Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Its all in the Music

Now that my calf seems to be a bit less cranky, it's time to get back to...speed work Tuesdays!  Yay!  No, really, I'm not kidding.  Long runs are my favorites, but there is something uber satisfying about hopping on a treadmill, banging out a certain number of repeats, and hopping off-most of my speed work is done in 40 minutes or less with warm up/cool down, and I love it because-
1.  I feel super accomplished.
2.  I feel super speedy!
3.  I know exactly how fast and far I ran
Which answers the age old question (for runners, I know the rest of you are on the edge of your seats) regarding speed work-track or treadmill?  If you've been reading for any length of time, you know I'm not a huge treadmill fan (even though I own one-truly, I'm a sadist, I know), but, for speed work, it can't be beat.  I can keep a steady pace (I have 400, 800 and 1600 paces to nail for my half plan) and I don't have the option of slowing down during the repeat-I can hit it exactly (I know there's a decrease speed on the 'mill, but I choose to pretend otherwise, thankyouverymuch).
Moving on.  Today's workout of pain = 400 repeats.  I love you.  400's are the best, IMO, because they are short, fast, and less than 2 minutes of pain until you get to rest/recover :-)
The Workout
1 mile warm up (9:00)
7 x 400 repeats @ 6:58 with 2' recover
.5 mile cool down
Total:  4.25 miles, 35:18
Buffalo half, here I come!
So, while I was in the pain cave, I thought about my tunage.  The latest issue of Runner's World did an article on letting go of technology on some of your runs-ditching the GPS, stopwatch, Ipod, etc.  And I started thinking.  I know that I have an unnatural attachment to my Ironman Timex (I tried to wear it to my wedding.  A thoughtful bridesmaid wrestled it away from me and hid it. Such a good friend).  I also have a Garmin...and I never use it (I think I've used it 3 times in the last two years).  So I don't have a data attachment-a time attachment, for sure, and I'm working on that.  I seem to feel that I might miss something BIG if I go for a relaxed, untimed run...type A, much?  I'm working on this.  Slightly.
But my music...is non-negotiable.  The only time I run tunes free is during the run leg of a triathlon (they're banned-I don't feel like a DQ!) but for every other race and workout, music is on.  Runner's World contends that you can de sensitize your response to the boost from music, or miss important body cues regarding perceived effort and/or possibly injury because you are so focused on the tunes.
I can see that.
But what I do know is that the music usually makes the workout a bit easier to tolerate (for tempo runs) keeps me amped (speed work) and allows my mind to wander and relax (long runs-which, when done outside, I keep one ear bud in and one out, of course!)
My "secret"?  Matching the tunes to the workout.  I probably annoy the hubster with my continuous hogging of our mp3 download folder, but I usually switch up my play lists at least 3 times a week (the player works underwater, so I use it for running, swimming, and lifting).  I choose slower paced songs for the long run so I don't push it too hard, faster songs for tempo work, and a mix of high BPM songs for speed work (to encourage fast turnover) and slower recovery songs.  My recent favorites?
Long run songs: We are Young (Fun), Pumped Up Kicks (Foster the People), Addicted  (Saving Abel), Paradise (Coldplay)
Tempo Songs:  Magic (B.O.B), Shots (Lil John), Start the Commotion (Wiseguys) Where's your Head At (Basement Jaxx)
Speed Work:  Crazy Little thing Called Love (Queen), Cannibal (Ke$ha), Toxic (Britney Spears), Mambo #8 (Perez Prado)
No judging, please.  If it gets my legs moving, it stays.  Even if it's a one word song, was popular in the '70's, or involves a former mouseketeer. I'm a mess.
Do you use music to help your workouts?  How about watches/GPS/other fun technology?  The huz is practically married to our Garmin and his bike computer, but can run without music any ole day. You know what they say about opposites :-)

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