Runner’s World has a very interesting article today on how runner’s sync their running stride to the music they listen to. It’s so precise that in some cases a runner’s BPM can be matched to the tempo of the song they’re listening to. (I know this is definitely the case with me.) I touched on this topic in my last post and while it’s certainly nothing groundbreaking, I still find it very interesting how we can motivate ourselves with just a song. It’s pretty cool when you really think about it. Now the downside is that these runners cannot run without music.
Personally, I prefer to run with music, but there are occasions when I take the headphones off and just run. It really depends on my mood, although 95% of the time my iPod touch is right there with me.
I’ve been meaning to write about music on this blog for awhile, and well now I have a reason. I purchased Sleigh Bells’ album Treats yesterday and I gotta say, this is the most amazing workout album I’ve heard since Prodigy’s Fat of the Land. Definitely check it out if your current gym playlist is starting to sound flat.
What do Sleigh Bells sound like? Imagine a mix of The White Stripes with Prodigy and maybe a little N.E.R.D. Great album for those grueling hill runs.
The New York Times has a very interesting story about elite athletes — runners in particular — and how they are able to train beyond their threshold of pain. I’ve always found this absolutely fascinating because this is that gray area where the mind has more “say” than the body. Personally, I try to focus on the pain as much as I can. I try to focus on the feeling itself to the point where you embrace it. I familiarize myself with the sensation so much that I can “run through” the pain. (Or lift through it if I’m doing weight training.) My favorite quote from the story:
“Mental tenacity — and the ability to manage and even thrive on and push through pain — is a key segregator between the mortals and immortals in running”
I believe that 100%.
Here’s an interesting story I came upon today on NPR Health. It’s about runners and how they can avoid hitting their “wall.” (That’s marathon runner talk for running out of energy.) A Harvard med student has figured out a formula that elite runners can use to 1)find out how much carbs they need to eat to avoid hitting their wall and 2)what their best marathon time could potentially be if they were to carbo load properly. There are a lot of other factors that I think are left out of this formula (namely your mental state), but it’s an interesting read.
“You must lead with your mind and your body will follow.”
I absolutely love that quote. In fact, that’s pretty much my approach to working out. It’s mind over body. I actually found that quote at a personal training service in Brooklyn called Elite Bodies. I can’t vouch for the place, but I love the quote.
I’ve been upping my training these past few weeks and so far I’ve been very pleased with the results. Saturday morning I hit the treadmill while watching the World Cup game and I felt unstoppable. I only did 25 minutes, but I ran at 6 speed and a minimum of 4 incline. I did a lot of 5.5 and 6 incline and I discovered a little mini mind trick that helped me get through it. With the incline at 6, I imagined myself bouncing off the treadmill and floating in air. (Every time my right or left foot hit the treadmill, I would count the (milli) seconds it’d take before my foot hit the treadmill again. Each second off the treadmill, meant I was running on air.) As a result, I tricked myself into thinking the treadmill was not at 6 incline. Did it work? Yup!! I eventually did tire out, but I got through 3 minutes of 6 incline that way.
Sunday I hit the gym and had a great back, triceps, and abs workout. I pulled 270 lbs on the iso-lat pulldown machine. The most weight I’ve ever moved. Unfortunately, my pulls ups have been kinda meh. I need to hit them a little more often this week. I’ve been topping out at 3 to 4 reps the two times I did them last week. (I was on the verge of hitting 6 reps two weeks ago.)
Overall, I’m happy with my workouts this past week. Like I said, the World Cup gives me an extra boost of energy. Here’s hoping for another strong week.
Like I said before, my workouts tend to get a major boost during two sporting events — the Olympics and the World Cup. Saturday during Argentina’s debut game I ran 40 minutes straight at an incline level. Today during Paraguay’s 1-1 tie game with Italy, I ran for 35 minutes straight at random. (Both runs were on a treadmill with 6.0 speed.) I won’t say I didn’t tire, because I did, but it took me a long time to tire. Even at 5 incline, I felt it was difficult, but I was so involved in the game that my mind fooled my body into thinking I was ok. In other words, it was an awesome run. And an awesome game too!