Listening to music can help you train to run. Fact.
Music is so emotive and stirs the soul like nothing else. Use the power of music.
Not just as background noise to fill the silence, but as a training tool.
The greatness of music is that there are songs to suit every taste and best of all,
it comes in a huge variety of speeds just like our running abilities!
So you can just download the latest running ‘mix’ from Ministry of Sound,
or with a bit of extra thought to your playlist you can boost your running potential.
If your idea of running is a non-stop conversation with your running buddy where neither of you have to
pause to draw an extra breath,
this advice may not be useful for you. I completely understand the desire to run with a friend, an instructor,
or in a group, and how beneficial this can be for some runners in terms of support or security.
However, if you are more of an anti-social runner who likes to set their own pace (like me),
your playlist can be your best friend
and your motivation on your run. I also appreciate the need to be aware of your surroundings
while out running on your own, and that being immersed in your own world of music may reduce
your awareness of cyclists or loose dogs (!), so I just pop one earphone in instead of both.
Now let’s go through your list of songs. First, get rid of anything that has a slower beat than
your feet will be moving at, as these songs will only slow you down.
Move anything that has a beat faster than you think you could ever run at to the very end of your list,
we will use that for your sprint finish.
I can highly recommend searching ‘Power Music Workout’ on ITunes and taking a look
at the fairly new popular songs they have remixed into running speeds, everything from Adele to Coldplay.
Personally, I love ‘Heartbeat Song’, ‘Fight Song’ and ‘E.T.’, but that is because they suit my running style when
I need to ramp up my pace a little.
I like to start a long run with a fairly steady but upbeat tune like ‘Freak the Freak Out’ by
Wildside so that I do not make the mistake of setting off too fast,
but it is a fun song that gets my feet moving.
You may hate the sound of my running favourites, but that’s ok. Choose
the music that moves YOU! Find and use the songs that rock you,
inspire you, and mean something to you. The more personal you make your list, the better it will prove to be.
And that takes me nicely onto my next point…… Make it really personal.
That break-up song? USE IT FOR GOOD.
Tap into any associated emotions and turn them into a positive force to help you run faster or for longer.
That summer holiday anthem? USE IT. Imagine you are chasing that hot guy from the beach.
The song from that creepy horror film? USE IT. We all naturally run faster when we are scared!
Get caught up in the moment and your stride and breathing will become second nature.
When people say longer-distance running is more ‘mind over matter’,
this is the kind of technique they are talking about.
Now GO, harness the power of your music. The right playlist will pull you along quicker than a pack of huskies.
And REMEMBER, if all else fails, my mantra is ‘RUN like the HUNGER GAMES just started’!