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Last night as I ran, I started humming some music to take my mind off of how tired I was. It seemed to me that as long as there is oxygen flowing to the muscles in my legs, there is really no reason why I would have to stop. If I don’t pass out from a lack of oxygen in my bloodstream, I should be able to just continuously run. Therefore, most of the exercise should be in my mind, which is exactly what I was trying desperately to control.

Of course, this comes back to my purpose in life. There is no reason that I had to run right then. For a healthier body? I’m not bad at all right now. For a disciplined mind? I’m already pretty disciplined. To challenge myeslf? Well, that’s a good motivation, but it’s not like I would die if I didn’t do it or something. As I thought about this, I realized that the main challenge is having the will to want to continue.

My thoughts drifted to the time before the Olympics and the man who inspired the event to be created. As I recall, that man ran from somewhere to somewhere else, to tell the guys he’s running to about something important. In honor of that run, the Olympics was formed so that this event could be forever remembered. Who, what, and when doesn’t really matter in this situation. What matters is that the guy was motivated enough to run so fast that he died when he got there. That is a sign of real clarity of purpose and made me wonder just what that purpose was.

Since I posed a queston, my brain immediately went in search of a suitable answer. It didn’t have to go too far, as the result stirred the memory of a song that I sang back in elementary/middle school. I recall only two phrases from the song, but even now, they are exceptionally motivating. “There are words like freedom, sweet and wonderful to say. There are words like liberty … “. Every time I sang/said/thought that phrase with conviction, my mind seemed to space out, overcoming all thoughts of being tired. I only remember that this song was sung by some hebrew slaves. That resulted in my brain fetching more images of someone in the Holocaust and of a person as a slave. It seemed to me like the thoughts of freedom would have been an extremely strong rallying cry for them. That sure sounds like something the Olympic guy would have gotten all excited about and ran till he died for! :)

Strangely, it’s actually not that hard to sing while you run. All you have to do is use a few muscles around your larynx while exhaling, so the sound comes quite naturally. Aside from the motivating aspect, it may also have had some positive physical effects too. Singing probably forced me to breath more deeply, bringing extra oxygen into my bloodstream. It may also have released additional endorphins and dopamine into my bloodstream, making the entire experience feel better.

Near the end of my run, I was extremely tired and normally might have slowed down or started walking. However, I tried singing louder and louder. It sounds kind of stupid, but it worked amazingly well. I started running faster and faster, not really feeling the fatigue I had expected. The louder and the more conviction I sang it with, the less I noticed the throbbing of my heart or the fatigue in my muscles.

This whole experience made me realize the power that a motivating idea or song. I don’t know, these couple of phrases work for me: Words Like Freedom, Words Like Liberty, maybe it’ll work for you too.

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4 Responses to “Singing While Running”

  1. An Old Song Leads Me To Some Thoughts About The Power Of Music on March 5th, 2008 12:27 pm

    [...] by music. It’s probably the only thing that kept me going at the end of a run as mentioned in Singing While Running. It allows me to temporarily remove myself from this reality and concentrate on a greater purpose. [...]

  2. Hallo on February 28th, 2010 9:07 pm

    Hallo! what you are experiencing, good sir, is the power of music. I myself worship the god of music/rock/metal/awesomeness, but i can safely tell you that having the music in your head would yield a better result than singing (if you were doing say, the beep test). However, do i think singing while excercising is bad? Hell no, it’s fun!

  3. Holly on October 21st, 2011 1:33 am

    Hey! I just did pretty much the same thing and was so exhilerated by the whole experience I decided to google it (like all people do!) and look where I ended up.

    It was great and by far the most ‘feel good’ run I’ve had in a long time. I managed to go 5 times the distance running where as I would usually start walking and get tired. I feel good now and yeah! I’m sure as hell gonna do that again!

    btw I definately agree with you on the whole “the challenge is having the will to keep doing it” thing. Great post :)

  4. ¿Es bueno cantar corriendo? | Corre Gerardo, corre! on April 24th, 2012 1:37 pm

    [...] esto, también hay otra forma de ver el uso de cantar a la vez que corres. Como cuenta este corredor en su blog, un día, salio a correr lo máximo que podía. El piensa como yo suelo pensar, hay que [...]