Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

  ·  3 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

In the first installment of the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answers questions from RunRockers! Is it better to run in the morning or at night? – RunRocker Bree Here’s the simple answer: whenever you can enjoy it the most. That said, there are some technical and physiological considerations to keep in mind. The best time to exercise, including running, is when your body temperature reaches a peak and your muscles are most supple, commonly in the late afternoon. Early morning runners enjoy the motivational jolt it gives the day, despite the fact that it’s not considered the best from a physiological perspective—stiff muscles and low body temperature don’t make for an easily executed run. If you are training for a race, which most often gets started early in the day, it’s a great idea to run in the morning to be prepared for the big “ready, set, GO.” While running at the end of a workday can be a mental challenge, there is research that suggests there is an increase in lung function and peak performance later in the day, making the run surprisingly easier to do.I’m relatively new to racing (obstacle/road). I’m having a hard time getting psyched up. Then I have trouble settling my nerves. Do you have any pre- race techniques I could use? –RunRocker Sean“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”
-Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winnerI’ll offer you a number of tips to get yourself mentally ready to settle your nerves and avoid any mentally created obstacles.Rehearse the race before you cross the start line. This requires you to plan out your speed, stride, step and pace.Be sure you’ve accustomed yourself to the course you are going to run. This will help decide when to use associative or dissociative thinking style along the path, especially as you break the run down into segments.Plan your thoughts across the run in advance. Associative thoughts are about your bodily sensations and self-talk. Dissociative thinking is used to distract you from fatigue, such as music, counting, fantasizing, people watching. Associative thinking is typically connected to faster running times, and used at key times during a race to propel the runner, while dissociative thinking is often switched to when fatigue and pain set in.Self-talk is not always a bad thing. What are you telling yourself or predicting before you start? Make sure to encourage yourself and not predict in your mind obstacles that don’t exist.Goals? Focus on process goals, not the outcome. Compare and despair at your own risk. It’s not an “all or nothing” run. Run without expectations except to meet your goals along the way.Stay physically relaxed using deep and slow breathing and use mind-body internal reflections to scan your body for tension to be released once you find it. Visualize the race using all senses – see yourself running, image what people look like along the way and watch yourself crossing the finish line in good spirits. Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

  ·  3 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

In the first installment of the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answers questions from RunRockers! Is it better to run in the morning or at night? – RunRocker Bree Here’s the simple answer: whenever you can enjoy it the most. That said, there are some technical and physiological considerations to keep in mind. The best time to exercise, including running, is when your body temperature reaches a peak and your muscles are most supple, commonly in the late afternoon. Early morning runners enjoy the motivational jolt it gives the day, despite the fact that it’s not considered the best from a physiological perspective—stiff muscles and low body temperature don’t make for an easily executed run. If you are training for a race, which most often gets started early in the day, it’s a great idea to run in the morning to be prepared for the big “ready, set, GO.” While running at the end of a workday can be a mental challenge, there is research that suggests there is an increase in lung function and peak performance later in the day, making the run surprisingly easier to do.I’m relatively new to racing (obstacle/road). I’m having a hard time getting psyched up. Then I have trouble settling my nerves. Do you have any pre- race techniques I could use? –RunRocker Sean“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”
-Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winnerI’ll offer you a number of tips to get yourself mentally ready to settle your nerves and avoid any mentally created obstacles.Rehearse the race before you cross the start line. This requires you to plan out your speed, stride, step and pace.Be sure you’ve accustomed yourself to the course you are going to run. This will help decide when to use associative or dissociative thinking style along the path, especially as you break the run down into segments.Plan your thoughts across the run in advance. Associative thoughts are about your bodily sensations and self-talk. Dissociative thinking is used to distract you from fatigue, such as music, counting, fantasizing, people watching. Associative thinking is typically connected to faster running times, and used at key times during a race to propel the runner, while dissociative thinking is often switched to when fatigue and pain set in.Self-talk is not always a bad thing. What are you telling yourself or predicting before you start? Make sure to encourage yourself and not predict in your mind obstacles that don’t exist.Goals? Focus on process goals, not the outcome. Compare and despair at your own risk. It’s not an “all or nothing” run. Run without expectations except to meet your goals along the way.Stay physically relaxed using deep and slow breathing and use mind-body internal reflections to scan your body for tension to be released once you find it. Visualize the race using all senses – see yourself running, image what people look like along the way and watch yourself crossing the finish line in good spirits. Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

  ·  4 min

10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

I’m fed up with people that hate on those of us who enjoy running with music.So, I created a manifesto for the music listening runner. A set of beliefs that those of us who enjoy our music while running share and governs our behavior.Just so you know where I’m coming from, my discovery of the this dislike for us began as a result of a lot of the research I did as one of the founders of Rock My Run into what makes runners tick and what running music would best help them perform. Between hours and hours of interviews and extensive online research, one of the things I discovered is what many of you probably already know: There is a split between those who listen to music while they run and those who don’t.What came to light is that there seems to be some harshly negative views of those that like or even love music while they run. I’ve heard people condemn runners that listen to music as disrespectful, clueless and even question their dedication to the sport.I’ll admit that this frustrates and annoys me.  While we have all dealt with clueless people on a race course or out running in the streets, I don’t believe that this is related to whether or not they are listening to music. I believe that there are clueless people independent of their music listening habits.  I believe that those that are rude on a course don’t represent me and my ability to run with headphones.Once I started thinking about all this I realized that us runners that listen to music need a manifesto; a set of beliefs and principles that define us as a community and can help dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about who we are, why we love our music, and our ability to perform.From there the idea of being a “Run Rocker” started.  However I realized that “rocking a run” meant more than just the combination of running and music – it was about passion, excitement and enjoyment.  It’s about the joy that comes from completing a goal, from performing well and overcoming obstacles.So with that said here is my first stab at a manifesto for Run Rockers everywhere.  See if you agree with me.Music listening runners, unite!I can run with music and still be considered an excellent runnerI will at times unabashedly pump my fist to the beat of the music while I’m running if I’m really feeling a song. After all we’re supposed to have a good time with this, right?I can run with music and still pay attention to my surroundings. Not only am I’m talented like that, I’m also smart enough not to crank my volume in the wrong surroundings. Sometimes I will run only with one earphone in if that’s what the situation calls for.I am not ashamed to admit music can affect me emotionally.  The right song at the right time can make me happy, nostalgic, help me power through a hill or focus on maintaining my paceBelieve it or not, it is absolutely possible to listen to my body AND my music at the same time.  I can rock to a hot mix and determine if that soreness in my hamstrings is an injury or just some lactic acid I need to work throughI believe that “rocking a run” means not just listening to music while running but giving my best effort during every workout, every training run and every race.I believe that while I enjoy running with music, it is not my crutch.  If my iPod dies during a workout or if a race bans music players I can still compete and give it my best.  I just may not like the sound of my own panting.I believe that talking during long runs is ok, but don’t get offended if I turn on my music for a bit.  Sometimes I just want to zone out and rock with my tunes.Treadmills are bad enough as they are.  My music helps me tune out that person next to me talking on their cell phone at the gym (note: there is no “Cellphone Run Talkers” manifesto for good reason :))I am proud to be a run rocker because it means I am taking on new challenges, stretching myself and becoming a better me.What about you? Are there other beliefs that should be added to this list or taken away? What do you think?


10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

  ·  4 min

10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

I’m fed up with people that hate on those of us who enjoy running with music.So, I created a manifesto for the music listening runner. A set of beliefs that those of us who enjoy our music while running share and governs our behavior.Just so you know where I’m coming from, my discovery of the this dislike for us began as a result of a lot of the research I did as one of the founders of Rock My Run into what makes runners tick and what running music would best help them perform. Between hours and hours of interviews and extensive online research, one of the things I discovered is what many of you probably already know: There is a split between those who listen to music while they run and those who don’t.What came to light is that there seems to be some harshly negative views of those that like or even love music while they run. I’ve heard people condemn runners that listen to music as disrespectful, clueless and even question their dedication to the sport.I’ll admit that this frustrates and annoys me.  While we have all dealt with clueless people on a race course or out running in the streets, I don’t believe that this is related to whether or not they are listening to music. I believe that there are clueless people independent of their music listening habits.  I believe that those that are rude on a course don’t represent me and my ability to run with headphones.Once I started thinking about all this I realized that us runners that listen to music need a manifesto; a set of beliefs and principles that define us as a community and can help dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about who we are, why we love our music, and our ability to perform.From there the idea of being a “Run Rocker” started.  However I realized that “rocking a run” meant more than just the combination of running and music – it was about passion, excitement and enjoyment.  It’s about the joy that comes from completing a goal, from performing well and overcoming obstacles.So with that said here is my first stab at a manifesto for Run Rockers everywhere.  See if you agree with me.Music listening runners, unite!I can run with music and still be considered an excellent runnerI will at times unabashedly pump my fist to the beat of the music while I’m running if I’m really feeling a song. After all we’re supposed to have a good time with this, right?I can run with music and still pay attention to my surroundings. Not only am I’m talented like that, I’m also smart enough not to crank my volume in the wrong surroundings. Sometimes I will run only with one earphone in if that’s what the situation calls for.I am not ashamed to admit music can affect me emotionally.  The right song at the right time can make me happy, nostalgic, help me power through a hill or focus on maintaining my paceBelieve it or not, it is absolutely possible to listen to my body AND my music at the same time.  I can rock to a hot mix and determine if that soreness in my hamstrings is an injury or just some lactic acid I need to work throughI believe that “rocking a run” means not just listening to music while running but giving my best effort during every workout, every training run and every race.I believe that while I enjoy running with music, it is not my crutch.  If my iPod dies during a workout or if a race bans music players I can still compete and give it my best.  I just may not like the sound of my own panting.I believe that talking during long runs is ok, but don’t get offended if I turn on my music for a bit.  Sometimes I just want to zone out and rock with my tunes.Treadmills are bad enough as they are.  My music helps me tune out that person next to me talking on their cell phone at the gym (note: there is no “Cellphone Run Talkers” manifesto for good reason :))I am proud to be a run rocker because it means I am taking on new challenges, stretching myself and becoming a better me.What about you? Are there other beliefs that should be added to this list or taken away? What do you think?


