Composed running? - Plug in, tune out and let the beat carry you

Sunday, 21st February 2010

We always wondered what Run - DMC stood for, but we recently discovered it was 'Run - Definitely Minimises Coronaries', which for a 1980's rap / rock cross over band we thought was pretty cool...

While Paul McCartney and Wings in the 1970s produced the seminal post-Beatles album called Band on the Run . . . , I doubt they were thinking 30 years ahead to a time of MP3 players and lycra going hand in hand.

LGN are strong advocates of striving to enjoy each run and finding a way that you can get the most smile-time from each aerobic two-stepping effort, and listening to music for many people can certainly enhance the endorphin running joy.

And with Easter fast approaching we are sure the next wave of über-lightweight music players will be top of many runners’ present wish list.

There are apparently other good reasons beyond the feel-good factor to listen to music while you run. According to a study conducted at Brunel University, their evidence illustrated that music can actually increase exercise endurance by up to 15%.

This study did have a potential commercial vested interest as it was connected to the 2008 Run to the Beat half marathon that alas had much of its musical prowess drowned out by heavy rainfall. But have a look at their research summary and draw your own conclusions;

And if you are keen to make sure your music is playing its vital role in helping you hold your running pace, then perhaps have a look at the table below that equats your mile pace to the necessary beats per minute from your running anthems.

10 min/km

9 min/km

8 min/km

7 min/km

6 min/km

5 min/km

4 min/km

16 min/mile

14 min/mile

12 min/mile

10 min/mile

9 min/mile

8 min/mile

6 min/mile








If you are keen to find out more, then check out a couple of the running-to-music dedicated sites below:

A recent 2008 robust survey to find the top 10 running tunes came up with the following selection for you to consider on that mix tape (showing my age) aka running play list you are planning.

1. 'Eye of the Tiger' - Survivor (Rocky III Soundtrack)
2. 'Don’t Stop Me Now' - Queen
3. 'Keep on Running' - Spencer Davis Group
4. 'Chariots of Fire' - Vangelis
5. 'Stronger' - Kanye West
6. 'Gonna Fly Now (Rocky Theme)' - Bill Conti
7. 'Proud' - Heather Small
8. 'Mr. Brightside' - The Killers
9. 'Rockstar' – Nickelback
10. 'We Are the Champions' – Queen

And before you plug in and lace up, please find LGN’s top 3 running-with-music tips for you to ponder pre-run.

LGN would advocate ensuring that your music player does not require holding, and can be placed within a zipped pocket. Earphones should not require constant attention; if they don’t stay in your ears don’t use, as your running action should be beautifully unencumbered with your natural relaxed biomechanics in full flow.

On a mildly parental note, please also make sure volume levels are moderated so that you are still aware of external noise, in particular vehicles and fellow pedestrians.

And for all hardcore music running addicts out there . . . we do recommend that you sometimes run without your iPod, and instead turn your ears to the sounds of your body. Listening to your human metronome, via breathing and foot strikes is one of the best methods to understanding how your body responds to subtle changes in tempo and this will help give you better control of your running in the long term.

Additionally, just as our mothers may have warned us against going out without our best underwear in case of an accident, maybe we should also reconsider when running with our Bonnie Tyler power ballad collection . . .

Happy running & shaking your tush from all of us at LGN.


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