Running season is getting started, and in light of this (and the fact that I’ve decided to pick up the sport), I thought that this week I’d write about those tunes that make running and jogging more enjoyable; the anthems that keep us determined, and the tracks that we like to move to the beat of.
I’m going list some songs that should be on your workout playlist, delve a little into the psychology of listening to music while running, and also share some great smartphone apps that can help.
According to research compiled by ‘Scientific American’, “Music distracts people from pain and fatigue, elevates mood, increases endurance, reduces perceived effort and may even promote metabolic efficiency. When listening to music, people run farther … often without realizing it.”
A leading expert in the psychology of music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis of Brunel University in London, wrote that one could think of music as “a type of legal performance-enhancing drug.”
When it comes to choosing music to run to, there are various things that one should consider first: emotions, memories and associations that the songs will evoke that will increase one’s determination. Tracks should also be easy to move to while you exercise (so, drum ‘n bass probably isn’t your best bet!). What is your best bet though, is pop music. Most songs have the recommended average of about 140BPM (beats per minute), which allows for the freedom to move to the beat, and keep a pace.
In his research paper, Dr. Karageorghis went on to say, “Given that exercise is often tiresome, boring and arduous, anything that relieves those negative feelings would be welcome.”
Now that we understand that there is a link between music and performing better while training, I think we ought to list some must-have tracks for your next workout session. I did comparative research across the internet, as well as spoke to those of you who follow me on Twitter, to create the ultimate top eight tunes, both new and old, that you should have on your running playlist for Spring 2013:
• ‘Eye of the Tiger’ by Survivor (this one is always a winner – and I always like to make it the final song of my run, just for that final push)
• ‘We Can’t Stop’ by Miley Cyrus (just maybe don’t twerk, or poke your tongue at other people… they might find it a tad rude)
• ‘Sexy and I Know It’ by LMFAO (apparently it’s good for building up the self-esteem)
• ‘La La La’ by Naughty Boy (this one is always fun, especially if you happen to start singing along… but warning: folks may think you’re a bit bonkers)
• ‘Let’s Get It Started’ by the Blackeyed Peas (it’ll keep you “running, running, and running, running”)
‘• Beat It’ by Michael Jackson (although, moonwalking while running is not advised)
• ‘Hot Stuff’ by Donna Summer (exactly what you need to get you motivated to feel hot for summer)
• ‘Bounce’ by Calvin Harris (the lyrics may only contain one word, but it’s enough to make you bounce back when you start feeling tired)
There are some very cool and nifty apps available for iPhone and Android that can also help out big time. Pace DJ takes music from your phone and lets you set the BPM; Jog.fm shows you BPM and helps you purchase music through the app, that match your workout; and Runtastic Pro tracks your route, time, and speed, while also letting you listen to music and take photos along the way.
While we’re talking about music and moving our feet to the beat, this weekend there are some awesome gigs happening in Cape Town, that’ll have your feet tapping!
Mean Black Mamba are launching their album on Friday October 11 at Side Street Studios, 48 Albert Road, Woodstock. It all starts at 7pm. Cover is R60, or R120 with an album.
On Saturday October 12 at 5.30pm, you should also be sure to check out Red Huxley at &Union, 110 Bree Street. Entrance is free.
Also on Saturday, Paige Mac Live and The Kiffness will both perform at the Stoep ‘n Swing in Glencairn. The show starts at 8pm and tickets are R20 each.