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

  ·  3 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

In the first installment of the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answers questions from RunRockers! Is it better to run in the morning or at night? – RunRocker Bree Here’s the simple answer: whenever you can enjoy it the most. That said, there are some technical and physiological considerations to keep in mind. The best time to exercise, including running, is when your body temperature reaches a peak and your muscles are most supple, commonly in the late afternoon. Early morning runners enjoy the motivational jolt it gives the day, despite the fact that it’s not considered the best from a physiological perspective—stiff muscles and low body temperature don’t make for an easily executed run. If you are training for a race, which most often gets started early in the day, it’s a great idea to run in the morning to be prepared for the big “ready, set, GO.” While running at the end of a workday can be a mental challenge, there is research that suggests there is an increase in lung function and peak performance later in the day, making the run surprisingly easier to do.I’m relatively new to racing (obstacle/road). I’m having a hard time getting psyched up. Then I have trouble settling my nerves. Do you have any pre- race techniques I could use? –RunRocker Sean“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”
-Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winnerI’ll offer you a number of tips to get yourself mentally ready to settle your nerves and avoid any mentally created obstacles.Rehearse the race before you cross the start line. This requires you to plan out your speed, stride, step and pace.Be sure you’ve accustomed yourself to the course you are going to run. This will help decide when to use associative or dissociative thinking style along the path, especially as you break the run down into segments.Plan your thoughts across the run in advance. Associative thoughts are about your bodily sensations and self-talk. Dissociative thinking is used to distract you from fatigue, such as music, counting, fantasizing, people watching. Associative thinking is typically connected to faster running times, and used at key times during a race to propel the runner, while dissociative thinking is often switched to when fatigue and pain set in.Self-talk is not always a bad thing. What are you telling yourself or predicting before you start? Make sure to encourage yourself and not predict in your mind obstacles that don’t exist.Goals? Focus on process goals, not the outcome. Compare and despair at your own risk. It’s not an “all or nothing” run. Run without expectations except to meet your goals along the way.Stay physically relaxed using deep and slow breathing and use mind-body internal reflections to scan your body for tension to be released once you find it. Visualize the race using all senses – see yourself running, image what people look like along the way and watch yourself crossing the finish line in good spirits. Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

  ·  3 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

In the first installment of the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answers questions from RunRockers! Is it better to run in the morning or at night? – RunRocker Bree Here’s the simple answer: whenever you can enjoy it the most. That said, there are some technical and physiological considerations to keep in mind. The best time to exercise, including running, is when your body temperature reaches a peak and your muscles are most supple, commonly in the late afternoon. Early morning runners enjoy the motivational jolt it gives the day, despite the fact that it’s not considered the best from a physiological perspective—stiff muscles and low body temperature don’t make for an easily executed run. If you are training for a race, which most often gets started early in the day, it’s a great idea to run in the morning to be prepared for the big “ready, set, GO.” While running at the end of a workday can be a mental challenge, there is research that suggests there is an increase in lung function and peak performance later in the day, making the run surprisingly easier to do.I’m relatively new to racing (obstacle/road). I’m having a hard time getting psyched up. Then I have trouble settling my nerves. Do you have any pre- race techniques I could use? –RunRocker Sean“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”
-Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winnerI’ll offer you a number of tips to get yourself mentally ready to settle your nerves and avoid any mentally created obstacles.Rehearse the race before you cross the start line. This requires you to plan out your speed, stride, step and pace.Be sure you’ve accustomed yourself to the course you are going to run. This will help decide when to use associative or dissociative thinking style along the path, especially as you break the run down into segments.Plan your thoughts across the run in advance. Associative thoughts are about your bodily sensations and self-talk. Dissociative thinking is used to distract you from fatigue, such as music, counting, fantasizing, people watching. Associative thinking is typically connected to faster running times, and used at key times during a race to propel the runner, while dissociative thinking is often switched to when fatigue and pain set in.Self-talk is not always a bad thing. What are you telling yourself or predicting before you start? Make sure to encourage yourself and not predict in your mind obstacles that don’t exist.Goals? Focus on process goals, not the outcome. Compare and despair at your own risk. It’s not an “all or nothing” run. Run without expectations except to meet your goals along the way.Stay physically relaxed using deep and slow breathing and use mind-body internal reflections to scan your body for tension to be released once you find it. Visualize the race using all senses – see yourself running, image what people look like along the way and watch yourself crossing the finish line in good spirits. Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

  ·  4 min

10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

I’m fed up with people that hate on those of us who enjoy running with music.So, I created a manifesto for the music listening runner. A set of beliefs that those of us who enjoy our music while running share and governs our behavior.Just so you know where I’m coming from, my discovery of the this dislike for us began as a result of a lot of the research I did as one of the founders of Rock My Run into what makes runners tick and what running music would best help them perform. Between hours and hours of interviews and extensive online research, one of the things I discovered is what many of you probably already know: There is a split between those who listen to music while they run and those who don’t.What came to light is that there seems to be some harshly negative views of those that like or even love music while they run. I’ve heard people condemn runners that listen to music as disrespectful, clueless and even question their dedication to the sport.I’ll admit that this frustrates and annoys me.  While we have all dealt with clueless people on a race course or out running in the streets, I don’t believe that this is related to whether or not they are listening to music. I believe that there are clueless people independent of their music listening habits.  I believe that those that are rude on a course don’t represent me and my ability to run with headphones.Once I started thinking about all this I realized that us runners that listen to music need a manifesto; a set of beliefs and principles that define us as a community and can help dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about who we are, why we love our music, and our ability to perform.From there the idea of being a “Run Rocker” started.  However I realized that “rocking a run” meant more than just the combination of running and music – it was about passion, excitement and enjoyment.  It’s about the joy that comes from completing a goal, from performing well and overcoming obstacles.So with that said here is my first stab at a manifesto for Run Rockers everywhere.  See if you agree with me.Music listening runners, unite!I can run with music and still be considered an excellent runnerI will at times unabashedly pump my fist to the beat of the music while I’m running if I’m really feeling a song. After all we’re supposed to have a good time with this, right?I can run with music and still pay attention to my surroundings. Not only am I’m talented like that, I’m also smart enough not to crank my volume in the wrong surroundings. Sometimes I will run only with one earphone in if that’s what the situation calls for.I am not ashamed to admit music can affect me emotionally.  The right song at the right time can make me happy, nostalgic, help me power through a hill or focus on maintaining my paceBelieve it or not, it is absolutely possible to listen to my body AND my music at the same time.  I can rock to a hot mix and determine if that soreness in my hamstrings is an injury or just some lactic acid I need to work throughI believe that “rocking a run” means not just listening to music while running but giving my best effort during every workout, every training run and every race.I believe that while I enjoy running with music, it is not my crutch.  If my iPod dies during a workout or if a race bans music players I can still compete and give it my best.  I just may not like the sound of my own panting.I believe that talking during long runs is ok, but don’t get offended if I turn on my music for a bit.  Sometimes I just want to zone out and rock with my tunes.Treadmills are bad enough as they are.  My music helps me tune out that person next to me talking on their cell phone at the gym (note: there is no “Cellphone Run Talkers” manifesto for good reason :))I am proud to be a run rocker because it means I am taking on new challenges, stretching myself and becoming a better me.What about you? Are there other beliefs that should be added to this list or taken away? What do you think?


10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

  ·  4 min

10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

I’m fed up with people that hate on those of us who enjoy running with music.So, I created a manifesto for the music listening runner. A set of beliefs that those of us who enjoy our music while running share and governs our behavior.Just so you know where I’m coming from, my discovery of the this dislike for us began as a result of a lot of the research I did as one of the founders of Rock My Run into what makes runners tick and what running music would best help them perform. Between hours and hours of interviews and extensive online research, one of the things I discovered is what many of you probably already know: There is a split between those who listen to music while they run and those who don’t.What came to light is that there seems to be some harshly negative views of those that like or even love music while they run. I’ve heard people condemn runners that listen to music as disrespectful, clueless and even question their dedication to the sport.I’ll admit that this frustrates and annoys me.  While we have all dealt with clueless people on a race course or out running in the streets, I don’t believe that this is related to whether or not they are listening to music. I believe that there are clueless people independent of their music listening habits.  I believe that those that are rude on a course don’t represent me and my ability to run with headphones.Once I started thinking about all this I realized that us runners that listen to music need a manifesto; a set of beliefs and principles that define us as a community and can help dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about who we are, why we love our music, and our ability to perform.From there the idea of being a “Run Rocker” started.  However I realized that “rocking a run” meant more than just the combination of running and music – it was about passion, excitement and enjoyment.  It’s about the joy that comes from completing a goal, from performing well and overcoming obstacles.So with that said here is my first stab at a manifesto for Run Rockers everywhere.  See if you agree with me.Music listening runners, unite!I can run with music and still be considered an excellent runnerI will at times unabashedly pump my fist to the beat of the music while I’m running if I’m really feeling a song. After all we’re supposed to have a good time with this, right?I can run with music and still pay attention to my surroundings. Not only am I’m talented like that, I’m also smart enough not to crank my volume in the wrong surroundings. Sometimes I will run only with one earphone in if that’s what the situation calls for.I am not ashamed to admit music can affect me emotionally.  The right song at the right time can make me happy, nostalgic, help me power through a hill or focus on maintaining my paceBelieve it or not, it is absolutely possible to listen to my body AND my music at the same time.  I can rock to a hot mix and determine if that soreness in my hamstrings is an injury or just some lactic acid I need to work throughI believe that “rocking a run” means not just listening to music while running but giving my best effort during every workout, every training run and every race.I believe that while I enjoy running with music, it is not my crutch.  If my iPod dies during a workout or if a race bans music players I can still compete and give it my best.  I just may not like the sound of my own panting.I believe that talking during long runs is ok, but don’t get offended if I turn on my music for a bit.  Sometimes I just want to zone out and rock with my tunes.Treadmills are bad enough as they are.  My music helps me tune out that person next to me talking on their cell phone at the gym (note: there is no “Cellphone Run Talkers” manifesto for good reason :))I am proud to be a run rocker because it means I am taking on new challenges, stretching myself and becoming a better me.What about you? Are there other beliefs that should be added to this list or taken away? What do you think?


