How Music Can Help You Through A Tough Run

Houston podiatrist discusses listening to music when runningAs the summer concert season kicks off in June, Kenny Chesney’s Goin’ Costal tour will be hitting such cities as Houston and Cleveland, while Lady GaGa’s Born This Way tour will be making stops in Nashville and Orlando. Whatever your preferred taste may be, music can be an easy addition to enhance your current running regime.

Anyone who favors the use of an iPod or MP3 player will tell you that music makes their run easier. There is a great deal of psychological benefits to listening to music while running. When you hear a song you like, it boosts your mood, leading you to become excited and happy. When such a positive mental state is reached, your mind is in a place where it can best reach its optimal level of performance. In the last half-marathon I completed, I was amazed when the song “If You’re Going Through Hell” by Rodney Atkins that came on at mile 11 instantly gave me the inspiration I needed to complete the race and PR. Being in a positive mental state is a major key to success for runners of all skill levels. Let’s be honest, running is not an easy sport and anything that keeps you positive and upbeat, especially when you are just beginning your training, is going to give you the extra dose of motivation you need to continue to push yourself.

In addition to affecting your mood, listening to music gives your mind something to focus on besides how hard you are breathing or how fatigued your muscles are feeling. By immersing yourself into your playlist while you run, you can begin to forget everything else around you and completely attune your body to the rhythm of the music. Mentally engrossing yourself in the songs, you to forget how hard you are really working. Moreover, music cadence can be used as a means to pace your run. Each song has a constant, unchanging rhythm. While running, we unknowingly begin to adjust our own body rhythm and tempo to match it with the beat of the music we’re listening to. If you are looking to improve your time, simply playing songs with a greater cadence can aid you in your pursuit of a faster run. Ultimately, music will allow your entire run to flow better, improving your overall experience by keeping you focused and at pace.

Today, music is something that is extremely accessible and affordable. With the popularity of smart phones and internet radio applications, such as Pandora, you need not even own an iPod. Your playlist can be easily adjusted and edited to help you with your run. It acts as a great way to spice up your monotonous running routine simply by incorporating new, never-before-ran-to music.

Music, of course, may not be for everyone. If you have never used an iPod or MP3 player during a workout but are considering trying one, I encourage you to start by listening to a wide variety music that you find enjoyable and entertaining. As you continue, you can fine tune your music collection and pinpoint specific songs that put that bounce into your step. It can be utilized to boost your mood during your run and set your pace. It can assist you in building your endurance both mentally and physically. Why not try it out and see what happens.

If you find yourself with a running injury, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Andrew Schneider at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX. We'll get you back running with those tunes blasting!

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.