Friday, 17 February 2012

Music for running

What do you think about while you are running?  What do you listen to while running?  What kind of music is good for running to?  All good questions but from this evening's run, I see it differently now.

My evening run, by the way, was a 90 minute treadmill run in which I covered 10 miles and burnt 1100 calories.  I did a fair amount of people watching and although Slobusfaticus wasn't there, his lazy habits of leaving weights all over the floor had spread to others, mostly young male posers who got surprisingly busy whenever a girl wandered over.  I digress.  Throughout the run I listened to my brilliant little iPod Shuffle and had a revelation about good running music.

Normally I like music that makes me feel energised, unbeatable and for that it must be uplifting in some way and have the right tempo.  So my normal good running tracks include:

UB40 - Kingston Town
The Bluebells - Young at Heart

Very unusually I found myself listening to Mahler's 5th symphony.  On the face of it, it is not good music for running.  It is dark, stirring and brooding but incredibly beautiful and yet it's also sad and tragic.  It reminded me of all those dark days back in 2007-8 when I was having so many problems at work.  Those problems and the stress arising from it are still in my memory and still there as a reminder to rise above those issues.  It was the presence of those difficulties that originally drove me to take up running.

Listening to Mahler, in my mind I was running a long a mountain track, pouring with rain, I was tired, hurting and yet there was courage and inspiration to keep on going no matter how tough it got.  Those miles drifted by unnoticed and I was so grateful for this piece of music that unexpectedly fuelled this evening's run.  Thank God for Mahler.

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