Archives for December 2017

Running and Music

by CPM Librarian Stephanie Bandel

I am a runner, a runner who every day rises at five in the morning, commutes two hours, completes three hours of graduate coursework, and at 6:00 p.m. sits down at the kitchen table and laces up running shoes for a short four miler. At that point I’m tired, I’m questioning my desire to continue pursuing my master’s degree, I’m doubting myself, and I’m worried. So I finish lacing up, walk slowly down my driveway while fiddling with my phone to launch Spotify, access my “Run It” playlist, and hit “Shuffle.”

Stephanie’s “Run It” playlist

The music pushes me to take my first steps into another nightly run. Instantly my thoughts change. I’m not doubting, I’m not worrying, and I’m not caught up in the day. Instead I’m flying, my feet racing over the pavement. Kendrick Lamar, Lady Gaga, Adele, The Weekend, Halsey and so many others cheer me on, propelling me forward both physically and mentally.

In their article pertaining to music and running Lane, Davis, and Davenport (2011) conducted a study of the effects of music on emotional states in runners. They had several participants sign up for their study, set a running goal, and choose music they felt would aid them in reaching this goal. After conducting the study, Lane, et. al. surmised that “the findings of the present study lend support to the notion that listening to music is an effective emotion regulation strategy for use in running” (p. 405). I know their findings to be true from personal experience.

I recently ran my very first half marathon: 13.1 miles of glory, guts, and (frankly) tears. I have an amazing running buddy that I enjoy talking to whenever we can find the time to run together, but around mile eight of the half marathon we fell quiet and introspective. My thoughts turned to the achy feeling developing in my knee, and I later found out her thoughts were on the possibility that she may not be able to finish. Somewhere along mile eight we separated and I decided it was time for my music.

My pre-race running packet.

Smiling before the race, with earbuds around my neck.












I shoved in my wireless earbuds, irritated that my phone was taking what seemed like centuries to start my app. Finally, I was in and I found my list. I found the second wind I so desperately needed. All my favorite up-tempo pop and rap songs flooded into my mind, and my achy knee, my thirst for water, and my desire to quit faded away. Now I was listening to power ballads, my feet pushing off the ground with every [Read more…]

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