“THE ESSENTIAL SHEEHAN” is turning out to be a treasure trove of running concepts and running experiences. On page 113, I discovered an intriguing idea. The idea of a third wind.
Savor Dr. George Sheehan’s words on the topic:
“I refer to this productive time for thinking as the “third wind.” A “second wind” occurs about 6 to 10 minutes in to the run, which physiologist Walter Cannon described as “an almost miraculous refreshment and renewal of vigor.” Then about 35 minutes out, there is this third wind, and with comes a rush of ideas, memories, and experiences associated with whatever topic I have chosen to think about.”
If we really think about it, many of us will agree. Many of us will because many of us have experienced the “third wind.” Competitive masters runner Jason Saltmarsh in an article in the huffingtonpost.com (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jason-saltmarsh/running_b_4797956.html) waxed eloquent - - “For me, this usually happens around mile 5 or 6. I find myself slide into a hypnotic rhythm of footfalls and exhales, and my mind starts to entertain itself in other ways. I'll suddenly have an epiphany concerning a project at work, or I'll find a solution to a problem that I've been struggling with, or I might begin writing an new article in my head.”
Yours truly can relate as well. Most of the time that I am preparing for a presentation in the office, I make a point to have a 5km or 7km run as many ideas do come out in the later part of these runs. It is as if the perspiration streaming down my head were serving to lubricate the flow of ideas or plans from my head. The rhythm indeed of the footfalls serves to jumpstart the rational gymnastics that we refer to as brainstorming.
I guess the best proof for Dr. Sheehan’s observation on a “third wind” is his literary body of work. Dr. Sheehan has proven to be a prolific writer of books and columns. No doubt, his running has much to do with it.