There is a relatively new trend in run/race culture to refer to a race as “rockin” or what have you. There are Rock and Roll races, series, 1/2 marathons, marathons, etc. Although the concept seems to come off as contrived as all hell, I must say I understand the impetus to put running and music together. Although I don’t run with music, I always seem to have a song in my head of some sort…most often something metal, though a lot of hip hop has been creeping in lately. Having a good chorus in your head can be a great motivator as well as a distraction, both of which lend to faster running.
However, what I don’t like about music during a race are the bands that sign up to “motivate” the runners. I’ll never forget the 1/2 marathon I was leading with a God Forbid song in my head, when all of a sudden we come up on the first band at mile 3….playing “I would do anything for love” by Meatloaf. Guess what song got stuck in my head from there on out, no matter how hard I tried to block it out. I blame them for making me come in second.
It’s also pretty comical being one of the faster runners out front, for we often catch the bands off-guard who feel compelled to quickly throw on their guitars and blast out a few non-rhythmic chords as we run by, then promptly stop playing to wait for the rest of the runners. Personally, I’d prefer they not even bother. I mean, thanks for being out there and all, but save it for the other guys and gals.
There is one exception to this annoyance though, drum lines. I don’t know what it is about drums, but the massive variation in rhythms lends to pounding out multiple paces, from fast to slow. I prefer fast. At the last 1/2 marathon I ran I came up on a pounding group of high school marching band drummers, smashing out a driving rhythm that only aided my pace and kicked some adrenaline my way. I only wished they could have been spread throughout the course.
Being that it is summer time, high school marching bands have started practicing for the upcoming season, which is good for me since one of their practice spots is right along my training route. Everyday, at the same time, I can hear the drum lines from 1/2 a mile away, practicing their routines and at the same time giving me something of an oversized metronome to pick pace out of. I absolutely love it, though it can become problematic when I’m trying to plod through a recovery run. The closer I get to the drum line the faster my pace goes, until the sound fades away and I settle back in.
So to all the race directors, listen up, take out the “rockers”, the soloists doing coldplay covers, the line dancing grannies, the middle school kids butchering Green Day songs, and everyone else that isn’t a high school marching band. And if you can, get an urban school to play for us all. You might even see your course records drop.
2.5 mile warmup
6 mile “progression”run. 1st mile at 5:40/5:50, each consecutive mile faster and faster, down to 5:20.
2.5 mile cool down
Breakfast – Oatmeal (peanut butter, almonds, turbinado, raisins), coffee
Lunch – Leftover pasta soup with veggies, beans, etc. Michelle made A LOT (and it’s great).
Dinner – Veggie burger w/ avocado, tomato, peppers, and green beans, corn on the cob.
Snacks – coffee, water, apple, 1/2 an avocado, chocolate chips, post-run smoothie, iced soy latte