Motivation Comments Off on The Indian Blade Runner |

The Indian Blade Runner

Capt Seshadri writes about a Major in the Indian Army who despite his physical challenge has gone on to achieve personal goals and live life on his own terms.

It is very easy to QUIT… majority does so… I, however would like to TRY till last breath, even if I fail. I know it is hard but then I am chosen by God himself for these challenges so why should I bother. Let HIM only worry about result. Jai Hind.

The Indian Army is a voluminous storybook of heroes. In fighting for the safety and security of their countrymen, that they may live in peace, many are martyred, several live on maimed for life, and a few take their disabilities as part of destiny and turn them into a motivation to live life on their own terms.

One such is a veteran of Kargil, hit almost directly by mortar fire, given up for dead, but who literally rose from the ashes like the legendary phoenix, to prove to mankind and more so to the world of runners, that nothing can keep a good man down. Eighteen marathons under his belt which covers what is barely left of his intestines, and fitted with a prosthetic leg, this indefatigable braveheart continues to be the embodiment of the ‘never say die’ spirit. Not without justification has he made his mark as India’s only ‘blade runner’.

Major Devender Pal Singh, born on September 13, 1973, in the north Indian town of Jagadhri, was commissioned into the 7thBattalion of the Dogra Regiment of the Indian Army, on December 6, 1997, graduating from the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. Called to action for Operation Vijay in Kargil in July 1999, Maj Singh was deployed at the LOC in the Akhnoor sector. One fateful night, he was barely 80 metres from a Pakistani Army post when a mortar shell landed and exploded barely five feet away. Shrapnel from the blast tore into him, injuring several internal organs and almost blowing his right leg away.

Brought to the nearest Field Hospital, Maj Singh was declared dead and his torn and bleeding body was consigned to the makeshift mortuary. Fortune must certainly favour the brave, for an army surgeon, inspecting the bodies at the morgue, found signs of life and immediately commenced an emergency operation to remove a portion of his intestines. A part of his right leg, which by then had developed gangrene,  also had to be amputated. Maj Singh, never ready to die, was now determined not just to live, but to do so on his terms. A year in hospital and none believed he would ever walk again; none but himself. He thought: Why just walk? I want to run!

In his own words: “When I learnt I lost my leg, I told myself that this would be yet another challenge in my life. I just couldn’t get used to the sympathetic glances I used to get from people. After a while, I was desperate to change that”.Maj Singh’s foray into running and his astounding achievement of becoming the ‘Indian Blade Runner’ was never a quick affair. In fact, apart from the regular training in the Army, he had never been a runner in the true sense of the term. His internal injuries and the amputation made him push himself beyond the boundaries of perseverance and pain. He never gave up, opting to fall, get up and continue running, rather than crawl. A few agonising marathons later, along with a stroke of luck, a team of prosthetics specialists from the Hanger Clinic, Oklahoma, chancing on a video clip of Maj Singh, called him over and fitted him with a prosthetic that would allow him greater flexibility and more comfort. Naturally, more marathons followed.

In 2002, Maj D P Singh converted to the Army Ordnance Corps, for a more sedentary career. However, in 2007, ten years after being commissioned, he retired to manage a support group called ‘The Challenging Ones’, to instill confidence in similarly challenged people. As a motivational speaker, he travels across India, inspiring amputees break through the chains of dependency and overcome fears of immobility.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Capt Seshadri Sreenivasan is a former armed forces officer with over 30 years experience in marketing. He also a consulting editor with a leading publishing house. He is a co-author of the best selling biography of astronaut Sunita Williams.

Read more

Motivation Comments Off on Walk, don’t run |

Walk, don’t run

Running not your cup of tea, try Racewalking instead says Capt Seshadri

The glamour of the marathon has possibly relegated another gruelling track event to a lower position in the pecking order. While ‘pedestrian’ is a word usually associated with slow movement, there is a term not so well known, although the implications are far from slowness: ‘pedestrianism’, or its better-known synonym, racewalking.

This sport reportedly took roots sometime in the mid 1800s with a set of rules that typified and differentiated it from running. In this case, one foot must be in contact with the ground at all times, unlike both feet in the air during the running stride. Finding increasing participation over the decades, racewalking has now evolved into an Olympic and World Championship event, with races ranging across different distances, although the 20km and 50 km are probably the most popular. In some countries, there are even competitions from a short 3,000 metres to as long as 100 km.  In the modern era, the sport has been dominated by walkers from Russia and China, but now facing intense competition from Latin Americans.