Stay in touch!

Keep up to date with running tips, news and promotions.
We hate spam too, we promise not to over-email you. Newsletters go out twice a month.
Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

  ·  3 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

In the first installment of the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answers questions from RunRockers! Is it better to run in the morning or at night? – RunRocker Bree Here’s the simple answer: whenever you can enjoy it the most. That said, there are some technical and physiological considerations to keep in mind. The best time to exercise, including running, is when your body temperature reaches a peak and your muscles are most supple, commonly in the late afternoon. Early morning runners enjoy the motivational jolt it gives the day, despite the fact that it’s not considered the best from a physiological perspective—stiff muscles and low body temperature don’t make for an easily executed run. If you are training for a race, which most often gets started early in the day, it’s a great idea to run in the morning to be prepared for the big “ready, set, GO.” While running at the end of a workday can be a mental challenge, there is research that suggests there is an increase in lung function and peak performance later in the day, making the run surprisingly easier to do.I’m relatively new to racing (obstacle/road). I’m having a hard time getting psyched up. Then I have trouble settling my nerves. Do you have any pre- race techniques I could use? –RunRocker Sean“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”
-Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winnerI’ll offer you a number of tips to get yourself mentally ready to settle your nerves and avoid any mentally created obstacles.Rehearse the race before you cross the start line. This requires you to plan out your speed, stride, step and pace.Be sure you’ve accustomed yourself to the course you are going to run. This will help decide when to use associative or dissociative thinking style along the path, especially as you break the run down into segments.Plan your thoughts across the run in advance. Associative thoughts are about your bodily sensations and self-talk. Dissociative thinking is used to distract you from fatigue, such as music, counting, fantasizing, people watching. Associative thinking is typically connected to faster running times, and used at key times during a race to propel the runner, while dissociative thinking is often switched to when fatigue and pain set in.Self-talk is not always a bad thing. What are you telling yourself or predicting before you start? Make sure to encourage yourself and not predict in your mind obstacles that don’t exist.Goals? Focus on process goals, not the outcome. Compare and despair at your own risk. It’s not an “all or nothing” run. Run without expectations except to meet your goals along the way.Stay physically relaxed using deep and slow breathing and use mind-body internal reflections to scan your body for tension to be released once you find it. Visualize the race using all senses – see yourself running, image what people look like along the way and watch yourself crossing the finish line in good spirits. Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

  ·  3 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

In the first installment of the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answers questions from RunRockers! Is it better to run in the morning or at night? – RunRocker Bree Here’s the simple answer: whenever you can enjoy it the most. That said, there are some technical and physiological considerations to keep in mind. The best time to exercise, including running, is when your body temperature reaches a peak and your muscles are most supple, commonly in the late afternoon. Early morning runners enjoy the motivational jolt it gives the day, despite the fact that it’s not considered the best from a physiological perspective—stiff muscles and low body temperature don’t make for an easily executed run. If you are training for a race, which most often gets started early in the day, it’s a great idea to run in the morning to be prepared for the big “ready, set, GO.” While running at the end of a workday can be a mental challenge, there is research that suggests there is an increase in lung function and peak performance later in the day, making the run surprisingly easier to do.I’m relatively new to racing (obstacle/road). I’m having a hard time getting psyched up. Then I have trouble settling my nerves. Do you have any pre- race techniques I could use? –RunRocker Sean“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”
-Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winnerI’ll offer you a number of tips to get yourself mentally ready to settle your nerves and avoid any mentally created obstacles.Rehearse the race before you cross the start line. This requires you to plan out your speed, stride, step and pace.Be sure you’ve accustomed yourself to the course you are going to run. This will help decide when to use associative or dissociative thinking style along the path, especially as you break the run down into segments.Plan your thoughts across the run in advance. Associative thoughts are about your bodily sensations and self-talk. Dissociative thinking is used to distract you from fatigue, such as music, counting, fantasizing, people watching. Associative thinking is typically connected to faster running times, and used at key times during a race to propel the runner, while dissociative thinking is often switched to when fatigue and pain set in.Self-talk is not always a bad thing. What are you telling yourself or predicting before you start? Make sure to encourage yourself and not predict in your mind obstacles that don’t exist.Goals? Focus on process goals, not the outcome. Compare and despair at your own risk. It’s not an “all or nothing” run. Run without expectations except to meet your goals along the way.Stay physically relaxed using deep and slow breathing and use mind-body internal reflections to scan your body for tension to be released once you find it. Visualize the race using all senses – see yourself running, image what people look like along the way and watch yourself crossing the finish line in good spirits. Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

  ·  4 min

10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

I’m fed up with people that hate on those of us who enjoy running with music.So, I created a manifesto for the music listening runner. A set of beliefs that those of us who enjoy our music while running share and governs our behavior.Just so you know where I’m coming from, my discovery of the this dislike for us began as a result of a lot of the research I did as one of the founders of Rock My Run into what makes runners tick and what running music would best help them perform. Between hours and hours of interviews and extensive online research, one of the things I discovered is what many of you probably already know: There is a split between those who listen to music while they run and those who don’t.What came to light is that there seems to be some harshly negative views of those that like or even love music while they run. I’ve heard people condemn runners that listen to music as disrespectful, clueless and even question their dedication to the sport.I’ll admit that this frustrates and annoys me.  While we have all dealt with clueless people on a race course or out running in the streets, I don’t believe that this is related to whether or not they are listening to music. I believe that there are clueless people independent of their music listening habits.  I believe that those that are rude on a course don’t represent me and my ability to run with headphones.Once I started thinking about all this I realized that us runners that listen to music need a manifesto; a set of beliefs and principles that define us as a community and can help dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about who we are, why we love our music, and our ability to perform.From there the idea of being a “Run Rocker” started.  However I realized that “rocking a run” meant more than just the combination of running and music – it was about passion, excitement and enjoyment.  It’s about the joy that comes from completing a goal, from performing well and overcoming obstacles.So with that said here is my first stab at a manifesto for Run Rockers everywhere.  See if you agree with me.Music listening runners, unite!I can run with music and still be considered an excellent runnerI will at times unabashedly pump my fist to the beat of the music while I’m running if I’m really feeling a song. After all we’re supposed to have a good time with this, right?I can run with music and still pay attention to my surroundings. Not only am I’m talented like that, I’m also smart enough not to crank my volume in the wrong surroundings. Sometimes I will run only with one earphone in if that’s what the situation calls for.I am not ashamed to admit music can affect me emotionally.  The right song at the right time can make me happy, nostalgic, help me power through a hill or focus on maintaining my paceBelieve it or not, it is absolutely possible to listen to my body AND my music at the same time.  I can rock to a hot mix and determine if that soreness in my hamstrings is an injury or just some lactic acid I need to work throughI believe that “rocking a run” means not just listening to music while running but giving my best effort during every workout, every training run and every race.I believe that while I enjoy running with music, it is not my crutch.  If my iPod dies during a workout or if a race bans music players I can still compete and give it my best.  I just may not like the sound of my own panting.I believe that talking during long runs is ok, but don’t get offended if I turn on my music for a bit.  Sometimes I just want to zone out and rock with my tunes.Treadmills are bad enough as they are.  My music helps me tune out that person next to me talking on their cell phone at the gym (note: there is no “Cellphone Run Talkers” manifesto for good reason :))I am proud to be a run rocker because it means I am taking on new challenges, stretching myself and becoming a better me.What about you? Are there other beliefs that should be added to this list or taken away? What do you think?


10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

  ·  4 min

10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

I’m fed up with people that hate on those of us who enjoy running with music.So, I created a manifesto for the music listening runner. A set of beliefs that those of us who enjoy our music while running share and governs our behavior.Just so you know where I’m coming from, my discovery of the this dislike for us began as a result of a lot of the research I did as one of the founders of Rock My Run into what makes runners tick and what running music would best help them perform. Between hours and hours of interviews and extensive online research, one of the things I discovered is what many of you probably already know: There is a split between those who listen to music while they run and those who don’t.What came to light is that there seems to be some harshly negative views of those that like or even love music while they run. I’ve heard people condemn runners that listen to music as disrespectful, clueless and even question their dedication to the sport.I’ll admit that this frustrates and annoys me.  While we have all dealt with clueless people on a race course or out running in the streets, I don’t believe that this is related to whether or not they are listening to music. I believe that there are clueless people independent of their music listening habits.  I believe that those that are rude on a course don’t represent me and my ability to run with headphones.Once I started thinking about all this I realized that us runners that listen to music need a manifesto; a set of beliefs and principles that define us as a community and can help dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about who we are, why we love our music, and our ability to perform.From there the idea of being a “Run Rocker” started.  However I realized that “rocking a run” meant more than just the combination of running and music – it was about passion, excitement and enjoyment.  It’s about the joy that comes from completing a goal, from performing well and overcoming obstacles.So with that said here is my first stab at a manifesto for Run Rockers everywhere.  See if you agree with me.Music listening runners, unite!I can run with music and still be considered an excellent runnerI will at times unabashedly pump my fist to the beat of the music while I’m running if I’m really feeling a song. After all we’re supposed to have a good time with this, right?I can run with music and still pay attention to my surroundings. Not only am I’m talented like that, I’m also smart enough not to crank my volume in the wrong surroundings. Sometimes I will run only with one earphone in if that’s what the situation calls for.I am not ashamed to admit music can affect me emotionally.  The right song at the right time can make me happy, nostalgic, help me power through a hill or focus on maintaining my paceBelieve it or not, it is absolutely possible to listen to my body AND my music at the same time.  I can rock to a hot mix and determine if that soreness in my hamstrings is an injury or just some lactic acid I need to work throughI believe that “rocking a run” means not just listening to music while running but giving my best effort during every workout, every training run and every race.I believe that while I enjoy running with music, it is not my crutch.  If my iPod dies during a workout or if a race bans music players I can still compete and give it my best.  I just may not like the sound of my own panting.I believe that talking during long runs is ok, but don’t get offended if I turn on my music for a bit.  Sometimes I just want to zone out and rock with my tunes.Treadmills are bad enough as they are.  My music helps me tune out that person next to me talking on their cell phone at the gym (note: there is no “Cellphone Run Talkers” manifesto for good reason :))I am proud to be a run rocker because it means I am taking on new challenges, stretching myself and becoming a better me.What about you? Are there other beliefs that should be added to this list or taken away? What do you think?


