Why I run pt.2

Sunrise run on ice

Internal rhythm

This is a short description of a key element of why I run. Rhythm. Music has always been a companion throughout my life, from listening to my parents classic records (I mean extremely classic Beatles / Stones / Dylan / Boney M) to learning to play the piano and my many years of djing. However, I don’t listen to music when I run, I listen to my thoughts but music is there. I can run for miles with the rhythm of a song running through my head and that rhythm allows me to reach some level of flow state. There are recurring songs which tend to accompany me for unknown distances and resonate with the step, step, step of the pace I’m running at. ‘God put a smile upon your face’ (the Mark Ronson horns) have been on loop for hundreds of miles. In fact a lot of classic soul, specifically the brass sections tend to carry me along. Curtis Mayfield or Marvin Gaye sit perfectly alongside the vista of Ilkley Moor in the mist.

There’s a mathematical element to the rhythm. A steady run generates a heart rate of between 140-160 bpm, house to drum ‘n’ bass pace. I could never run to slow jams, that’s more of a yoga vibe. In fact the heart’s rate during exercise can directly reflect the music people like to listen to. There is a lot of time and investment that now goes into fitness playlists and a science behind their impact. For me, it’s about my own rhythm and my body finding and settling to that rhythm. That’s why I don’t listen to music, it stops me listening to my own body, I can always mix something over the top of it, especially soulful horns.

I’m going to talk about flow in some of these posts, this is part of achieving a flow state for me. I’d recommend listening to your own rhythm once in a while, the blood pumping, steady breathing, cadenced steps and internal horn section (not for everyone).

In relation to flow this is worth a read: The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance

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