Everyone has their running essentials. Mine look something like this:
- Pre-run snack-- check.
- Comfortable, supportive shoes -- check.
- Smart watch to track my run -- check.
- Awesome Training Mix, Vol. 1 (Guardians of the Galaxy reference, anyone?) -- check!
Now, I know there are two types of runners in the world. Those who listen to music while they run and those who don't.
For some runners, music is an unneeded distraction. Instead of music, they'd prefer to listen to their feet hitting the pavement, focusing on the flow of their breathing and thoughts.
For other runners, like myself, music is a form of motivation. Music takes my training to the next level and is literally a soundtrack for my run. Some of the same reasons that other runners like to turn down the tunes, are the exact reasons I like to turn them up louder!
Yes, I know breathing is an important aspect of running. But for me, the second I hear myself or another runner breathing hard, the more effort it takes for me to gain control of my breathing patterns. With music flowing in my ears, however, I'm rescued from the sound of heavy breathing, and I'm able to focus on putting one foot in front of the other.
As I've been training for my first-ever half marathon, I've tried to find motivation and fun things to look forward to so that my long runs don't seem, well, so long.
Sometimes it's a run with a friend. What's not to love about a workout when it's social?!
Other days, it's exciting to just be outside. If you've been training in Pittsburgh like I have, you know that one day it can be 50 degrees and sunny, and the next, there are several inches of snow on the ground. So on those bright, sunny days, it is truly exciting to get some fresh air and take in the outdoor scenery.
I've also enjoyed sporting some geeky workout gear
on my runs. After all, who said working out couldn't be geek chic?
Lastly, it's the music that fuels my run – a.k.a. my soundtrack. While everyone has a playlist preference, my favorite playlist is comprised of actual soundtrack music. I'm a cinema lover, what can I say? No lyrics, just a melody that can drive any superhero to the finish line (literally).
On a recent eight-mile training run, I found myself really not wanting to finish my last two miles. But then, a driving melody from “Wonder Woman” and then “Avengers” came over my earbuds, and just like that, I was finishing those last two miles like I had a mission.
Now it might sound silly, but soundtrack music really is relaxing! Don't believe me? Listen to my training playlist Soundtrack to My Run on Apple Music
. Bonus points for each movie you can identify the song from!
What's on your training or race day playlist? Share your favorites in the comments below. I'm always looking for new recommendations! May the force be with you – while training and on race day.
Monica is one of our 2018 #10YearsRunning Official Bloggers. You can follow along as she trains for the UPMC Health Plan Half Pittsburgh Marathon on her blog Popcorner Reviews.