Monday, December 20, 2010

Musical Motivation

Music can be a valuable training partner. Always on time, ready to go whenever you are. Music can be adjusted to fit your mood or tempo for the day-it can be mellow, motivating or just an easy distraction from the miles you are churning out on the road or the treadmill.

I used to spend a lot of time planning out playlists, timing the type of music to the run. Angry rock for tempo runs or hard speedwork sessions. Or progressive beats on long runs with things starting and ending on a easy, happy beat. Race playlists were timed down the minute of target finish line time.

Last year I made the decision to "wean myself" from my iPod addiction-aka music while running-especially as I tackle longer distances in triathlon. If you are not aware already, the USAT does not allow the use of iPods or MP3 players while racing so of course, it became necessary to mentally train myself to run again. I needed to break being dependant on Eminem telling me it was time to Lose Myself to dig deep while I was struggling or hearing the cliched Rocky Theme {Gonna Fly Now} starting within sight of the finish line and hitting the "turbo" button.

At first it was a challenge to run without my favorite songs in my ear but as I ran and ran in my self imposed silence, I discovered there is music all around me. The sounds of the birds, the rhythmic pat pat pat pat of my feet on the pavement, the crunching of the frosty gravel under my feet, or the roar of the ocean and the call of the gulls.

That does not mean I never run with music now because I do, on occasion. These days though, my runs are usually accompanied by the sounds of chatter as I conversate with a running partner or the sound track of my environment is playing in the background.

Now that I am spending hours on the trainer, I do add music to help with this. Today, actually Eminem helped me get through a couple rough intervals and just when I did not think I could find some "push" in me, sure enough...there was plenty of gas left in the tank. Sometimes, you just need to stimulate that inner well of motivation. So thank you Eminem and 'till I Collapse for helping me out today. The words that helped me today-

'Cause sometimes you just feel tired,
Feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up.
But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength
And just pull that sh!t out of you and get that motivation to not give up
And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse

So, in addition to the above, I have discovered many great lines in music that serve as little mantras that I sing in my head when I feel I need that Musical Motivation. Here are some of my favorites:

...Don't cry like a bitch when you feel the pain
You're Going Down, Sick Puppies's time to exorcise these demons
These muh'f*ckers are doin jumpin jacks now
Not Afraid, Eminem

(machine) (machine) (machine)
Around the World, Daft Punk
...when I get high, I get high on speed
...My heart, my heart, Kickstart My Heart!
Kickstart My Heart, Motley Crue 

So I wanna know, what songs give you the MUSICAL MOTIVATION to keep going??

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