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

  ·  3 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

In the first installment of the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answers questions from RunRockers! Is it better to run in the morning or at night? – RunRocker Bree Here’s the simple answer: whenever you can enjoy it the most. That said, there are some technical and physiological considerations to keep in mind. The best time to exercise, including running, is when your body temperature reaches a peak and your muscles are most supple, commonly in the late afternoon. Early morning runners enjoy the motivational jolt it gives the day, despite the fact that it’s not considered the best from a physiological perspective—stiff muscles and low body temperature don’t make for an easily executed run. If you are training for a race, which most often gets started early in the day, it’s a great idea to run in the morning to be prepared for the big “ready, set, GO.” While running at the end of a workday can be a mental challenge, there is research that suggests there is an increase in lung function and peak performance later in the day, making the run surprisingly easier to do.I’m relatively new to racing (obstacle/road). I’m having a hard time getting psyched up. Then I have trouble settling my nerves. Do you have any pre- race techniques I could use? –RunRocker Sean“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”
-Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winnerI’ll offer you a number of tips to get yourself mentally ready to settle your nerves and avoid any mentally created obstacles.Rehearse the race before you cross the start line. This requires you to plan out your speed, stride, step and pace.Be sure you’ve accustomed yourself to the course you are going to run. This will help decide when to use associative or dissociative thinking style along the path, especially as you break the run down into segments.Plan your thoughts across the run in advance. Associative thoughts are about your bodily sensations and self-talk. Dissociative thinking is used to distract you from fatigue, such as music, counting, fantasizing, people watching. Associative thinking is typically connected to faster running times, and used at key times during a race to propel the runner, while dissociative thinking is often switched to when fatigue and pain set in.Self-talk is not always a bad thing. What are you telling yourself or predicting before you start? Make sure to encourage yourself and not predict in your mind obstacles that don’t exist.Goals? Focus on process goals, not the outcome. Compare and despair at your own risk. It’s not an “all or nothing” run. Run without expectations except to meet your goals along the way.Stay physically relaxed using deep and slow breathing and use mind-body internal reflections to scan your body for tension to be released once you find it. Visualize the race using all senses – see yourself running, image what people look like along the way and watch yourself crossing the finish line in good spirits. Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

  ·  3 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

In the first installment of the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answers questions from RunRockers! Is it better to run in the morning or at night? – RunRocker Bree Here’s the simple answer: whenever you can enjoy it the most. That said, there are some technical and physiological considerations to keep in mind. The best time to exercise, including running, is when your body temperature reaches a peak and your muscles are most supple, commonly in the late afternoon. Early morning runners enjoy the motivational jolt it gives the day, despite the fact that it’s not considered the best from a physiological perspective—stiff muscles and low body temperature don’t make for an easily executed run. If you are training for a race, which most often gets started early in the day, it’s a great idea to run in the morning to be prepared for the big “ready, set, GO.” While running at the end of a workday can be a mental challenge, there is research that suggests there is an increase in lung function and peak performance later in the day, making the run surprisingly easier to do.I’m relatively new to racing (obstacle/road). I’m having a hard time getting psyched up. Then I have trouble settling my nerves. Do you have any pre- race techniques I could use? –RunRocker Sean“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”
-Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winnerI’ll offer you a number of tips to get yourself mentally ready to settle your nerves and avoid any mentally created obstacles.Rehearse the race before you cross the start line. This requires you to plan out your speed, stride, step and pace.Be sure you’ve accustomed yourself to the course you are going to run. This will help decide when to use associative or dissociative thinking style along the path, especially as you break the run down into segments.Plan your thoughts across the run in advance. Associative thoughts are about your bodily sensations and self-talk. Dissociative thinking is used to distract you from fatigue, such as music, counting, fantasizing, people watching. Associative thinking is typically connected to faster running times, and used at key times during a race to propel the runner, while dissociative thinking is often switched to when fatigue and pain set in.Self-talk is not always a bad thing. What are you telling yourself or predicting before you start? Make sure to encourage yourself and not predict in your mind obstacles that don’t exist.Goals? Focus on process goals, not the outcome. Compare and despair at your own risk. It’s not an “all or nothing” run. Run without expectations except to meet your goals along the way.Stay physically relaxed using deep and slow breathing and use mind-body internal reflections to scan your body for tension to be released once you find it. Visualize the race using all senses – see yourself running, image what people look like along the way and watch yourself crossing the finish line in good spirits. Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

  ·  4 min

10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

I’m fed up with people that hate on those of us who enjoy running with music.So, I created a manifesto for the music listening runner. A set of beliefs that those of us who enjoy our music while running share and governs our behavior.Just so you know where I’m coming from, my discovery of the this dislike for us began as a result of a lot of the research I did as one of the founders of Rock My Run into what makes runners tick and what running music would best help them perform. Between hours and hours of interviews and extensive online research, one of the things I discovered is what many of you probably already know: There is a split between those who listen to music while they run and those who don’t.What came to light is that there seems to be some harshly negative views of those that like or even love music while they run. I’ve heard people condemn runners that listen to music as disrespectful, clueless and even question their dedication to the sport.I’ll admit that this frustrates and annoys me.  While we have all dealt with clueless people on a race course or out running in the streets, I don’t believe that this is related to whether or not they are listening to music. I believe that there are clueless people independent of their music listening habits.  I believe that those that are rude on a course don’t represent me and my ability to run with headphones.Once I started thinking about all this I realized that us runners that listen to music need a manifesto; a set of beliefs and principles that define us as a community and can help dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about who we are, why we love our music, and our ability to perform.From there the idea of being a “Run Rocker” started.  However I realized that “rocking a run” meant more than just the combination of running and music – it was about passion, excitement and enjoyment.  It’s about the joy that comes from completing a goal, from performing well and overcoming obstacles.So with that said here is my first stab at a manifesto for Run Rockers everywhere.  See if you agree with me.Music listening runners, unite!I can run with music and still be considered an excellent runnerI will at times unabashedly pump my fist to the beat of the music while I’m running if I’m really feeling a song. After all we’re supposed to have a good time with this, right?I can run with music and still pay attention to my surroundings. Not only am I’m talented like that, I’m also smart enough not to crank my volume in the wrong surroundings. Sometimes I will run only with one earphone in if that’s what the situation calls for.I am not ashamed to admit music can affect me emotionally.  The right song at the right time can make me happy, nostalgic, help me power through a hill or focus on maintaining my paceBelieve it or not, it is absolutely possible to listen to my body AND my music at the same time.  I can rock to a hot mix and determine if that soreness in my hamstrings is an injury or just some lactic acid I need to work throughI believe that “rocking a run” means not just listening to music while running but giving my best effort during every workout, every training run and every race.I believe that while I enjoy running with music, it is not my crutch.  If my iPod dies during a workout or if a race bans music players I can still compete and give it my best.  I just may not like the sound of my own panting.I believe that talking during long runs is ok, but don’t get offended if I turn on my music for a bit.  Sometimes I just want to zone out and rock with my tunes.Treadmills are bad enough as they are.  My music helps me tune out that person next to me talking on their cell phone at the gym (note: there is no “Cellphone Run Talkers” manifesto for good reason :))I am proud to be a run rocker because it means I am taking on new challenges, stretching myself and becoming a better me.What about you? Are there other beliefs that should be added to this list or taken away? What do you think?


10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

  ·  4 min

10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

I’m fed up with people that hate on those of us who enjoy running with music.So, I created a manifesto for the music listening runner. A set of beliefs that those of us who enjoy our music while running share and governs our behavior.Just so you know where I’m coming from, my discovery of the this dislike for us began as a result of a lot of the research I did as one of the founders of Rock My Run into what makes runners tick and what running music would best help them perform. Between hours and hours of interviews and extensive online research, one of the things I discovered is what many of you probably already know: There is a split between those who listen to music while they run and those who don’t.What came to light is that there seems to be some harshly negative views of those that like or even love music while they run. I’ve heard people condemn runners that listen to music as disrespectful, clueless and even question their dedication to the sport.I’ll admit that this frustrates and annoys me.  While we have all dealt with clueless people on a race course or out running in the streets, I don’t believe that this is related to whether or not they are listening to music. I believe that there are clueless people independent of their music listening habits.  I believe that those that are rude on a course don’t represent me and my ability to run with headphones.Once I started thinking about all this I realized that us runners that listen to music need a manifesto; a set of beliefs and principles that define us as a community and can help dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about who we are, why we love our music, and our ability to perform.From there the idea of being a “Run Rocker” started.  However I realized that “rocking a run” meant more than just the combination of running and music – it was about passion, excitement and enjoyment.  It’s about the joy that comes from completing a goal, from performing well and overcoming obstacles.So with that said here is my first stab at a manifesto for Run Rockers everywhere.  See if you agree with me.Music listening runners, unite!I can run with music and still be considered an excellent runnerI will at times unabashedly pump my fist to the beat of the music while I’m running if I’m really feeling a song. After all we’re supposed to have a good time with this, right?I can run with music and still pay attention to my surroundings. Not only am I’m talented like that, I’m also smart enough not to crank my volume in the wrong surroundings. Sometimes I will run only with one earphone in if that’s what the situation calls for.I am not ashamed to admit music can affect me emotionally.  The right song at the right time can make me happy, nostalgic, help me power through a hill or focus on maintaining my paceBelieve it or not, it is absolutely possible to listen to my body AND my music at the same time.  I can rock to a hot mix and determine if that soreness in my hamstrings is an injury or just some lactic acid I need to work throughI believe that “rocking a run” means not just listening to music while running but giving my best effort during every workout, every training run and every race.I believe that while I enjoy running with music, it is not my crutch.  If my iPod dies during a workout or if a race bans music players I can still compete and give it my best.  I just may not like the sound of my own panting.I believe that talking during long runs is ok, but don’t get offended if I turn on my music for a bit.  Sometimes I just want to zone out and rock with my tunes.Treadmills are bad enough as they are.  My music helps me tune out that person next to me talking on their cell phone at the gym (note: there is no “Cellphone Run Talkers” manifesto for good reason :))I am proud to be a run rocker because it means I am taking on new challenges, stretching myself and becoming a better me.What about you? Are there other beliefs that should be added to this list or taken away? What do you think?


