My Drug Of Choice While Running

Drugs, gimme drugs, gimme drugs (My Chemical Romance) … Hahahaha! If you really think I’m going to write about which performance enhancing drug I use while running, you won’t find me writing about any type of pill.  I’m not big on drugs or medications, so you’re out of luck.  I don’t drink – ever, nor do I smoke.  Let me tell you what my drug of choice is while running … It’s music. Gotcha.  I’m BORING, remember.  So straight and narrow, boring, predictable, plain Jane.  Honestly, if truth were to be told, the only performance enhancing drug that I use pre-run is a Tall, Triple, Non-Fat, No whip Mocha from Starbucks.  No magic tricks to gettin’ it done.  I’m fairly good at motivating myself and gettin’ what I need to do, done.

They say that listening to music while running or during any exercise, can increase your performance by about 15%.  It lessens your perception of your exertion and causes a distraction from just how hard you’re working.

Row. Row.'s Running Machine!

I remember getting my first walkman many, many years ago.  My dad had bought it for me as a gift, along with several popular tapes such as Madonna, Journey, and REO Speedwagon.  It was one of the BEST gifts that I have ever received.  My little Walkman was small enough to tote around with me as I ran way back then in high school.  Throughout the years, it had been replaced with other Walkman’s, and then Discman’s, then recently several iPods.  In the last 7 years I’ve gone thru one original iPod, two shuffles, two nanos, and two iPhones … Yep.  I’m pretty passionate about my music.  I’m happy to say that I have passed this passion down to ALL of my children who have also gone thru several Apple products!  It’s pretty amazing how technology has progressed!  I love my music!

For every race that I have run, I make sure that it’s okay to wear head/earphones and to use devices such as an iPod.  The majority of races do allow them, and I am thankful for this because I am not sure that I could run without my tunes.

I know.  I know.  I could run without my music. Really, I could.  Would I want to? Would I choose to? If given a choice, no, I would not choose to run without it.  Running with my music helps me blunt the pain of running.  It helps distract me from the miles that I have yet to run.  It blocks out the mindless, irritating chatter of the other runners that at times drives me incessantly crazy, and helps me to refrain from saying things that I know I should not!  Running or working out with music truly helps me run/workout harder, longer, faster.  I can push just a little further, and I am able to do *that* much more, and gett’er done!

My music, is MY music.  Playlists chosen and made of my own accord.  I pick music that has a good beat, mostly top 40, Pop, hip/hop, alternative, some crazy rap.  I like music that has good lyrics because at times I’ll start belting out in song mid-run!  If you’re near me, I may serenade you, so be forewarned.

My last playlist had artists such as The Wanted, Linkin Park, P!nk, Madonna, Calvin Harris, Maroon 5, Trapt … I had a DJ, DJ D Ferreira, mix on there.  When “Glad You Came” came on, I thought of my friend, Sharon, who just started running.  It brought a smile to my face to think of Sharon because she’s focused and determined, and excited to run her first 5K.  I love that she comes to me for advice.  When Maroon 5’s “Payphone” came on, I thought of my gal-pal, Linda, who was running SLO.  I thought of her, and in my mind ran beside her, wishing her well, and hoping that she was okay.  When “Headstrong” came on by Trapt, I thought of my daughter, Grace, singing the lyrics which are so badass and crazy.  To envision her singing it, with her head bob, and serious face … always brings a huge smile on my face.  D Ferreira’s mixes are always lively and upbeat!  He’s been mixing music and sharing them for several years now, and I have so many of them, and am so thankful that he shares!

So … music, while not for everone, is for me.  There IS a correlation between better running performance while listening to music.  However, when making out your playlist, you have to be sure that you’re picking out music that suits you and your run.  If you pick out music that is too slow or dreary, it can slow you down and dampen your performance.  If you pick out music that is too fast, you can ultimately tire yourself out way before you’re to finish.  Pick out music that you like, that makes you happy and puts a smile on your face.  If you’re out for a strength run, or a tempo run, then make sure that you have that heart pumping music to push you thru.  The slower music may be good for times when you just want to get out there and move, no time goals, just out enjoying the outdoors. Music helps me power thru the miles when they seem long and painful.  It works like a drug for me, truth be told.  And while music may be my drug of choice while running, just plain old running and working out does it for me – Exercise Endorphins are the BEST!

Right now, I listen to all of my music via my iPhone. I have thousands – and I do mean THOUSANDS of songs stored on my iTunes account, so I have much to choose from.  My power songs are Fat Boy Slim’s “Rockafeller Skank” and “Headstrong” by Trapt.  The earbuds that I use are called V-Moda’s that I got from Costco.  My playlists vary from race to race to prevent boredom.  Honestly, I don’t run with both earbuds in my ears, usually only the left one in, the right one out, and my volume is usually set to below medium (I like to hear … sometimes).  There are those times though when both earbuds are firmly planted in both ears – and that’s when I’m surrounded by too many people and I need to block out the chatter.

I know that a lot of us run with music.  What’s your favorite? What’s your power song? What’s on your playlist? Most importantly, what’s your drug of choice while running.

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