How To Listen To Music While Running Without A Phone Music Therapist – Heal Thyself

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Music Therapist – Heal Thyself

I started running about a year and a half ago and finished my first half marathon in August last year. When I first started running, I used a treadmill in our basement. I decided to watch a TV series that I usually do not have time to watch while I was miles away. In January, I thought running with other people would motivate me, so I went in. Includes Itasca Runners. They are a great team that meet every Saturday morning to run five miles or more. The first time I went I almost finished all three on the treadmill but I thought I had nothing to lose so I went.

Needless to say, it took a while to build up to five miles with the team and even more to thirteen for the half marathon. The first several times I ran outside, I picked up my iPod and placed a file that I named “Driving Hits”. This is a collection of my favorite songs and really know most of the words I always use to keep me focused while driving for a long time (hence the title). As a music therapist, this sounds like a great idea. However, there is some research that shows that the use of music can increase endurance, strength and motivation during exercise. Why not practice what I preach?

Well, the marching band in me started to take over and I noticed that I changed my pace to match the rhythm of each song. I would almost certainly move for 80 power ballads and fly for alternative song drives. While there is something to be said for interval training, I do not think this is what they have in mind. No! I finally broke down and bought a smaller iPod for processing (and recently switched to Sony Walkman) and put only those songs that matched the speed I wanted to keep and had words that kept me going. Although I want to. Take a shortcut back to Starbucks.

Even with all my education and experience as a music therapist, I asked how much music helped my run. To test this, I started working with other teams. They ran at my normal speed and were very chaotic on the trail. Wow! How different! I find that I find it harder to breathe, I don’t have the energy to push the next mile, and I usually feel depressed when I finish. While I enjoy their company, I find that running does not bring as much satisfaction as I found when running with music. There really is something to say about a favorite or inspiring song that comes out at the right time in the long run!

This is my experienced music therapist, but a guide for novice runners for running music:

Choose a song that makes you want to touch your toes or get up and dance. It shows that it is encouraging to you.

• Listen to words. I realized during the ten-mile run that my favorite song had horrible lyrics for trying to endure. With a two-hour run. Nothing says hang there and cross the finish line like a song about abandonment or depression!

• I like at least a few songs that I know all the words. I know it sounds crazy, but generally I do not know the words to my favorite song. Knowing how to “sing” while I was running can really help me focus and even help my breathing. Being a musician can help my musical brain not to shut down the thought of phrases for breathing.

Pay attention to the speed of your song. If you are like me, the rhythm of the song can completely change the pace at which you run. If you can not separate your movements with what you hear, find a song that matches your current speed. Through practice, I was able to separate the listening and motor parts of my brain, but I would still find that music Great at speed will keep my pace moving and increase my speed.

Remember, these are just some of my “live and learn” suggestions and ideas that I discovered through trial and error on the road and research through music therapy. The best thing to do is to find your own way and your own choices. Enjoy running!

. R.Wellman 2011

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