Guest Post: Finding your motivation through music

May 28, 2010


Finding the motivation to run is often a challenge for many people. Some people have it naturally, while a larger population needs an extra boost. No matter what level of runner you are - beginner or veteran - or your reason for running, we all encounter the battle of finding motivation. I have been a runner for years and love the feeling I get while running, especially after a great run. Generally, I have no problem grabbing my sneakers and just running. However, the one vice I must have to keep me motivated is music. There is something about music with a good beat that gives me a boost of energy and keep me going. Music is universal. It is something that is enjoyed by all cultures, ages, and genders. It is one of those multi-faceted phenomenons because of its many functionalities. It is soothing, exciting, and yet motivating all in one. Regardless of what genre of music you like, music is something that everyone can appreciate and very encouraging to runners. Finding the motivation to get running can be difficult, but running to music is one of the easiest tips to get you motivated to run and keeping that motivation during the run. Here are a few suggestions to increase your motivation to run by listening to music. • Create a playlist I encourage you to create a playlist or a “running cd” before your run. This will help avoid switching between songs in the middle of the run, and thus avoid breaking your stride. There is nothing like getting into a good running zone to a great upbeat song and then a slow jam comes on. For me, it breaks my concentration, and slows me down a moment while I am franticly trying to find another song. So, prepare a playlist of music that you can listen to from beginning to end without changing between the tunes. • Music Flow No matter where, when, or how long I run I always have a running pattern. I start out a little slow, build up to faster pace, and then have my cool down – slower pace. The music on my iPod flows in the same manner. This helps get my energy level up and helps me to maintain my running pace. All of this equates to having a good run. If I have a successful run then it motivates me to want to do it again. • Earbuds/Headphones Another motivational tip when running to music is wearing a good set of earbuds or headphones. Having a “good” run means focusing on nothing but running. So, having less to maneuver and manipulate equals a great run. Make sure your headset is one that does not constantly fall off or fall out of your ears when sweating. If you know you don’t like earbuds then do not use them on your runs. They can be more irritating for you than good. There are several different types of headsets available. So, do your best to find the one that is most comfortable to you. It will make for a better run. Running is a great form of exercise. However, it is only good for you if you are able to do it. So finding motivation to get going is important. Motivating your mind and boosting your spirits through music is a quick, easy, and great way to get started on your running journey. TaLeayah Johnson has been a runner for 22 years and enjoys running the occasional race to challenge herself and to change her routine. She believes that running is her therapy and it helps her ensure that she takes care of herself physically, mentally, and emotionally. She loves being outdoors, exploring nature with her camera, hiking, biking, and of course trail running. When she is not working with various non-profit organizations, running her jewelry business, or doing multiple errands she is enjoying time with my husband and two children.

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