Every fall I get the urge to start running. I don’t say “start running again” because I never make it far enough that I’d ever consider myself a “runner” once, nevermind subsequent times, but I do enjoy the crisp fall air when the cooler temperatures are a perfect compliment to a body in motion, generating heat as it burns energy.
Considering my limited success with making it more than a few weeks into any sort of running habit, the odds are certainly against me. But this year I have two new weapons in my motivation arsenal:
1. My parents have been putting some serious work into getting healthier this past year. It’s awesome to see. Healthy eating and exercise. Who knew? My mom specifically has gone from a size 14/16 last Christmas to a size 4/6 now. And when I was there for thanksgiving, she gave me a pair of her “fat jeans” from about halfway through the journey. I can not feel okay fitting into my mom’s fat pants mom jeans. I love her, but no.
2. The Couch to 5k iPhone app.*
I’ve tried running with interval programs before, as well as with the excellent Couch to 5k podcasts. Except it never fails that I end up becoming bored or frustrated before the end of the program.
I am not good at thinking while exercising. My brain is too busy keeping me from falling down dead from exertion/exhaustion to also remember how long the intervals are supposed to be and which one I’m on. The podcasts are great for that, but they were always lacking…. something.
Turns out it was the music.
I am far from an audiophile, but I’m as susceptible as anyone to the effects music has on moods and what I’m doing. A road trip just isn’t a road trip without the original Don Henly version of “Boys of Summer” blasting as I head off at sunrise. And Neil and I will always stop whatever we’re saying or doing, smile, and start singing along to the Beach Boys, since we’ve got the happy, poppy harmonies nailed.
But I never knew what kind of music I enjoyed while running.
Turns out, it’s hard, industrial-style rock. I don’t get much into a heavy bass grove, or even the high bpm repetitive beats of techno (which are generally popular for any sort of cardio activity), but give me some hard, crashing toms and assorted chest-thumping cacophony and I’m in heaven.
My revelation came when, using a random playlist with the c25k app, my iPhone delivered up Lounge Fly by the Stone Temple Pilots. And suddenly I’m no longer on the hamster wheel in the gym (it was raining, normally I’d be outside), I’m a crazy free-runner, literally pounding the pavement in time to the smash and crash of assorted metal and drums, leaping on, over and off of tall buildings.
I was actually a bit sad when the running interval ended, because for the first time ever (running-wise anyhow) I was in the zone.
So now, of course, I’m scouring my fluff-heavy music collection for some other tunes to run to. I’ve got the entirety of the Nine Inch Nails catalog, and a bit of Kraftwerk and Joy Division, and I want to add your suggestions.
Drop a comment with your favourite industrial or post-industrial songs. Or any other music you find it inspiring to run to. Or anything else that helps you get in the groove that I can use to make it to actually running 5k by the end of the year!
*Fun disclosure thing: I bought the app and happen to like it. So I’m sharing that with you. The end.