The intricacy of racewalking is in the length of the stride and the rhythm, or cadence. While the former is short, in order to keep both feet on the ground, the latter could best compare with the stride of an 800 or 1,500 metre runner. And there is much more to the sport than just these two. Racewalkers typically keep low to the ground and pump their arms with the elbows almost tucked into the hips. This pelvic rotation results in achieving the best momentum, sometimes as close as 15 km per hour, while adhering to the rule of both feet on the ground. Judges rely purely on observation and usually warn participants before disqualifying them for running.

In England, as early as in 1866, the first racewalking championship was won by one John Chambers, judged to have been fair to the ‘heel and toe’ method of contact with the ground. Today, it has developed into a state of art event, with a training regime on par with the toughest long distance runs, having been an integral part of the Olympics since 1904. But it was a century later, in 2003, that the IAAF thought it fit to organise a World Race Walking Challenge, a series of walks held in different venues across the world and culminating in a World Final offering USD 200,000 of prize money.

Racewalking employs more muscle groups than regular walking, which means you have a higher exercise intensity, similar to that in running. It is a vigorous-intensity activity while normal brisk walking is a moderate-intensity activity. Your heart and lungs will be working much harder. Maria Michta-Coffey, a Polish origin American, and the fastest US woman racewalker sums it up nicely: “Most people who’ve ever seen racewalking in action assume it’s ‘just walking.’ But there is much more to the event. And no—even if it appears a racewalker is running, he or she is not. For us, racewalking is technical because there are rules, so it’s slower than running. (But) You’re still pushing your body to the limit and maximizing efficiency as best as possible.”

For the statisticians, the Olympics, has three racewalking events: a men’s and women’s 20 km and a men’s 50 km. While the men’s 50 km was introduced in 1932, the shorter version came about in 1956. The women’s event started as a 10 km race in 1992 at Barcelona, and the 20 km was introduced as late as in 2000 at Sydney. London 2012 saw all the racewalking records shattered, by Chen Ding of China in the men’s 20 km, Jarred Talent in the 50 km and Elena Lashmanova among the women, setting a world record in racewalking in the Olympics for the first time ever.

So, if you don’t feel up to running, racewalk. You might just surprise yourself at the effort.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Capt Seshadri Sreenivasan is a former armed forces officer with over 30 years experience in marketing. He also a consulting editor with a leading publishing house. He is a co-author of the best selling biography of astronaut Sunita Williams.

Read more

Motivation Comments Off on Running clubs in Namma Bengaluru! |

Running clubs in Namma Bengaluru!

Running alone has its perks but the quickest and fun way to improve as a runner is to join a running club says Deepthi Velkur

Running is that alone time we need, isn’t it? It’s the ultimate “me” time when you can get away from it all, reflect on life’s important matters, or even push your body to the absolute limit in splendid solitude.

So why on earth would you want to ruin all that by joining a running club and have other people chattering in your ear during a steady run? Also, aren’t running clubs meant for those who take running seriously?

Well, actually, no. Choosing to join a club is one of the best decisions a runner can make, no matter the level. You often see a big improvement in your performance and, more importantly, it provides for enduring memories, experiences and friendships.

We all choose to run for different reasons – some to stay reasonably fit, some to lose weight and others to become competitive runners who want to win races. No matter the reason, being a member of a club can help make your runs even better.

Motivation can be a challenge for some of us when we look out of the window and see a cold, rainy morning but knowing that there will be others to share that experience can often be the difference between you going back to bed and heading out the door.

Over the past few years, Bengaluru has developed a thriving running scene and with running groups in almost every locality, it has never been easier for us to join one.

Famed for its pleasant weather, Bengaluru also boasts some scenic routes and parks that can make any runner happy. Cubbon Park, Lal Bagh, Nandi Hills, GKVK campus, Kanteerava Stadium are a few of the iconic running tracks around the city.

Most people run in smaller groups during the week and weekends are reserved for a bit of strength training and long group runs. Running groups start training very early in the day and last for about 2 – 2.5 hrs and on the long run days might be longer.

Out of the 25 running clubs active in Bengaluru today, let us discover a little more about a few clubs:

Runner’s for Life were the pioneers of the running movement in India and they believe in the philosophy of taking running to places it has never been before. The Fuller Life started by Arvind Krishnan is the parent group of RFL. They started out as a google group of runners’ back in 2005. The group meets once every fortnight. They organize three major running events across the city like the Bangalore Ultra, Kaveri Trail Marathon, and Puma Urban Stampede. They were also the first to launch the country’s first duathlon in 2009. The team grew to a few hundred and so did the scope of their events and the connection they built with the running community. They continue to show efforts in supporting the running community in as many ways as possible.

