast…

View original 34 more words

Monday Morning Motivation – From 280lbs to Ironman

22 Jun
Before and after pictures of Ginger Kaburek

Before and after pictures of Ginger Kaburek © Ginger Kaburek

If you’re struggling for inspiration, check out Ginger Kaburek’s amazing story about how she lost half her bodyweight and became a certified personal trainer:

Monday Morning Motivation – growing old (dis)gracefully

15 Jun

Getting older doesn’t have to mean giving up – check out this amazing documentary about some older ladies who play volleyball:

Monday Morning Motivation – Lisa Smith-Batchen

8 Jun

Lisa Smith-Batchen

If you’re searching for some motivation on a Monday morning then look no further than Lisa Smith-Batchen, who is an inspirational female runner.

In July 2014, ultrarunner Lisa from Idaho, successfully covered the famed 135-mile route of Badwater  – known as “the world’s toughest footrace” due to its extreme heat and sheer duration – four times, back-to-back, adding on two summits of the 14,505-foot Mt. Whitney twice.

To read more about Lisa, follow these links:

Marathon training tips from Lisa Smith-Batchen:

Monday Morning Motivation – The ballerina on the golden bicycle

1 Jun

Lilly Yokoi

This video of Lilly Yokoi is bound to make you smile on a Monday morning, even if you don’t aspire to her level of skill on a bicycle!

Monday Morning Motivation – are you a wimp?

25 May


Has exercise changed your life? Has it made you tougher mentally?

Monday Morning Motivation – Touch the sky with Alex Zanardi

18 May

Alessandro “Alex” Zanardi is an Italian racing driver and paracyclist.

He won two CART championship titles in North America during the late 1990s and also had a career as a Formula One racing driver. More recently, he has attracted widespread praise for his return to competition in the aftermath of a crash in 2001 that resulted in the amputation of his legs. He returned to racing less than two years after the accident, competing in the World Touring Car Championship between 2003 and 2009.

Switching sports, Zanardi took up competition in handcycling, a form of paralympic cycling, with the stated goal of representing Italy at the 2012 Paralympics. In September 2011, Zanardi won his first senior international handcycling medal. In September 2012 he won gold medals at the London Paralympics in the individual H4 time trial and the individual H4 road race, followed by a silver medal in the mixed H1-4 team relay.

Alex Zanardi at Ironman Kona 2014

In October 2014, Zanardi finished just outside the top 10% at the Ironman Wolrd Championship in Hawaii:

Monday Morning Motivation – the benefits of swimming

11 May

Are you aware of the benefits of swimming?

Benefits of Swimming

Explore more visuals like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

May Day Triathlon

4 May

Last year, my first tri of the season was Good Fri Tri, but we missed that because we were travelling to Japan this year, so the May Day Tri was my first tri of the season.

I like to be as organised and prepared as possible, so on Saturday afternoon, Stu and I drove to Winchester, so that we were able to cycle the bike course. We knew that for the sprint race, we would need to do two laps of approximately 10km each, so we weren’t worried that a slow cycle around the course once would tire us out for the real event. I like to be prepared for any tricky turns, loose gravel on the road and unexpected ascents or descents.

After our pootle around the course, it was time to register. Again, this is something that helps to ease stress on race day as it’s possible to label up your helmet, bike and bag before arriving and also to put your race number on a belt in advance. We also listened to a race briefing and I was invited to star in a TryTri video! Afterwards, we drove home along the bike course for me to get another view of it.

When we got home, I set about packing all of my kit. I’m a bit obsessed with organisation so I have a ‘packing list for all occasions’, which has many many tabs and is very helpful when checking that I have everything I need. I really enjoyed editing the list to remove any mention of contact lenses or glasses!

In the morning we got up early and made sure that everything made it into the car (unlike Winchester Duathlon, where my bag containing my bike shoes and helmet got left behind!)

I was pleased to find that there was a system for racking up, where a group of competitors were given a section of the rack, which is much easier than trying to decide where to rack your kit… although I chose to go next to a tree in the hope it would help me remember where my bike was!

My bike and kit ready for the triathlon

Racked up ready to go

Earlier in the week I had been surprised to find that I was in quite an early wave, ahead of some of my friends who are better swimmers than me. I’m still not sure about this, but think it was meant to be mixed ability waves with similar ability lanes. However, this all relies on people giving accurate predicted times. (How are your local tris organised? Are people good at predicting their swim times?)

The swim: 09:41.3 (126/207)

I was very nervous before the swim as I really don’t enjoy pool-based triathlons, but I was confident that I would be OK. I had predicted a finish time of 9:30 and I have swum 400m in around 9 minutes before. I was the second person in my wave to start and I think I would have benefitted from getting in just a tiny bit earlier and doing more of a warm up as I did not start well. I also realised that I was in a lane with much faster swimmers and it felt like my feet were constantly getting tapped. At one point, one of the men in my lane taped my feet, so I stopped at the end, whereupon he proceeded to remove his goggles, rinse them and put them back on. I was annoyed that this all happened whilst I was waiting. Surely it would have been better etiquette for him to deal with his goggles and then tap my feet on the next length?