Stay in touch!

Keep up to date with running tips, news and promotions.
We hate spam too, we promise not to over-email you.
Newsletters go out twice a month.
Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

  ·  3 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

In the first installment of the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answers questions from RunRockers! Is it better to run in the morning or at night? – RunRocker Bree Here’s the simple answer: whenever you can enjoy it the most. That said, there are some technical and physiological considerations to keep in mind. The best time to exercise, including running, is when your body temperature reaches a peak and your muscles are most supple, commonly in the late afternoon. Early morning runners enjoy the motivational jolt it gives the day, despite the fact that it’s not considered the best from a physiological perspective—stiff muscles and low body temperature don’t make for an easily executed run. If you are training for a race, which most often gets started early in the day, it’s a great idea to run in the morning to be prepared for the big “ready, set, GO.” While running at the end of a workday can be a mental challenge, there is research that suggests there is an increase in lung function and peak performance later in the day, making the run surprisingly easier to do.I’m relatively new to racing (obstacle/road). I’m having a hard time getting psyched up. Then I have trouble settling my nerves. Do you have any pre- race techniques I could use? –RunRocker Sean“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”
-Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winnerI’ll offer you a number of tips to get yourself mentally ready to settle your nerves and avoid any mentally created obstacles.Rehearse the race before you cross the start line. This requires you to plan out your speed, stride, step and pace.Be sure you’ve accustomed yourself to the course you are going to run. This will help decide when to use associative or dissociative thinking style along the path, especially as you break the run down into segments.Plan your thoughts across the run in advance. Associative thoughts are about your bodily sensations and self-talk. Dissociative thinking is used to distract you from fatigue, such as music, counting, fantasizing, people watching. Associative thinking is typically connected to faster running times, and used at key times during a race to propel the runner, while dissociative thinking is often switched to when fatigue and pain set in.Self-talk is not always a bad thing. What are you telling yourself or predicting before you start? Make sure to encourage yourself and not predict in your mind obstacles that don’t exist.Goals? Focus on process goals, not the outcome. Compare and despair at your own risk. It’s not an “all or nothing” run. Run without expectations except to meet your goals along the way.Stay physically relaxed using deep and slow breathing and use mind-body internal reflections to scan your body for tension to be released once you find it. Visualize the race using all senses – see yourself running, image what people look like along the way and watch yourself crossing the finish line in good spirits. Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

  ·  3 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

In the first installment of the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answers questions from RunRockers! Is it better to run in the morning or at night? – RunRocker Bree Here’s the simple answer: whenever you can enjoy it the most. That said, there are some technical and physiological considerations to keep in mind. The best time to exercise, including running, is when your body temperature reaches a peak and your muscles are most supple, commonly in the late afternoon. Early morning runners enjoy the motivational jolt it gives the day, despite the fact that it’s not considered the best from a physiological perspective—stiff muscles and low body temperature don’t make for an easily executed run. If you are training for a race, which most often gets started early in the day, it’s a great idea to run in the morning to be prepared for the big “ready, set, GO.” While running at the end of a workday can be a mental challenge, there is research that suggests there is an increase in lung function and peak performance later in the day, making the run surprisingly easier to do.I’m relatively new to racing (obstacle/road). I’m having a hard time getting psyched up. Then I have trouble settling my nerves. Do you have any pre- race techniques I could use? –RunRocker Sean“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”
-Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winnerI’ll offer you a number of tips to get yourself mentally ready to settle your nerves and avoid any mentally created obstacles.Rehearse the race before you cross the start line. This requires you to plan out your speed, stride, step and pace.Be sure you’ve accustomed yourself to the course you are going to run. This will help decide when to use associative or dissociative thinking style along the path, especially as you break the run down into segments.Plan your thoughts across the run in advance. Associative thoughts are about your bodily sensations and self-talk. Dissociative thinking is used to distract you from fatigue, such as music, counting, fantasizing, people watching. Associative thinking is typically connected to faster running times, and used at key times during a race to propel the runner, while dissociative thinking is often switched to when fatigue and pain set in.Self-talk is not always a bad thing. What are you telling yourself or predicting before you start? Make sure to encourage yourself and not predict in your mind obstacles that don’t exist.Goals? Focus on process goals, not the outcome. Compare and despair at your own risk. It’s not an “all or nothing” run. Run without expectations except to meet your goals along the way.Stay physically relaxed using deep and slow breathing and use mind-body internal reflections to scan your body for tension to be released once you find it. Visualize the race using all senses – see yourself running, image what people look like along the way and watch yourself crossing the finish line in good spirits. Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

  ·  4 min

10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

I’m fed up with people that hate on those of us who enjoy running with music.So, I created a manifesto for the music listening runner. A set of beliefs that those of us who enjoy our music while running share and governs our behavior.Just so you know where I’m coming from, my discovery of the this dislike for us began as a result of a lot of the research I did as one of the founders of Rock My Run into what makes runners tick and what running music would best help them perform. Between hours and hours of interviews and extensive online research, one of the things I discovered is what many of you probably already know: There is a split between those who listen to music while they run and those who don’t.What came to light is that there seems to be some harshly negative views of those that like or even love music while they run. I’ve heard people condemn runners that listen to music as disrespectful, clueless and even question their dedication to the sport.I’ll admit that this frustrates and annoys me.  While we have all dealt with clueless people on a race course or out running in the streets, I don’t believe that this is related to whether or not they are listening to music. I believe that there are clueless people independent of their music listening habits.  I believe that those that are rude on a course don’t represent me and my ability to run with headphones.Once I started thinking about all this I realized that us runners that listen to music need a manifesto; a set of beliefs and principles that define us as a community and can help dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about who we are, why we love our music, and our ability to perform.From there the idea of being a “Run Rocker” started.  However I realized that “rocking a run” meant more than just the combination of running and music – it was about passion, excitement and enjoyment.  It’s about the joy that comes from completing a goal, from performing well and overcoming obstacles.So with that said here is my first stab at a manifesto for Run Rockers everywhere.  See if you agree with me.Music listening runners, unite!I can run with music and still be considered an excellent runnerI will at times unabashedly pump my fist to the beat of the music while I’m running if I’m really feeling a song. After all we’re supposed to have a good time with this, right?I can run with music and still pay attention to my surroundings. Not only am I’m talented like that, I’m also smart enough not to crank my volume in the wrong surroundings. Sometimes I will run only with one earphone in if that’s what the situation calls for.I am not ashamed to admit music can affect me emotionally.  The right song at the right time can make me happy, nostalgic, help me power through a hill or focus on maintaining my paceBelieve it or not, it is absolutely possible to listen to my body AND my music at the same time.  I can rock to a hot mix and determine if that soreness in my hamstrings is an injury or just some lactic acid I need to work throughI believe that “rocking a run” means not just listening to music while running but giving my best effort during every workout, every training run and every race.I believe that while I enjoy running with music, it is not my crutch.  If my iPod dies during a workout or if a race bans music players I can still compete and give it my best.  I just may not like the sound of my own panting.I believe that talking during long runs is ok, but don’t get offended if I turn on my music for a bit.  Sometimes I just want to zone out and rock with my tunes.Treadmills are bad enough as they are.  My music helps me tune out that person next to me talking on their cell phone at the gym (note: there is no “Cellphone Run Talkers” manifesto for good reason :))I am proud to be a run rocker because it means I am taking on new challenges, stretching myself and becoming a better me.What about you? Are there other beliefs that should be added to this list or taken away? What do you think?


10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

  ·  4 min

10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

I’m fed up with people that hate on those of us who enjoy running with music.So, I created a manifesto for the music listening runner. A set of beliefs that those of us who enjoy our music while running share and governs our behavior.Just so you know where I’m coming from, my discovery of the this dislike for us began as a result of a lot of the research I did as one of the founders of Rock My Run into what makes runners tick and what running music would best help them perform. Between hours and hours of interviews and extensive online research, one of the things I discovered is what many of you probably already know: There is a split between those who listen to music while they run and those who don’t.What came to light is that there seems to be some harshly negative views of those that like or even love music while they run. I’ve heard people condemn runners that listen to music as disrespectful, clueless and even question their dedication to the sport.I’ll admit that this frustrates and annoys me.  While we have all dealt with clueless people on a race course or out running in the streets, I don’t believe that this is related to whether or not they are listening to music. I believe that there are clueless people independent of their music listening habits.  I believe that those that are rude on a course don’t represent me and my ability to run with headphones.Once I started thinking about all this I realized that us runners that listen to music need a manifesto; a set of beliefs and principles that define us as a community and can help dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about who we are, why we love our music, and our ability to perform.From there the idea of being a “Run Rocker” started.  However I realized that “rocking a run” meant more than just the combination of running and music – it was about passion, excitement and enjoyment.  It’s about the joy that comes from completing a goal, from performing well and overcoming obstacles.So with that said here is my first stab at a manifesto for Run Rockers everywhere.  See if you agree with me.Music listening runners, unite!I can run with music and still be considered an excellent runnerI will at times unabashedly pump my fist to the beat of the music while I’m running if I’m really feeling a song. After all we’re supposed to have a good time with this, right?I can run with music and still pay attention to my surroundings. Not only am I’m talented like that, I’m also smart enough not to crank my volume in the wrong surroundings. Sometimes I will run only with one earphone in if that’s what the situation calls for.I am not ashamed to admit music can affect me emotionally.  The right song at the right time can make me happy, nostalgic, help me power through a hill or focus on maintaining my paceBelieve it or not, it is absolutely possible to listen to my body AND my music at the same time.  I can rock to a hot mix and determine if that soreness in my hamstrings is an injury or just some lactic acid I need to work throughI believe that “rocking a run” means not just listening to music while running but giving my best effort during every workout, every training run and every race.I believe that while I enjoy running with music, it is not my crutch.  If my iPod dies during a workout or if a race bans music players I can still compete and give it my best.  I just may not like the sound of my own panting.I believe that talking during long runs is ok, but don’t get offended if I turn on my music for a bit.  Sometimes I just want to zone out and rock with my tunes.Treadmills are bad enough as they are.  My music helps me tune out that person next to me talking on their cell phone at the gym (note: there is no “Cellphone Run Talkers” manifesto for good reason :))I am proud to be a run rocker because it means I am taking on new challenges, stretching myself and becoming a better me.What about you? Are there other beliefs that should be added to this list or taken away? What do you think?