Soles of Bangalore are the most diverse and active group of amateur and like-minded runners who train in and around HSR Layout, Sarjapur road and Bellandur. Santhosh Jayakumar who is one of the co-founders of the group says running is looked as more of an activity to stay healthy and fit. They help organize group running events in the city on Sundays and events/seminars for amateur runners as well. The group strives to remain inclusive and has grown to about 60+ runners both beginners and experienced runners alike who engage and share their experiences for the joy of running. The group also provides training for people attempting to run marathons, injury prevention methods, organize talks on nutrition and many more.

Jayanagar Jaguars (fondly called JJ’s)is one of the oldest and largest running groups in Bengaluru who believe in their mission to deliver a structured and an affordable training program for all be it a beginner, experienced marathoner or ultra-runners. They uniformly follow the structured training program which focuses on building strength, fitness, and stamina across all their 10 locations. Over the years, more than 3000 runners are benefited through this program crafted carefully by their experienced head coach Pramod Deshpande and the same is implemented by designated captains for each group across their locations. Some of their training programs include training for half and ultra-marathons, TWTK (10weeks to 10k) to run the TCK10k, fitness through running for people who want to stay fit through running and many more.

Pacemakers are a group of 100 spirited and strong-willed long-distance runners both novice and experienced who coach under the leadership and guidance of their Coach Pani- an Ex-IAF athlete. He has many commendable achievements to his credit in various competitive races covering varied distances. The primary objective of this group is to train runners to better their performance and run injury-free by applying the right principles of training. They design a structured program for each athlete keeping in mind their current fitness levels and individual goals. The programs are designed to balance the intensity and volume of workouts which gradually reaches its peak before any event. The group trains at Kanteerva Stadium three times a week in interval training, tempo runs, Fartlek runs. The runners are also required to do strength and cross training workouts independently. The long-run workouts are usually reserved for Saturdays which happen at GKVK.

Runner’s High is a community who want to make running and fitness sports accessible to all irrespective of their background and reach their individual potential in the truest sense. They offer training and coaching to walkers and runners whether novice or advanced. Their training programmes are designed by a team of experienced coaches and sports medicine specialists who are themselves runners of great repute. They also organize various running events in the city. Members who train with them, supporters, patrons and the education efforts the team is involved with form the crux of the Runners High community.

While running clubs and running with others do have their merits, some of us like having that bit of time and space where we don’t have to talk (or listen), where we can go any route or direction we want. Go on that solo run once in a while to give you that sense of freedom.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.

Read more

Motivation Comments Off on Health Benefits of Regular cycling |

Health Benefits of Regular cycling

They say you can never forget to ride a cycle, so maybe now is the time to hop on and see the benefits that regular cycling has on your overall health says Deepthi Velkur

We often hear people making excuses for not finding time to indulge in some form of physical activity or they find themselves too tired to move a muscle after a hard day’s work, but, we often forget the benefits of performing a regular physical activity. Doing something physical keeps us active and reduces the risk of developing a serious health condition associated with our sedentary lifestyles. There are many ways to improve our lifestyle, but nothing can beat cycling.

Cycling is a low-impact exercise which is healthy, fun and enjoyable for people of all age groups. It makes for a fun group activity to do with friends and family and really helps spend quality time with them.

Taking your bicycle to work (big dependency on traffic and weather here!) or even to the store close by is an excellent way of building a regular exercise routine into your daily routine and it helps the environment too!

Riding a bicycle every day can turn the wheel of our lives for the better. How you ask? Read on to know more:

Improves your cardiovascular function: Cycling being an aerobic activity makes your heart, lungs and blood vessels to work out as well. Regular cycling helps bring down your blood pressure, lowers your calorie count limiting your chance of being overweight and increases the heart rate thereby pumping blood to the rest of the body.

Promotes weight-loss and tones the muscle:Cycling is an effective routine to do if you want to lose weight. It helps burn calories and works on multiple muscle groups such as quads, hamstrings, calves, biceps, glutes, shoulders, and back muscles. The number of calories you burn during a cycling activity ranges from 400 – 1000/per hour depending on the intensity with which you ride. So, in addition to losing fat, you will also tone your muscles.

Improved Posture:When we cycle, we end up doing a lot of balancing without even being aware of it. This balancing act helps improve our posture, develop better full -body coordination and strengthens our upper body muscles.

