Today on Hollaback Health I’m talking about how my operatic training has made me a better blogger but I’ve also been thinking about how it makes me a better runner. To follow up Wednesday’s post I thought I’d share some of those tidbits with you.
Breathing: You would think that after years of learning how to breathe properly this would come naturally to me but I still have to remind myself. On Monday I was on pretty much the most difficult run I’ve ever done and I thought I was doomed. Ten minutes in my side hurt and I was heaving breaths. I had to (mentally) stop and say to myself, “Kendra, are you a singer or what? Breathe your freaking idiot.” I covered this pretty thoroughly on Wednesday, though in Breathe, Kendra, Breathe.
Zone into the music: I definitely get all “Lose yourself in the music, the moment. You own it, you better never let it go,” which is another way of saying that when I’m running and it’s really hard I make myself the “character” in the music. It’s a really great way to use what you body’s feeling to keep pushing yourself instead of letting it be, “OMG I will die now.” I choose my tunes really carefully for which parts of the run are the hardest and for when I will need which character. I’m about to prove that I’m crazy but here’s an example.
At the beginning of my workout I do a 5 minute warm-up of walking. I get really bored and antsy to start running during this but I also know it’s really important. I start with something that sounds like a march or something all conspiracy theory. Muse! It’s at about the 20 minute mark where I need more theatrics. Lady Gaga is always good for that but it hardly matters what it is as long as I can imagine the scene. As much as I hate to admit it, “Can’t Be Tamed” is a go to song right now.
Stamina: One of the most important things I’ve learned about both exercise and singing is to pace yourself. Lots of arias are like the intervals I do while running. If I start off a song too fast I’m going to be in serious trouble when I get to the runs in the upcoming sections. Not only do I need to choose my tempo with this in mind but I also need to hold back my voice in some ways. You don’t want to get to the finale and have already shot your wad.
In running, especially with High Intensity Intervals, you also have to plan ahead for how much energy you will expend in each section because you want to make it to the end without fainting on the treadmill. Let’s face it; treadmill burns on your face would really suck. The last thing I need is one more scar on my face thankyouverymuch.
Discipline: It’s true, I utilize this skill as rarely as possible, but I do have the ability to be disciplined. I know that if I want to get anywhere in the opera world I have to put in my time in the practice room. I also know that if I want to lose weight and increase my cardiovascular health I need to put in my time on the treadmill.
Technique: I think that proper form and technique is something that is looked over a little too much in the running world. There’s the misconception that you can just lace up your Nikes and go. Well, you can, but proper form and technique is important if you don’t want to injure yourself. I approach most things in this way because of knowing that the same thing is true for singing. If I try to bust out some Wagner aria “Flight of the Valkyries” style I’m going to royally fuck my vocal chords. My muscles need to be trained for certain types of movement, whether that’s for running or singing.
Warm-Up: I hate doing this for both but it’s ridiculously important, so I do.
Well, that’s a wrap. Now I suppose I need to go do both of those things!
How do you get through your exercise time? What helps you press on?
PS: If you didn’t see it yesterday, You have until Wednesday to join my Change it Up Challenge for August. There will be prizes! I’ll announce all the dirty details tomorrow but for now check out the info here: Change it Up Challenge