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

  ·  3 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

In the first installment of the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answers questions from RunRockers! Is it better to run in the morning or at night? – RunRocker Bree Here’s the simple answer: whenever you can enjoy it the most. That said, there are some technical and physiological considerations to keep in mind. The best time to exercise, including running, is when your body temperature reaches a peak and your muscles are most supple, commonly in the late afternoon. Early morning runners enjoy the motivational jolt it gives the day, despite the fact that it’s not considered the best from a physiological perspective—stiff muscles and low body temperature don’t make for an easily executed run. If you are training for a race, which most often gets started early in the day, it’s a great idea to run in the morning to be prepared for the big “ready, set, GO.” While running at the end of a workday can be a mental challenge, there is research that suggests there is an increase in lung function and peak performance later in the day, making the run surprisingly easier to do.I’m relatively new to racing (obstacle/road). I’m having a hard time getting psyched up. Then I have trouble settling my nerves. Do you have any pre- race techniques I could use? –RunRocker Sean“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”
-Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winnerI’ll offer you a number of tips to get yourself mentally ready to settle your nerves and avoid any mentally created obstacles.Rehearse the race before you cross the start line. This requires you to plan out your speed, stride, step and pace.Be sure you’ve accustomed yourself to the course you are going to run. This will help decide when to use associative or dissociative thinking style along the path, especially as you break the run down into segments.Plan your thoughts across the run in advance. Associative thoughts are about your bodily sensations and self-talk. Dissociative thinking is used to distract you from fatigue, such as music, counting, fantasizing, people watching. Associative thinking is typically connected to faster running times, and used at key times during a race to propel the runner, while dissociative thinking is often switched to when fatigue and pain set in.Self-talk is not always a bad thing. What are you telling yourself or predicting before you start? Make sure to encourage yourself and not predict in your mind obstacles that don’t exist.Goals? Focus on process goals, not the outcome. Compare and despair at your own risk. It’s not an “all or nothing” run. Run without expectations except to meet your goals along the way.Stay physically relaxed using deep and slow breathing and use mind-body internal reflections to scan your body for tension to be released once you find it. Visualize the race using all senses – see yourself running, image what people look like along the way and watch yourself crossing the finish line in good spirits. Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

  ·  3 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

In the first installment of the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answers questions from RunRockers! Is it better to run in the morning or at night? – RunRocker Bree Here’s the simple answer: whenever you can enjoy it the most. That said, there are some technical and physiological considerations to keep in mind. The best time to exercise, including running, is when your body temperature reaches a peak and your muscles are most supple, commonly in the late afternoon. Early morning runners enjoy the motivational jolt it gives the day, despite the fact that it’s not considered the best from a physiological perspective—stiff muscles and low body temperature don’t make for an easily executed run. If you are training for a race, which most often gets started early in the day, it’s a great idea to run in the morning to be prepared for the big “ready, set, GO.” While running at the end of a workday can be a mental challenge, there is research that suggests there is an increase in lung function and peak performance later in the day, making the run surprisingly easier to do.I’m relatively new to racing (obstacle/road). I’m having a hard time getting psyched up. Then I have trouble settling my nerves. Do you have any pre- race techniques I could use? –RunRocker Sean“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”
-Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winnerI’ll offer you a number of tips to get yourself mentally ready to settle your nerves and avoid any mentally created obstacles.Rehearse the race before you cross the start line. This requires you to plan out your speed, stride, step and pace.Be sure you’ve accustomed yourself to the course you are going to run. This will help decide when to use associative or dissociative thinking style along the path, especially as you break the run down into segments.Plan your thoughts across the run in advance. Associative thoughts are about your bodily sensations and self-talk. Dissociative thinking is used to distract you from fatigue, such as music, counting, fantasizing, people watching. Associative thinking is typically connected to faster running times, and used at key times during a race to propel the runner, while dissociative thinking is often switched to when fatigue and pain set in.Self-talk is not always a bad thing. What are you telling yourself or predicting before you start? Make sure to encourage yourself and not predict in your mind obstacles that don’t exist.Goals? Focus on process goals, not the outcome. Compare and despair at your own risk. It’s not an “all or nothing” run. Run without expectations except to meet your goals along the way.Stay physically relaxed using deep and slow breathing and use mind-body internal reflections to scan your body for tension to be released once you find it. Visualize the race using all senses – see yourself running, image what people look like along the way and watch yourself crossing the finish line in good spirits. Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

  ·  4 min

10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

I’m fed up with people that hate on those of us who enjoy running with music.So, I created a manifesto for the music listening runner. A set of beliefs that those of us who enjoy our music while running share and governs our behavior.Just so you know where I’m coming from, my discovery of the this dislike for us began as a result of a lot of the research I did as one of the founders of Rock My Run into what makes runners tick and what running music would best help them perform. Between hours and hours of interviews and extensive online research, one of the things I discovered is what many of you probably already know: There is a split between those who listen to music while they run and those who don’t.What came to light is that there seems to be some harshly negative views of those that like or even love music while they run. I’ve heard people condemn runners that listen to music as disrespectful, clueless and even question their dedication to the sport.I’ll admit that this frustrates and annoys me.  While we have all dealt with clueless people on a race course or out running in the streets, I don’t believe that this is related to whether or not they are listening to music. I believe that there are clueless people independent of their music listening habits.  I believe that those that are rude on a course don’t represent me and my ability to run with headphones.Once I started thinking about all this I realized that us runners that listen to music need a manifesto; a set of beliefs and principles that define us as a community and can help dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about who we are, why we love our music, and our ability to perform.From there the idea of being a “Run Rocker” started.  However I realized that “rocking a run” meant more than just the combination of running and music – it was about passion, excitement and enjoyment.  It’s about the joy that comes from completing a goal, from performing well and overcoming obstacles.So with that said here is my first stab at a manifesto for Run Rockers everywhere.  See if you agree with me.Music listening runners, unite!I can run with music and still be considered an excellent runnerI will at times unabashedly pump my fist to the beat of the music while I’m running if I’m really feeling a song. After all we’re supposed to have a good time with this, right?I can run with music and still pay attention to my surroundings. Not only am I’m talented like that, I’m also smart enough not to crank my volume in the wrong surroundings. Sometimes I will run only with one earphone in if that’s what the situation calls for.I am not ashamed to admit music can affect me emotionally.  The right song at the right time can make me happy, nostalgic, help me power through a hill or focus on maintaining my paceBelieve it or not, it is absolutely possible to listen to my body AND my music at the same time.  I can rock to a hot mix and determine if that soreness in my hamstrings is an injury or just some lactic acid I need to work throughI believe that “rocking a run” means not just listening to music while running but giving my best effort during every workout, every training run and every race.I believe that while I enjoy running with music, it is not my crutch.  If my iPod dies during a workout or if a race bans music players I can still compete and give it my best.  I just may not like the sound of my own panting.I believe that talking during long runs is ok, but don’t get offended if I turn on my music for a bit.  Sometimes I just want to zone out and rock with my tunes.Treadmills are bad enough as they are.  My music helps me tune out that person next to me talking on their cell phone at the gym (note: there is no “Cellphone Run Talkers” manifesto for good reason :))I am proud to be a run rocker because it means I am taking on new challenges, stretching myself and becoming a better me.What about you? Are there other beliefs that should be added to this list or taken away? What do you think?


10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

  ·  4 min

10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

I’m fed up with people that hate on those of us who enjoy running with music.So, I created a manifesto for the music listening runner. A set of beliefs that those of us who enjoy our music while running share and governs our behavior.Just so you know where I’m coming from, my discovery of the this dislike for us began as a result of a lot of the research I did as one of the founders of Rock My Run into what makes runners tick and what running music would best help them perform. Between hours and hours of interviews and extensive online research, one of the things I discovered is what many of you probably already know: There is a split between those who listen to music while they run and those who don’t.What came to light is that there seems to be some harshly negative views of those that like or even love music while they run. I’ve heard people condemn runners that listen to music as disrespectful, clueless and even question their dedication to the sport.I’ll admit that this frustrates and annoys me.  While we have all dealt with clueless people on a race course or out running in the streets, I don’t believe that this is related to whether or not they are listening to music. I believe that there are clueless people independent of their music listening habits.  I believe that those that are rude on a course don’t represent me and my ability to run with headphones.Once I started thinking about all this I realized that us runners that listen to music need a manifesto; a set of beliefs and principles that define us as a community and can help dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about who we are, why we love our music, and our ability to perform.From there the idea of being a “Run Rocker” started.  However I realized that “rocking a run” meant more than just the combination of running and music – it was about passion, excitement and enjoyment.  It’s about the joy that comes from completing a goal, from performing well and overcoming obstacles.So with that said here is my first stab at a manifesto for Run Rockers everywhere.  See if you agree with me.Music listening runners, unite!I can run with music and still be considered an excellent runnerI will at times unabashedly pump my fist to the beat of the music while I’m running if I’m really feeling a song. After all we’re supposed to have a good time with this, right?I can run with music and still pay attention to my surroundings. Not only am I’m talented like that, I’m also smart enough not to crank my volume in the wrong surroundings. Sometimes I will run only with one earphone in if that’s what the situation calls for.I am not ashamed to admit music can affect me emotionally.  The right song at the right time can make me happy, nostalgic, help me power through a hill or focus on maintaining my paceBelieve it or not, it is absolutely possible to listen to my body AND my music at the same time.  I can rock to a hot mix and determine if that soreness in my hamstrings is an injury or just some lactic acid I need to work throughI believe that “rocking a run” means not just listening to music while running but giving my best effort during every workout, every training run and every race.I believe that while I enjoy running with music, it is not my crutch.  If my iPod dies during a workout or if a race bans music players I can still compete and give it my best.  I just may not like the sound of my own panting.I believe that talking during long runs is ok, but don’t get offended if I turn on my music for a bit.  Sometimes I just want to zone out and rock with my tunes.Treadmills are bad enough as they are.  My music helps me tune out that person next to me talking on their cell phone at the gym (note: there is no “Cellphone Run Talkers” manifesto for good reason :))I am proud to be a run rocker because it means I am taking on new challenges, stretching myself and becoming a better me.What about you? Are there other beliefs that should be added to this list or taken away? What do you think?