Reduced Stress: Any form of physical exercise brings down your stress and so does cycling. It keeps your mind healthy, helps to introspect your problems with a calm mind and you feel less helpless in dealing with your problems.

Improved mental well-being: Any aerobic activity releases endorphins and the adrenaline rush uplifts your mood making you have a happier outlook on life, boosts confidence that comes from accomplishing new goals you set for yourself.

You sleep better: Cycling boosts your sleep quality and is especially effective for those suffering from insomnia. Try riding a bike in the evenings as this is known to help you sleep better. However, you can also ride in the morning as it will keep you active through the day and help you fall asleep quicker at night.

Kind to the environment: Riding a cycle doesn’t require you to burn fuel – you protect the environment by decreasing pollution and lowering the demand for fuel. World over, several countries are encouraging their citizens to ride to and from work or school. It is definitely a healthy and sustainable option.

As a child, most of us would get out on our cycles and feel the road flying beneath our wheels; it reminds us of a feeling of freedom and release. That doesn’t get old. It’s still there. Riding around corners and whizzing past with the wind in your face makes you feel like a kid again.

So, there you have it – researchers have me convinced that cycling will add days to my life, and the child inside me has learned that it adds life to my days. Both are valuable lessons.

So, let’s all keep moving and keep discovering.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.

Read more

Motivation Comments Off on Run to Finish |

Run to Finish

The right mental boost can get you across every finish line, writes Nandini Reddy.

Being in a corral full of enthusiastic runners with the announcer calling time and music blaring and flags swinging, it’s only natural that you get pumped up and rush right out at a faster pace than you planned earlier. The swift start can hold for a while but you will tire out and eventually miss your goal time or even give up before the finish line. So is there a more efficient way to run?

Yes, there is. Instead of bursting out of the gates you should run conservatively. Save your energy for the end and the last few miles will not seem as impossible as they do. So here is what you need to do in order to finish strong.

Set the Pace

The idea is to start at an easy pace and then speed up. As a rough guideline start at a pace that is 30 seconds slower than usual and then build up to your goal time. The longer the distance the more time you can reduce from your initial distance. As you slowly increase the speed your confidence builds. Going out too fast may cause you will hit fatigue fast as well.

Turn it Up

Break the distance into parts. Set a particular pace target for each part. The idea is the run the last few km at an even pace. Splitting the running distance is a great way to approach the course and finishing each section will boost your confidence level and take you across the final finish line with ease.

Push the Boundaries

Practice the splits during your training runs. You can always make up the lost seconds in the first few split parts towards the end. Gaining a couple of seconds in the last few km will put you back on track to finish in your goal timing. For example, if you are 25 seconds off during the first km then you need to make up by 2 seconds for every mile after to compensate.

Run Better

You should ideally be able to talk comfortably when you are running. That is the right pace you need to be running at. If you are running out of breath or unable to talk comfortably then your pace is all wrong.

Gradually build your confidence during the training runs and be more prudent about how you use your energy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

Read more

Motivation Comments Off on Making a comeback into running after a break |

Making a comeback into running after a break

All set to make a comeback after a long break? How can you do that asks Deepthi Velkur

A significant number of runners are faced with this situation and in all likelihood, it has or could happen to you as well. You begin running, push yourself to train better and faster, set new PB’s with each run and you seemed to have gained the courage to dream of the impossible.

Then suddenly all breaks loose and one fine day you stop running. It could be due to an injury, major life changes, illness or just don’t feel up for it. All those years of consistent training, being fit, gains on your mileage and overall confidence just seem to have quickly vanished as they materialized. With no continuous activity, your body loses blood volume and your lactate threshold decreases after a point. It is always easier for runners who have been training long and hard to slip back into running as opposed to a novice runner.

The ease of getting back into running also depends on various aspects like the duration of your break, level of fitness before the break, severity of illness/injuries and some form of physical activity done during the break.

So, how do you get moving again after being sidelined for a while? Here are a few guidelines to follow that will help you ease back into running –

Start at your current level- Focus on not running too far and hard just yet as it might lead to injuries and pain. If you’re not going by any training schedule, ensure to track your mileage and keep your runs at a conservational pace for the initial 6-8 weeks. In the beginning, avoid running two days at a stretch and include a rest day or cross train in between runs and maintain your overall weekly mileage of 10% per week. Remember to run slower, reduce mileage, allowing rest and recovery days.