One slight advantage that I had on the swim was that I was in the lane closest to the door and was also able to use the steps to exit the pool. It wasn’t my fastest swim, but I did a lot of waiting for others to pass (I later found out that their times were roughly 8:45, 8:15 and 7:15, so significantly faster than me and my predicted time).

T1: 02:24.00 (138/207)

I didn’t have too far to run  before I got to my kit. I spent a bit of time faffing (and putting socks and mitts on), but had already decided that I would be fine cycling without a jacket or other layer. As most of the other swimmers had been faster than me, there weren’t too many people in the way, although there were still some people milling around and setting up their kit.

The bike 01:05:10.40 (163/207)

I was feeling quite confident about the bike ride and hoped to be able to complete it in under an hour, but was perhaps more fatigued than I’d realised. I also ended up stopping at a few sets of traffic lights and was frustrated by some cyclists (novices, I think) who were unaware of the no-drafting rule.

T2: 01:24.90 (108/207)

This is usually my best discipline, and that proved to be true again today… but I hadn’t realised quite where the dismount line was and that I had to cycle back up the hill to it. I also lost some time as Stuart had already finished and started speaking to me in transition, so I ran past my bike rack – oops! Fortunately, I had managed a flying dismount, so my shoes were on my bike and I just needed to slip some trainers on.

The run: 31:06:00 (166/207)

This was the bit that I knew was going to be difficult. I had sustained a leg injury on Wednesday evening (I demonstrated some exercises to a runner without warming up first and pulled my hamstring), so I was uncertain about whether or not I’d be able to do the run. I made the decision that I’d give it a go and if it hurt too much then I could either walk or pull out.

I ran down the hill towards where a group of friends from Lordshill were supporting and then had to turn left. unfortunately, this part of the course was on loose wood chippings that were particularly unpleasant to run on. There was then a left turn and onto a steady ascent before turning back onto the field. A cruel twist is that you had to run past the finish line on the first lap.


At this point a super-enthusiastic marshal tried to encourage me by running along with me, but I tried to explain to her that I had a leg injury and didn’t want to try to run any faster.

It was then back out past transition, where Chris from TryTri was waiting with his camera!

Tamsyn running during May Day Tri

Lap 1 of the run done and a smile for TryTri’s Chris Rees © TryTri UK

Tamsyn during May Day Tri run

Onto Lap 2 of the run – I’ve got this! ©TryTri UK

One of teh good aspects of teh run was that I saw various friends at different points in the run, so it was nice to be able to looo out for others.

Finally, I was on teh home straight. I’ve had so many rubbish finish photos that I thought I’d try to look at least a little victorious, rather than looking down at my Garmin..


May Day Tri finish

Desperately trying not to look at the floor during my finish © TryTri UK

As you can see, I almost nailed it, but I just couldn’t resist that glimpse at the end!

May day Tri finish

The Garmin-check photo that I was trying to avoid © TryTri UK

I was then handed a lovely medal (with the same design as the water bottle that I had collected the previous day)



My race number and medal

My final time was: 01:49:46.65 which left me as 153/207. I know that I can complete a sprint race much faster than that and I was initially a bit disappointed, but then I remembered that it’s only my first tri this year and that my leg wouldn’t let me run as fast as usual.

I was 35/69 female finishers and 7/12 in my Age Group – so close to being in the top half, but not quite there yet!

I spent a bit of time chatting with friends, before Chris asked whether various members of Southampton Tri Club would mind appearing in a short video. We agreed that we would, so we were ushered to a slightly quieter area for the interview to take place.

A close up of my medal, showing King Alfred.

A close up of my medal, showing King Alfred.

STC interview 2

Our video interview © TryTri UK

Members of Southampton Tri Club

Post-race interview with Southampton Tri Club © Try Tri UK

I ended up starring in two videos:

What to do on event day for a stress free triathlon:

The Winchester Triathlon – May Day Tri 2015:


Monday Morning Motivation – the underdog

4 May

Here’s the thing that makes life so interesting. The theory of evolution claims that only the strong shall survive. Maybe so…maybe so…But the theory of competition says just because they’re the strong, doesn’t mean they can’t get their asses kicked. That’s right. See what every long shot, come-from-behind underdog will tell you is this: the other guy may in fact be the favourite, the odds maybe stacked against you, fair enough, but what the odds don’t know is this isn’t a math test. This is a completely different kind of test. One where PASSION has a funny way of trumping logic. So before you step up to the starting line, before the whistle blows, and the clock starts ticking, just remember out here the results don’t always add up. No matter what the stats may say, and the experts may think, and the commentators may have predicted, when the race is on all bets are off. Don’t be surprised if someone decides to flip the script and take a pass on yelling uncle. And then suddenly as the old saying goes, WE GOT OURSELVES A GAME!



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