What Motivates Me to Run


For me, running is selfish. I do it for myself. I do it because I enjoy it. I don’t train with anyone else. I don’t belong to a running club. I don’t train for events in exotic far away places, or for the status of saying I competed in such-and-such. It’s strictly solo.  Although I try to keep my running a personal matter, frequently someone who has seen me pounding the pavement, will approach me and say, “Hey, I waved to you while you were out running and you didn’t even see me!”  I ususally use the excuse, “Oh, I must have been in the zone”.  Truth is, I was probably trying to catch my breath (gasp), or keep from tripping over something and causing an unnecessary injury. So there you have it,  proof that  when I am running,  I am thinking only about myself!

Today I want to share what motivates me to run: music. It can turn a “I don’t feel much like running” day into a  “just had the best run” kinda day.  Ideally music should match your pace. That would mean, in my case, I should be running to music with 170 beats per minute (BPM).  If you are interested, here is a link that will help you match your music to your pace.  This week I made a new playlist for myself, which I am posting here today. In addition to the song, artist, and time I have listed the BPM. You will notice, there are no  songs with 170 BPM. Why? Did I mention running is about me. I pick songs  primarily based on 3  criteria: I like the song,  it’s energetic enough to motivate me to reach my goal target heart rate,  helps keep me focused.

In addition to the above criteria, I  also like variety. Mix it up. Change it around. You’ll notice every song  in my playlist is by a different artist and the genre of the music varies from pop and rock to hip hop and folk.  This playlist even includes a few Christmas songs. Life changes, music should change. Keep it interesting. If you like to run, trying making your own playlist by either matching music to your pace, or  listen to what you like!  Just check to make sure you’re reaping all the benefits of your run by finding your target heart rate and checking during exercise to assure the  music is pumping you up, but not maxing you out! The benefits of exercise are gained when you exercise at the right intensity. If you are not exerting yourself or your heart rate is too low, pick up the pace. If you feel you’re pushing too much or your heart rate is too high, slow it down.

Knowing that exercise is good for me might be enough to get me going, but music makes the experience enjoyable. That’s why I come back for more, everyday.

How do you get motivated to exercise? What are your favorite  running songs? If I get enough responses, I’ll create a new playlist including your favorites!

Diane’s December Running Playlist

Call me Maybe, Carly Rae Jepsen 3:20;  BPM 120

Rains Down In Africa Toto 4:22; BPM 92.7

Dynamite, Taio Cruz, 4:13;  BPM 128

Part of Me, Katy Perry 3:40; BPM 130

Fire burning, Somebody call 911 Sean Kingston 3:51;BPM 123

All I want for Christmas is You, Mariah Carey 3:55; BPM 150

We found Love, Rhianna 4:36;BPM 128

What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger) Kelly Clarkson 3:43; BPM 120

Paparazzi, Lady Gaga 3:36; BPM 115

More, Usher 4:11;BPM 119

Same Old Lang Syne, Dan Fogelberg 5:22; BPM 120


Making the Treadmill ‘Easy’

Today’s post is about making the treadmill fun. Did I just use the words fun and treadmill in the same sentence? Yeah, I did.  The poor treadmill; it is notoriously referred to as the dreadmill!  Yet there are situations I am truly thankful for it.  They are when: 1). the weather is bad, 2.) I am traveling, 3.) it’s dark outside.

Because the treadmill does not have the same visual benefits of running outside, I always  listen to music. The key to making it fun is to tailor your music to the intensity of your workout. I do this by making a playlist. Start by deciding how you intend to train, i.e. time, intensity. How long do you want your warm up; cool down. When do you start to fade (time to add a motivating song or one that beckons you to ‘hang in there’). Oh, one more thing, set a goal. Decide how far you want to run by the end of your playlist. That will keep you pushing for something you want to achieve (other  than getting off the machine).

There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to making your playlist. It’s about what you like and what  pumps you up!  The only wrong songs are the songs that don’t work for you.  (I once ran with my son’s ipod and it was dead wrong!)

I’ve made a playlist for myself to give you an example.  If I run on the treadmill, I usually limit it to about 30 minutes and aim for a moderate to intense work out.  I use one song for a warm up and one for a cool down.   I strategically place a favorite song at half way. In this playlist it’s Easy, by Rascall Flatts.  This is motivating because once that song is over, I am heading into last half of my run! I try to keep  rest of the songs upbeat  to maintain my intensity and get a good, solid work out. My goal would be to run 4 miles before the music runs out. Here is my personal making the treadmill fun playlist:

Rolling in the Deep (Adele) 3:50

Firework (Katy Perry) 3:47

Hold it Against… Britney Spears 3:49

Easy (Rascal Flatts/Natacha Bedingfield) 3:42

Break Your Heart (Tiao Cruz) 3:13

The Edge of Glory (Lady Gaga) 5:21

Moves like Jaggar (Maroon 5) 3:44

Give Me Everything (Pitbull) 4:07

Try making a playlist of your favorite  tunes tailored to your  treadmill workout. You may find people asking, “How do you make it look so easy?”

If you made a playlist, where would you strategically place songs? What would they be?

Diane Boyd,  M.B.A., R.D., L.D.N


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