Effect of the Crowd - Is it Over-Rated ?

4 watchers
Jul 2013
7:01pm, 7 Jul 2013
674 posts
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Yes, its a mind thing though the mechanism probably includes increased adrenaline in addition to direct modification of the neural messages from brain to muscle.

I think there are other things that can produce similar mental effects. Feeling in control during a race – either leading comfortably, or even better, being comfortably placed at the leader’s shoulde, has an amazing effect – but it is not easy to create this situation.

Less effective but more readily achieved is controlling respiration. Increasing respiratory rate can promote a surge of pace. I find that over-breathing allows me to extract the best out of sprint finish – though the look is not always good. http://www.fetcheveryone.com/gallery-showphoto.php?filename=13360_1.jpg

But in a big city marathon, it is important not to let the mind get too carried away too soon. The Wellesley scream tunnel at around mile 13 of the Boston marathon has probably caused more harm than benefit to the hopes of impressionable male runners over the years.
May 2020
10:23pm, 27 May 2020
9,982 posts
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What is a crowd, but an audience in front of which to perform?
May 2020
10:25pm, 27 May 2020
26,907 posts
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Wriggling Snake
I could not stand having my name on my vest. People shouting it out. Feck crowds.
May 2020
10:31pm, 27 May 2020
9,985 posts
  • 0
Do they shout "Wriggles" or "Snakey?"
May 2020
2:56am, 31 May 2020
7,382 posts
  • 0
Too Much Water
I would say when I was a semi-ok standard runner about 13 years ago and doing track meets for my school it meant nothing as i didn’t need motivation and was in the zone.

As I became an unfit and frankly terrible runner it was embarrassing on my own part as I remembered I used to be a better standard.

That said I once had amazing support from some young athletes at a 6 hour track race, every time I started a new lap they were shouting out “come on My Name” and it was very motivating. And the in-car support I had doing RNR at 2am from KatieB and a few others was amazing too!

So my answer is basically it didn’t mean anything, until it did!

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Maintained by K5 Gus
This was touched on briefly in the sub 3:15 thread, but deserves the views of all of Fetchland, espe...

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