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Running--Groovin' vs Draggin'

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Old 10-02-2009, 12:31 AM   #1
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Default Running--Groovin' vs Draggin'

I'm still not sure how this works. Sometimes I feel like I'm prepared for my run; I'm psyched up, my mp3 player is charged and then......pfffffft. I can't get my groove on when I run. I feel out of step, tired, just can't seem to keep going. Other nights (like tonight), I'm not really particularly in the mood but I'll go out anyway and see how it goes and BAM! I hit the rhythm almost instantly and the whole run feels good. My breathing is good, my pace is good (slow, but steady), and it all just gels.

What gives? Is there a method to this madness or is it just luck? The other night I totally ran out of steam and didn't realize till I got back to the house that it was probably because I hadn't eaten for over 6 hours. So that one I figured out, but for the life of me I can't predict whether my run will be smooth and swingin' and enjoyable or a big old sweaty struggle.

Another question: Do you find that the songs on your playlist have to have a certain rhythm? Do you run in time to the rhythm? Usually I do, or try to (because I find it distracting otherwise), but tonight a song came up and the rhythm wasn't quite right but it was such a happy, fun song that I kept it on anyway and didn't really care that it was the wrong tempo--I was able to maintain my running pace even though it was different from the song. How important is the tempo of your playlist?
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Old 10-02-2009, 04:30 AM   #2
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I'm as puzzled as you about what causes a great or awful run. I used to journal mine and couldn't find any pattern at all uniting those in-the-zone sessions. Currently wondering whether it might be to do with carbs eaten at the last meal? Anyway, I'm sure someone can answer that better than me.

The tempo thing, though, I do understand! When I first started running, I spent AGES researching optimum BPMs (beats per minute) and testing all my songs against my natural rhythm, etc, to try to match them up. I found though, that when my energy level was lagging, the songs that pulled me up weren't those with an ideal tempo, but those that just made me feel good! The ones that got me singing along in my head (and yes, occasionally out loud!) and that made me smile. So now I just go with those and ignore the tempo altogether. Would be interested to hear what others do?
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Old 10-02-2009, 05:28 AM   #3
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I don't know windchime, it's one of the mysteries of life, I guess. I think there are a lot of possible factors; how fresh your muscles are, fueling status, the weather, music, general mental attitude that day ....

But, I'm the same way. It's always hard to get going and takes me a mile or so just to warm up. I know I have to get over that hump and it always feels a little easier then, but some runs are definitely easier than others. But, no matter what, I ALWAYS feel better when I'm done than when I started.
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:14 AM   #4
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I need at least a mile or so to warm up until I get really into the mindset of my run. Look on the Running in October thread. Those are the songs I've tested numerous times in terms of matching the kind of beat I should be running at--that help keep me on track. Their tempos are a bit faster and provide the basis for a challenge for me at least... For me, I have a lot of hard runs as well, but if you learn to love it regardless, it's truly never a bad run--just one that needs more love.
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Old 10-02-2009, 01:47 PM   #5
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I haven't figured out the mystery of the good vs bad run either.

But for the tempo thing... I actually prefer songs that DON'T match my running tempo. In a few books about running that I've read, people have recommended breathing patterns with an overall odd number of beats (2-3, 1-2, whatever), because people tend to land harder when they start to exhale. So I've fallen into a pattern of breathing in 2 and out 3. Of course, this means that my breathing "cycle" is 5 beats... so if it's at the same tempo as my music, I get all thrown off. Maybe I need a collection of songs in 5/4 time, lol. I'll purposely skip over songs that I know are too close to my natural running pace.
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