Tag Archives: music

Tunes to Assault Your Eardrums

6 May

I’m a committed music-lover. I do run without it on occasion if I’m running with others or if it’s an exceptionally beautiful day, or if I forget my headphones (which happens more often than I should really admit to). But generally speaking, if my running shoes are packed in my gym bag, so are my headphones. Music gives me that extra motivational “boost” when I feel myself slipping.

I have been judged, sometimes harshly, for my avowed commitment to listening to music whilst running. So for all those who are running purists, and refuse to let music tarnish your run, stop reading now. And for all those, who like me, need a little extra motivation in the form of some awesome tunes let me suggest the following 10 totally rad songs (currently on constant repeat on my iPhone):

1) Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore. I cannot get enough of this song. I’ve listened to it four times already while writing this post. I went out on a run last week that lasted 40 minutes. I only listened to this song. I probably need a 12-step program to get over my addiction.

2) Levels – Avicii. If you download this song, keep in mind there are about 40 different remixes, which means everyone can find a version they like. Unless you’re not into House/Dance/Electronica music. Then you should move along.

3) Raise Your Glass – Pink. Just an overall awesome song. Plus I adore this interpretation from a Runner’s World article of a line in the song…

Lyric: “Oh [bleep] my glass is empty/ That sucks.”
My Running Interpretation: In hydration emergencies, I’d add at least two more [bleeping] [bleep]s.” (source)

Hydration emergencies are serious business. Whether it’s on a run. Or during a Friday Night, Wine Night.

4) Troublemaker – Olly Murs (feat. Flo Rida). Typical fun, punchy pop song. My mom also used to tell people that my middle name was troublemaker as a kid. She was only serious on one occasion, which involved a four-year old me, a spoon, and a wedding cake.

5) Stubborn Love – The Lumineers. I don’t care if they’re overrated, or everyone wants to hate on the Lumineers. I loved Ho Hey and I love this song too.

6) Higher Ground – Red Hot Chili Peppers. Nothing like a little bit of RHCP screaming in your ears to get your legs moving. Plus, I watched the most recent episode of Glee the other night where they spent the entire episode singing only Stevie Wonder songs. They performed Stevie’s version of “Higher Ground”, and I was all “Oh hey, I don’t really like this version of Higher Ground, even though Stevie Wonder is awesome. Also I don’t really like Glee because this show had a stupid premise to begin with, and it’s gotten even worse lately. No kid has time to learn 84 different song and dance routines every week while going to school. You LIE Fox. I should really download the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s version of this song, because that version is awesome.”

7) Gold On The Ceiling – The Black Keys. The Black Keys rock. That is all.

8) Don’t You Worry Child – Swedish House Mafia. A great song to run fast too. Although, it can get a little repetitive if you listen to it one too many times.

9) Danza Kudro – Don Omar. I believe this was featured in The Fast and The Furious 457, although I can’t be sure because I gave up on that series back in 2001 and when everyone should have given up on it. That movie didn’t need, or rather, didn’t deserve any sequels. But sadly, I just saw yet another trailer for a Fast and Furious when we were at the movies the other week. Anyway, rant over. Fun song to run too, although, I end up feeling like I want to dance and instead just do these awkward punches in the air. Awkward punches lead to awkward looks. But, it’s cool yo, I live life by my rules and will run/dance if I want to.

10) The Fighter – Gym Class Heroes. Pumps you up and makes you feel like a super athlete getting ready to go out and win Olympic gold or the Stanley Cup, or the Lombardi Trophy, or whatever the NBA thing is, or the Master’s (in golf it’s the Master’s right??). Insert your sporting award of choice here.

Do you listen to music while running? Or do you prefer to run sans headphones? Any song suggestions?

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And That’s When I Punched the Treadmill…

25 Jul

No, totally kidding. I didn’t actually punch the treadmill. That would have hurt. I did seriously think about punching the treadmill, though. I take no particular joy in running on the treadmill. There’s absolutely nothing to look at except the ridiculous faces you make in the mirror. Strange, sweaty people run on the treadmills next you. And you just keep thinking how pointless it is that you are running so much and getting absolutely nowhere.

However, DC was so hot this weekend I had no choice but to move my run inside. It was that or die or heatstroke on the W&OD trail, the idea of which was not particularly appealing to me. I knew I needed to get my 10-mile training run done one way or the other, and so Sunday I locked into the treadmill for 2 very long, very dull hours.

Welcome to treadmill hell!

I got the miles done, it was neither easy nor enjoyable, but some runs are just like that. I had plenty of time to think while running about ways to distract yourself from slipping into a treadmill-induced stupor. Without further ado here are some tricks I use to help time go by faster while I shuffle along on the treadmill.

How to Survive the Dreadmill

1) Bring something to cover up the screen. If I don’t have something to cover the screen with all I do is stare as the numbers tick slowly, slowly upward. Time switches to slow-motion and it takes forever to complete the run. I usually use a magazine, but you can also use a larger book or a towel.

2) Arrive prepared. Sunday I brought the following down to the gym with me: magazine, iPhone, iPod shuffle, Clif Shot Bloks, water bottle, Gatorade, and a towel. My gym has a TV (though I never watch it) so I thought if worst came to absolute worst I could pass the time by watching CNN. Make sure you bring everything you will need for the run when you head out, including fuel. Otherwise you’ll have to hop off and hop back on and that can very much throw off your rhythm.

3) Take walk breaks. I usually take walk breaks on my long runs, but I found I needed even more to mentally get through this treadmill run. Changing the speed helps keep the run interesting (for the first few miles) and helps mentally break the run into pieces.

4) For long runs, occasionally reset the treadmill. I take a picture of the screen before I reset so I can add up my total numbers at the end, but for some reason re-setting the screen again helps me to mentally break the run up.

5) For long runs, take stretch breaks. I hopped off the treadmill twice and did a little downward dog to help loosen up my tight calf muscles. I also reset the treadmill when I took the stretch breaks.

6) Do whatever you have to do to distract yourself. I brought my iPhone with me so I could check Facebook and Twitter (and tweet, thanks to all for the supportive tweets!), and listen to an audiobook and my shuffle for music. I know many people also watch TV episodes on their smart-phone or read books on an e-reader. Just find what works for you an do it. I switched between music and the audiobook several times throughout the run.

7) Make it a buddy run. They don’t need to run all of your miles with you, but having someone to talk to for a few miles can be a great distraction.

8) Don’t forget fuel! Even though you might be running in air-conditioned bliss as opposed to the outdoor sauna it’s still important to ensure you hydrate and fuel properly. Otherwise, it will make an already difficult run, even tougher.

Hope some of these help break up the inevitable treadmill boredom. Treadmill runs can be brutal, but with the temperature stuck at 100 degrees, and the heat index even higher, it’s not much of an option at the moment.

Questions

What is the farthest distance you have ever run on the treadmill?

How do you distract yourself while on the wretched machine?