"Multitasking". It means 'half-a**ing two things at once." In order to multitask in a way that makes you look more like a badass than a jackass, you need to combine two tasks that wouldn't get your full attention anyway. (This is why i lose my patience with anyone who tries to multitask 'listening to (me)" with just about anything else).
Waiting doesn't count; reading the headlines on CNN.com while waiting in line at Starbucks isn't multitasking. Trying to respond to email while I talk to you is multitasking the way our culture promotes it. It is also rude and wildly inefficient- no one does it well. Csikszentmihalyi's research explains why.
Our nervous system can process only about 110 bits per second. Hearing and understanding speech requires 60 bits per second, which is why you can't listen to 2 people at the same time. So tomorrow as you go through your day, think before you multitask. Ask yourself if you are being a badass in doing 2 mindless tasks at once, or a jackass poorly executing 2 tasks that require active thought.
This leads to a more esoteric question about what do you need to accomplish while you run. Does every run need to be a mindless task you combine with something else you don't really want to focus on? Are you being efficient and killing 2 birds with 1 stone or doing 2 things poorly?
Coach MK Fleming is the founder of Fitness Protection, LLC where she coaches all kinds of runners for $30 per month and gives marathon plans away for free. Click here to download her Marathon Selection Guide!