Day 45: Running and Music

I haven’t talked about music yet on my blog, but music is a big part of my life. I love, love, love music. All kinds of music. My mom started teaching me piano lessons when I was 5. I played the oboe in middle, high school, and college. I was in the drum line for the marching band in high school for 2 years, and marched the sousaphone for 2 years. I also picked my dad’s guitar in high school and he taught me my first few chords that I learned (the chords to Puff the Magic Dragon). I then proceeded to learn some Candlebox and Weezer (yes, I was in high school the early 90s) and have been dinking around on the guitar off an on since then. I’m actually about to head over to band practice. I’m in a band and we have our first live performance this Friday night – woohoo!

How does this relate to running? I have to listen to music when I run. It is what drives me. It gives me energy. When doing my standard 21 minute interval run, the toughest part of it is the last 5 minutes before the 2 minute cooldown (minutes 14-19). Right now I’m at 5 — 6.2 — 7.4 — 8.6, and then for the last minute the sprint at 9.8 before cooling down at 3.5 on 19-21.

Years ago Nike partner shipped with Apple and came out with the Nike + iPod system to track your runs. I used it a while ago, but now I use Runkeeper to track my runs. There is a very cool feature of the Nike + iPod system: the Powersong. The powersong is the song that you put on when you need a boost, generally at the end of your run to pump you up. I still use the concept when I’m doing my interval running at the gym, but I just do it myself. My powersong changes from time to time. I like to pick one that has a beat that is around 160 bpm for my footsteps. Sometimes the song is in 4/4 and is actually around 80 bpm, but if so I’m stepping twice per beat (on the downbeat and upbeat). That seems to be the perfect speed for me to have good long strides as I ride out the last part of my run. Right now for my power song I’m doing Linkin Park’s “Somewhere I Belong”. It is 3:34 and I time it so that it ends right as I’m done with the sprint. So, when I’m at 15:25 (it takes about a second to queue up the song and start playing), I hit play on the song. It finishes exactly at 19:00 after the sprint and then I cool down for two minutes. Here is the video for the song I’m using:

Linkin Park is one of my favorite bands. I love their combination of heavy guitars, singing, and rapping. What is your powersong?