Stay in touch!

Keep up to date with running tips, news and promotions.
We hate spam too, we promise not to over-email you. Newsletters go out twice a month.
Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

  ·  3 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

In the first installment of the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answers questions from RunRockers! Is it better to run in the morning or at night? – RunRocker Bree Here’s the simple answer: whenever you can enjoy it the most. That said, there are some technical and physiological considerations to keep in mind. The best time to exercise, including running, is when your body temperature reaches a peak and your muscles are most supple, commonly in the late afternoon. Early morning runners enjoy the motivational jolt it gives the day, despite the fact that it’s not considered the best from a physiological perspective—stiff muscles and low body temperature don’t make for an easily executed run. If you are training for a race, which most often gets started early in the day, it’s a great idea to run in the morning to be prepared for the big “ready, set, GO.” While running at the end of a workday can be a mental challenge, there is research that suggests there is an increase in lung function and peak performance later in the day, making the run surprisingly easier to do.I’m relatively new to racing (obstacle/road). I’m having a hard time getting psyched up. Then I have trouble settling my nerves. Do you have any pre- race techniques I could use? –RunRocker Sean“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”
-Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winnerI’ll offer you a number of tips to get yourself mentally ready to settle your nerves and avoid any mentally created obstacles.Rehearse the race before you cross the start line. This requires you to plan out your speed, stride, step and pace.Be sure you’ve accustomed yourself to the course you are going to run. This will help decide when to use associative or dissociative thinking style along the path, especially as you break the run down into segments.Plan your thoughts across the run in advance. Associative thoughts are about your bodily sensations and self-talk. Dissociative thinking is used to distract you from fatigue, such as music, counting, fantasizing, people watching. Associative thinking is typically connected to faster running times, and used at key times during a race to propel the runner, while dissociative thinking is often switched to when fatigue and pain set in.Self-talk is not always a bad thing. What are you telling yourself or predicting before you start? Make sure to encourage yourself and not predict in your mind obstacles that don’t exist.Goals? Focus on process goals, not the outcome. Compare and despair at your own risk. It’s not an “all or nothing” run. Run without expectations except to meet your goals along the way.Stay physically relaxed using deep and slow breathing and use mind-body internal reflections to scan your body for tension to be released once you find it. Visualize the race using all senses – see yourself running, image what people look like along the way and watch yourself crossing the finish line in good spirits. Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

  ·  3 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

In the first installment of the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answers questions from RunRockers! Is it better to run in the morning or at night? – RunRocker Bree Here’s the simple answer: whenever you can enjoy it the most. That said, there are some technical and physiological considerations to keep in mind. The best time to exercise, including running, is when your body temperature reaches a peak and your muscles are most supple, commonly in the late afternoon. Early morning runners enjoy the motivational jolt it gives the day, despite the fact that it’s not considered the best from a physiological perspective—stiff muscles and low body temperature don’t make for an easily executed run. If you are training for a race, which most often gets started early in the day, it’s a great idea to run in the morning to be prepared for the big “ready, set, GO.” While running at the end of a workday can be a mental challenge, there is research that suggests there is an increase in lung function and peak performance later in the day, making the run surprisingly easier to do.I’m relatively new to racing (obstacle/road). I’m having a hard time getting psyched up. Then I have trouble settling my nerves. Do you have any pre- race techniques I could use? –RunRocker Sean“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”
-Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winnerI’ll offer you a number of tips to get yourself mentally ready to settle your nerves and avoid any mentally created obstacles.Rehearse the race before you cross the start line. This requires you to plan out your speed, stride, step and pace.Be sure you’ve accustomed yourself to the course you are going to run. This will help decide when to use associative or dissociative thinking style along the path, especially as you break the run down into segments.Plan your thoughts across the run in advance. Associative thoughts are about your bodily sensations and self-talk. Dissociative thinking is used to distract you from fatigue, such as music, counting, fantasizing, people watching. Associative thinking is typically connected to faster running times, and used at key times during a race to propel the runner, while dissociative thinking is often switched to when fatigue and pain set in.Self-talk is not always a bad thing. What are you telling yourself or predicting before you start? Make sure to encourage yourself and not predict in your mind obstacles that don’t exist.Goals? Focus on process goals, not the outcome. Compare and despair at your own risk. It’s not an “all or nothing” run. Run without expectations except to meet your goals along the way.Stay physically relaxed using deep and slow breathing and use mind-body internal reflections to scan your body for tension to be released once you find it. Visualize the race using all senses – see yourself running, image what people look like along the way and watch yourself crossing the finish line in good spirits. Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

  ·  4 min

10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

I’m fed up with people that hate on those of us who enjoy running with music.So, I created a manifesto for the music listening runner. A set of beliefs that those of us who enjoy our music while running share and governs our behavior.Just so you know where I’m coming from, my discovery of the this dislike for us began as a result of a lot of the research I did as one of the founders of Rock My Run into what makes runners tick and what running music would best help them perform. Between hours and hours of interviews and extensive online research, one of the things I discovered is what many of you probably already know: There is a split between those who listen to music while they run and those who don’t.What came to light is that there seems to be some harshly negative views of those that like or even love music while they run. I’ve heard people condemn runners that listen to music as disrespectful, clueless and even question their dedication to the sport.I’ll admit that this frustrates and annoys me.  While we have all dealt with clueless people on a race course or out running in the streets, I don’t believe that this is related to whether or not they are listening to music. I believe that there are clueless people independent of their music listening habits.  I believe that those that are rude on a course don’t represent me and my ability to run with headphones.Once I started thinking about all this I realized that us runners that listen to music need a manifesto; a set of beliefs and principles that define us as a community and can help dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about who we are, why we love our music, and our ability to perform.From there the idea of being a “Run Rocker” started.  However I realized that “rocking a run” meant more than just the combination of running and music – it was about passion, excitement and enjoyment.  It’s about the joy that comes from completing a goal, from performing well and overcoming obstacles.So with that said here is my first stab at a manifesto for Run Rockers everywhere.  See if you agree with me.Music listening runners, unite!I can run with music and still be considered an excellent runnerI will at times unabashedly pump my fist to the beat of the music while I’m running if I’m really feeling a song. After all we’re supposed to have a good time with this, right?I can run with music and still pay attention to my surroundings. Not only am I’m talented like that, I’m also smart enough not to crank my volume in the wrong surroundings. Sometimes I will run only with one earphone in if that’s what the situation calls for.I am not ashamed to admit music can affect me emotionally.  The right song at the right time can make me happy, nostalgic, help me power through a hill or focus on maintaining my paceBelieve it or not, it is absolutely possible to listen to my body AND my music at the same time.  I can rock to a hot mix and determine if that soreness in my hamstrings is an injury or just some lactic acid I need to work throughI believe that “rocking a run” means not just listening to music while running but giving my best effort during every workout, every training run and every race.I believe that while I enjoy running with music, it is not my crutch.  If my iPod dies during a workout or if a race bans music players I can still compete and give it my best.  I just may not like the sound of my own panting.I believe that talking during long runs is ok, but don’t get offended if I turn on my music for a bit.  Sometimes I just want to zone out and rock with my tunes.Treadmills are bad enough as they are.  My music helps me tune out that person next to me talking on their cell phone at the gym (note: there is no “Cellphone Run Talkers” manifesto for good reason :))I am proud to be a run rocker because it means I am taking on new challenges, stretching myself and becoming a better me.What about you? Are there other beliefs that should be added to this list or taken away? What do you think?


