Return Trip Effect

If you’ve ever gone somewhere and felt like the return trip seemed shorter than the initial trip – even though the distance traveled and the actual time spent traveling were identical – you’re not crazy. It’s an actual phenomenon called the Return Trip Effect.

Research conducted by Niels van de Ven in 2011 confirmed the existence of this effect after testing participants in three separate studies – a bus trip, a bicycle trip, and a video of someone else traveling. Results across all three revealed that participants were three times as likely to indicate that a return trip felt shorter. Not only that – but the effect still existed when another, equidistant route was taken on the return trip.

As it turns out, it’s not actually familiarity with a route that explains this. Rather, we can attribute the phenomenon to a violation of expectations. Specifically, with respect to perception of time.

Before we go any deeper down the rabbit hole exploring these findings, implications, or discussions for future research, I’d like for you to consider how the Return Trip Effect might apply to your training..

Ever cherry-pick a workout because it seemed too daunting? Whether you’d done the workout before or not, remember that there’s really no way to accurately reality check your expectations other than through experience. 

Who’s to say the second half/“return trip” of your next workout won’t feel shorter? Only one way to find out… show up and do it.

7/7/20 WOD



Lateral Barbell Lunge


Complete 3 rounds for quality of: 

40 Yard Suitcase Carry (ea)

40 Banded Rows


“Quiz #3”

 Complete the following for time:

1 6th Street Hill Run


3 rounds: 

30 Double Unders 

20 Squats  

5 Burpees 


1 Block Run


Complete 3 rounds for quality of:

8-12 Strict Pull Ups

8-12 Tempo Heel Elevated Goblet Squats (40X4)

:60 Plank


Then, complete the following for time:

10, 9, 8.. 1

Thrusters (135/95)

Burpees Over-the-Bar



Odd: 2 Broad Jumps

Even: 10-15 Hollow Rocks


Then, complete 3 rounds for quality of:

3-5 Halting Deadlifts

6 1-Arm KB Front Rack Step Ups – Left

6 1-Arm KB Front Rack Step Ups – Right


Then, every 3 minutes for 6 rounds complete the following for time:

30 Lateral Plyo Skier Hops

20 KB Swings (53/35)

10 KB Goblet Squats