Here’s a brief about how you could get back to training and at what level of intensity –

1 week or less         – Start from where you left off

Up to 10 days          – Run at 70% of previous mileage

15 to 30 days           – Run at 60% of previous mileage

30 days to 3 months – Run at 50% of previous mileage

3 months                  – Start from scratch

Build Endurance – There is no fool-proof formula to know of how much conditioning you lost as everyone responds differently to training stimulus. The maximum aerobic capacity that you might have lost post your break is –

  • Up to 5 to 7 percent of VO2max after two weeks.
  • Up to 20 percent of VO2max after two months.
  • Up to 30 to 50 percent of VO2max after three months

Strength training will help you handle running longer distances if done properly and assists in building strength in your glutes and lower ab area. Include sitting and lying down exercises, add drills that mimic components of running such as Glute push-off drill, Midfoot strike with forward lean, and cadence drill. These drills help in building your overall endurance.

Identify and resolve your running glitches – Getting back to training is probably your best time to re-evaluate your previous training sessions and make the required amendments. Most importantly listen to your body and if you notice anything different, act on it immediately to get back on track.

Cross Train: Runners must incorporate activities like cycling, swimming, weight training, jogging, walking, Pilates, and yoga into their training schedule. It builds cardiovascular strength, fitness, promotes recovery and reduces wear and tear of the body.

Set small realistic goals: We must come to terms with the fact that it will take us time to get back to the performance level we were at. By putting pressure on yourself, you’re causing more harm to your body than good. By setting smaller goals and meeting them will only boost your confidence. It becomes easier if you have a goal like training for a specific event, else start off running a distance of 5k. As you go, you build endurance, speed, and intensity of running thereby making it more fun again.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.

Read more

Motivation Comments Off on Never Miss a Monday |

Never Miss a Monday

 

Monday mornings might seem the toughest, so why not begin them with a refreshing run, writes Deepthi Velkur.

After spending a lazy weekend, waking up on a Monday morning to kick start your workout might seem like the hardest thing in the world. Think again!

The start of the week is probably the best time to recommit yourself to staying fit. Finding that extra motivation is hard to come by for most of us because we make a million excuses in our heads not to lace up our shoes and sweat it out. However, fitting in a workout into your Monday morning schedule will benefit you in more ways than one.

Here’s why it’s worth your effort:

Building momentum for the rest of the week: Starting a Monday with a quick run sets the pace for the rest of the week. There is something about working out on a Monday that makes you feel like your off to the right start. This keeps your motivation high and creates a rhythm for the week ahead.

Happy and relaxed disposition: For millions of people around the world, the start of a week usually means a heavy head and an overall unhappy disposition.

This is where that early morning workout really makes a difference – researchers and scientists worldwide have proven that any form of physical exercise be it working out at a gym, a morning run or walk releases endorphin that gives you that extra dose of happiness and makes you feel more positive (now, who doesn’t like feeling all positive and happy!).

Assists development of self-control: It needs sheer willpower to get out of bed, put on your training gear and start out on your exercise routine after a lazy weekend. Exercising is an excellent way to harness some sort of discipline into your life. Doing exercise tends to release a neurotransmitter, GABA, that keeps you in control of impulses and can slow down your anxious brain activity.

Ward-off anxious thoughts: Most of us might be apprehensive about heading to work and just the thought of the amount of work piled up might make you anxious. Science shows that any form of aerobic exercise lowers your general anxiety levels. Also, any high-intensity workout reduces anxiety sensitivity.

Boosts brainpower: Any form of physical workout has a great potential to improve levels of BDNF(brain-developed neurotropic factor) which helps build healthier nerve cells. A study has shown that a strenuous workout improves memory power and people are in a position to absorb concepts better.

Better Sleep: As much as exercise is important to your overall health, sleep is equally important. A good strenuous workout tires out the muscles and this, in turn, helps you sleep better. As we all probably know by now, proper sleep gives your body time to recover and start afresh the next day.

The benefits of a morning run clearly outrank the biggest challenge – our laziness, so the next time we hit that snooze button, pause a couple of seconds and think of the world of good things that morning run will bring.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.

Read more

Motivation Comments Off on Strapped for time? Run at night! |

Strapped for time? Run at night!

If only I had the time to run, seems to be the lament for a lot of us who struggle to fit in running during the day. Well, how about after the day, asks Radhika Meganathan.

