Running Slower and Learning Faster
Today's 90 minutes easy session on flat road was a perfect opportunity for me to catch up on some podcasts.
The episode I had chosen was a whopping 3 hours long. So, I thought, why not listen to it at 2x speed?
On one hand, the idea of increasing the playback speed to consume more information in less time sounds great. But, it is easier said than done, as I found out today.
It all started well but as the episode progressed, and I got a bit more tired, I found it harder to fully absorb and retain the information being presented. Certain words and concepts became harder to understand and I had to focus even more intently to keep up with the information.
Visualising what was explained, ignoring the external distractions that come with running, like my breath, the terrain, my route, and the occasional random thoughts that pop into my head, was also pretty challenging.
Today's choice was certainly too ambitious, as I listened to Lex Fridman's conversation with Dennis Whyte on Nuclear Fusion and the Future of Energy - an easy topic for an early Friday morning run!
I managed to achieve a 1.5x speed with reasonable comprehension, but there were a few moments when I dropped out completely. And let me tell you, my brain felt tired after that run!
So, my takeaway is probably an obvious one. While I may be capable of processing information faster than the speed I'm currently working at, a lot comes down to the complexity and familiarity with the subject I'm trying to learn, as well as external distractions. Next time, I'll go easier on myself and maybe listen to an episode on... quantum physics!
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