Have you ever considered running after the sun had set, with the stars above you keeping company? Poetic, but not practical, you say? Come on! Consider the pros:

  1. Better chance at forming good habits. It’s so easy to hit the couch in the evening, switch on the TV and all good intentions go out of the window. When you opt for a night run, you then automatically fight against lethargy and be proactive, by choosing to run either straight from your work or once you arrive home, before or after dinner.
  2. Better life co-ordination. For some of us, running in the morning is just not done. You might be a night owl, wake up a tad too late and greet a scorching sun. You might have an early shift, by way of work or other life commitments like an early school run. And let’s not forget certain issues of intimacy. “My husband doesn’t run, and we both work, so I really do not want to miss the early morning cuddle time with him,” confesses Sheila*, an ardent runner. Universal Solution? Night runs.
  3. Better mind space. Each day brings new goals and routine obligations, and it can get quite overwhelming when you try to accommodate your passion for running in the early morning chaos (or midday work blues). Naturally, when you choose night runs, the ever-busy day is over and you are free to breathe easy and truly savour your running time. “I always get my run done however late I get back from work. I prepare dinner for kids and go for a run at 8:30pm or even later,” says Srimathy Vardan, investment banker in New York.
  4. Better sleep. Modern day stress, overuse of gadget and bad work-life management have lead to poor sleeping patterns, and seemingly a whopping 50% of people complain of poor sleep in the night. The problem is, if you don’t sleep well, then you don’t perform well the next day. With a night run, your body is pleasantly tired and ready to welcome some deep sleep – an easy, natural and healthy remedy for a complex health issue, a free one at that.

Now that we have convinced you that running is the night is the next best thing, here are some pointers to keep in mind while you burn the not-quite-midnight oil to run:

  • Always keep your phone with you, fully charged and with the latest tracking apps. Investing in a head lamp and clothing with reflective strips or piping is a great idea.
  • Never run in unknown roads; keep to well-lit, well known roads and paths, even if you live in a safe neighbourhood.
  • If you need music while running, opt for a audio book or podcast, since you will still be able to hear outside sounds over your headphones.
  • Do not eat too rich or too much food before your night run. Eat at least two hours before the run, to avoid gastrointestinal issues.
  • If you can postpone dinner until after your run, you will be able to burn some good calories! But if you have type diabetes, you should run after dinner, as studies have shown that it can help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • If you do have dinner two hours before a run, then chances are you may wake up at 3am with a roaring hunger. To prevent this, always have a banana or a protein shake as a post-run, pre-sleep snack before going to bed. Good night and good running!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Radhika Meganathan is a published author who is an advocate for healthy living, she practices sugar-free intermittent fasting, all-terrain rambling and weight training.

Read more

Motivation Comments Off on Should you listen to music during a run? |

Should you listen to music during a run?

There is an impact from listening to music during your run, so should you or shouldn’t you, asks Nandini Reddy.

Science supports listening to music while you run. But there are several pros and cons that you need to consider before pumping up the jam. Music can be a huge motivator especially when you need to keep motivation up. But let us consider two kinds of people – those who don’t listen to music and those who do.

Don’t Listen to Music

Runners who used to run with music have now stopped because of the constant irritation and distraction of the headphones. For some people the music works more as a barrier than an enhancement as it diverts their attention from their body. A lot of runners even consider it a safety hazard as we don’t pay attention to the ambient noises that might be important for our safety. Trail runners do not use music and they want to enjoy being part of nature.

Breathing

We need to focus on our breathing while we run. Runners should have a deep breathing technique that involves diaphragmatic breathing. When your mind is distracted by music it is less likely that you will focus on your breathing. That means you switch to breathing from your chest. This sort of shallow breathing limits the delivery and circulation of oxygen.

The pain of Earphones

There are earphones that are particularly built for running. But despite all the design enhancements earphone can be an irritation and a distraction. The time runners spend in adjusting and setting the earphones in a comfortable position distracts them from the task of running.

In Favour of Music

There is a science behind using music to enhance your running performance. Research has shown that music increases concentration and provides ongoing motivation. Runners have also said that it feels like less effort when they run to music. They are also able to maintain a comfortable tempo when the right kind of music is played. Fast paced and motivating music is the key to a positive run.

A list of the pros of running with music

  • Pumps you up for your runs
  • Sets a consistent tempo
  • Runs feel easier
  • Motivated to run more
  • Positive Influence on mood

While we consider the pros we also need to consider the cons

  • Might not help you get the right pace for your race
  • Distraction from headphones
  • Unsafe as it blocks out your surrounding noise
  • Disconnects you from nature
  • Might undermine the benefits of the running experience

Music or no music – whichever you choose just enjoy your run.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

Read more