10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

  ·  4 min

10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

I’m fed up with people that hate on those of us who enjoy running with music.So, I created a manifesto for the music listening runner. A set of beliefs that those of us who enjoy our music while running share and governs our behavior.Just so you know where I’m coming from, my discovery of the this dislike for us began as a result of a lot of the research I did as one of the founders of Rock My Run into what makes runners tick and what running music would best help them perform. Between hours and hours of interviews and extensive online research, one of the things I discovered is what many of you probably already know: There is a split between those who listen to music while they run and those who don’t.What came to light is that there seems to be some harshly negative views of those that like or even love music while they run. I’ve heard people condemn runners that listen to music as disrespectful, clueless and even question their dedication to the sport.I’ll admit that this frustrates and annoys me.  While we have all dealt with clueless people on a race course or out running in the streets, I don’t believe that this is related to whether or not they are listening to music. I believe that there are clueless people independent of their music listening habits.  I believe that those that are rude on a course don’t represent me and my ability to run with headphones.Once I started thinking about all this I realized that us runners that listen to music need a manifesto; a set of beliefs and principles that define us as a community and can help dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about who we are, why we love our music, and our ability to perform.From there the idea of being a “Run Rocker” started.  However I realized that “rocking a run” meant more than just the combination of running and music – it was about passion, excitement and enjoyment.  It’s about the joy that comes from completing a goal, from performing well and overcoming obstacles.So with that said here is my first stab at a manifesto for Run Rockers everywhere.  See if you agree with me.Music listening runners, unite!I can run with music and still be considered an excellent runnerI will at times unabashedly pump my fist to the beat of the music while I’m running if I’m really feeling a song. After all we’re supposed to have a good time with this, right?I can run with music and still pay attention to my surroundings. Not only am I’m talented like that, I’m also smart enough not to crank my volume in the wrong surroundings. Sometimes I will run only with one earphone in if that’s what the situation calls for.I am not ashamed to admit music can affect me emotionally.  The right song at the right time can make me happy, nostalgic, help me power through a hill or focus on maintaining my paceBelieve it or not, it is absolutely possible to listen to my body AND my music at the same time.  I can rock to a hot mix and determine if that soreness in my hamstrings is an injury or just some lactic acid I need to work throughI believe that “rocking a run” means not just listening to music while running but giving my best effort during every workout, every training run and every race.I believe that while I enjoy running with music, it is not my crutch.  If my iPod dies during a workout or if a race bans music players I can still compete and give it my best.  I just may not like the sound of my own panting.I believe that talking during long runs is ok, but don’t get offended if I turn on my music for a bit.  Sometimes I just want to zone out and rock with my tunes.Treadmills are bad enough as they are.  My music helps me tune out that person next to me talking on their cell phone at the gym (note: there is no “Cellphone Run Talkers” manifesto for good reason :))I am proud to be a run rocker because it means I am taking on new challenges, stretching myself and becoming a better me.What about you? Are there other beliefs that should be added to this list or taken away? What do you think?


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

  ·  5 min

Think You Don’t Have Time to Exercise? Think Again.

When it comes to finding time to exercise, let’s start with some facts. Each of us has 168 hours per week in life. Many of us work about 50 or so hours per week, sleep about 50-60 hours per week, spend another 15-20 hours each week on personal care and grooming, leaving most of us about 6+ hours each day to_____________________. Fill in the blank.We fill in our time with what’s most important to us. As I said in an article I wrote for Greatest: Many people who don’t work out regularly can rattle off many reasons they’re not motivated to exercise, from not understanding the benefits of activity to thoughts like “I’m too busy,” “I’m embarrassed by how I look,” “exercise is boring,” and so on. The folks who hold these (false) self-sabotaging beliefs often believe exercise doesn’t matter; they don’t enjoy it, or they simply have no interest in doing it. And, really, who could blame them? Who would be inspired to start a physical activity with negative thoughts running through their head? A person has to believe exercise is of value in order to build motivation to do it.Benefits of ExerciseAs you already know, there are many benefits of exercise:Weight managementHealth and disease managementMood and self-confidence enhancementEnergy boosterPromotes healthy sleepPuts oomph into your sex lifeReduces stress by increasing brain soothing chemicalsHelps your brain function betterSparks creativityYour muscles, lungs, diaphragm, heart, stomach, kidneys, skin, joints, agility, balance, coordination, endurance and strength will all “smile” and say thank you many years from now.Every Minute CountsToday we know that even brief bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes at a time or less, can add a great deal to your health and well being while also slimming your waistline. The good news, remarkable really, comes from researchers at the University of Utah who found that every minute of intense movement counts towards the magic number of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity we are all supposed to achieve each week – but only 5% of us do. That’s 150 minutes out of the 48 or so hours we have available to us each week.The findings indicate that brief periods of intense activity are effective in preventing weight gain and promoting health as well as doing 10 minute+ intervals. Moderate to vigorous activity, by the way, is walking about 3 miles per hour, or 2,020 counts per minute on an accelerometer. Clearly, every minute you spend in intense activity, counts.This suggests that the data on the best time to workout may be ignoring an important element—your life. Sure there are those who believe that for A-list athletes aiming for performance it might be better to push heavy training to alter in the morning or afternoon, the fact is that most who adhere to exercise routines are early morning exercisers. Bottom line is whenever you enjoy hitting the gym or track, do it. There’s benefit throughout the day.Get Creative about Getting ActiveHow can you get in short bouts of more intense exercise and find the time to get in your 150 minutes or so a week? Try these tested ways:Like a good scout, always be prepared. Don’t leave your home without your workout clothes packedKeep your workouts scheduled in your day planner —make an appointment for yourself! Remember that every minute counts.Wake up earlier and get your health plan moving, and your heart rate pumping, at the start of the day.Park away from your office, get off the train, subway or bus a few blocks before your normal close stopWhen you watch TV, use the commercials as reminders to do your squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, planks, and crunches during the one-minute break.  Keep hand weights next to your chair/couch, ride your stationary bike and never use the remote control to change volume or channel.Make your lawn mower your newest piece of fitness equipment—ever hear of Carioca mowing? It’s all in the step!Walk to the office of the person you’d normally call and keep a jump rope in your briefcase or office drawer too!Make your chores count by scrubbing with vigor, grinding and stirring with some beats per minute, vacuum-dance with energy, wash your own car with upper body pushes, and shovel the coming snow (if your health allows) in tune with your favorite RockMyRun music mix.While exercise is key, taking time for yourself every day is critical for your health, well being and longevity. It’s all in my CHAIR method I recently described in an article for Prevention.com.C stands for a deeply felt commitment to very specific goals. You see the goal; you know why you’re doing it.H is for healthier foods, healthy carbs and proteins, healthy fat. ‘Diet’ is a word I never use.  It has the word ‘die’ in it.A stands for activity.  Daily activity, daily tracking of food and exercise. If you track, you adhere. Shoot for 10,000 steps a day. But even raking leaves counts as activity.I is inner motivation—you have to have your ‘why.’  And it has to be internal to you.R is for a realistic set of goals. You need something very tangible, like you want to be off blood pressure medication—not just I want to lose some weight or tone up.At the end of the day it’s all about thinking. The ‘link’ is what you think.” When you think you don’t have the time ask yourself if what you think is True, Helpful, Inspirational, Necessary, Kind to yourself. Hey, that’s what “THINK” means! If your answer is “No,” then change your thought and get active. It only takes a minute!What tips to have to stay active?  I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

  ·  2 min

Music…The Legal Performance Enhancing Drug

Did you know that the leading expert about the psychology of exercise and music, Dr. Costas Karageorghis, calls music the “legal performance enhancing drug” of fitness and exercise?There have been a large number of studies about the effects of music on athletic performance since 1911 and these are the key findings:Music promotes emotional and physiological arousal.Music reduces fatigue, especially at moderate levels of exercise, by distracting us from our physical awareness.Music turbocharges our mind’s focus on performance and muscle memory and as the beat of music increases, power output and exercise intensity increases for mild to moderate ranges of exercise.Music improves our motor coordination as we move to the rhythm.Music relaxes us as a result of dampening byproduct molecules associated with high levels of exercise.Workout Music Enhances Performance & MotivationResearch studies have shown that music can enhance performance, motivation and reduce exertion. Researchers first found that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when there was no music. A more recent study found that people who cycled to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t synchronize their pedaling.  Another study found that swimmers with music got a 10% boost in motivation and a full 3-second improvement in performance.   So why wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to enhance your workout?Beats per Minute for Workout MusicNo matter what genre you like, the most common rhythm is about 120 beats per minute (BPM). Power walkers report enjoying 137-139 BPM, runners about 147-169 BPM, and cyclists about 135-170 BPM.  However, the BPM you choose for an activity depends on your mood and purpose for your workout.  Moving to synchronous music with a clear and steady beat can boost your performance by up to 15%, while listening to relaxing music, called asynchronous music, can reduce tension as much as 10%.Music Tied to MemoryMusic opens the floodgates of memories and emotions, working on the auditory – motor brain connection, so it’s important to have total control over what you listen to when you workout.  This covers the internal and external elements of music’s impact on exercise—our heart and our mind.Find Music for Your Next WorkoutTo enhance your performance and motivation, find the right music for your next workout.  With RockMyRun, you can choose the right tempo and genre for your music from more than one hundred music mixes by professional DJs.  Once you’ve found the right beat for you, get ready for an added dose of enhanced performance.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. 


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

  ·  4 min

Creating Running Music Mixes – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Any musician will tell you that whenever they create a piece of music, they pour their hearts and souls in their creation. Truly great music only comes about through the fusing of a musicians’ beliefs, emotions, influences and, of course, talents.While at Rock My Run we’re not creating the next Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (though sometimes we work like we are!), we do put a lot of time and energy into creating our mixes. They may not be double platinum albums, but many hours go into a mix that will help you as a runner have more energy, be more motivated and hopefully perform better.This blog post is to give you an idea of what the mix creation process entails and why it can be both incredibly frustrating and incredibly rewarding to create them for you.Part 1: The SongsIt all starts with inspirational songs. As DJ’s we are constantly hearing new music, seeing what new artists are coming up, what new songs are hitting on the radio and what underground or forgotten tracks we may be worth (re)discovering.Keep in mind though, not only do we hear the songs you hear on the radio, but we also are exposed to some of the amazing DJ mixes from other DJ’s around the world. A remix can take a pretty good song, like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for example, and make it extraordinary. Often times the general public aren’t exposed to those mixes, and it’s our duty to brings these gems to your ears.Part 2: The OrderOnce the songlist is decided, it’s time to figure out the right order of the mix. This is especially key for us at Rock My Run – you want a different tempo, emotional reaction or vibe in different phases of your run and given these are seamless mixes and not playlists, we need to put the right songs in the right order so that you either get the right pick-me-up as you fatigue or don’t start off too quick and burn out.Take the mix “Sweat” by DJ JLouis for example: When he brings in “Rap Das Armas vs. Let The Bass Kick” from Lil Jon & Kassiano about 2/3rds the way through the mix, when you might be starting to tire, it’s done to help give you an added bit of motivation before the hitting the finish line. That track would not be nearly as good at the beginning of the mix, when you are just getting into the flow of your workout.Part 3: The Mixing(aka where the magic happens)With the songlist and order decided, it’s time for the DJ to really get down to business: Firing up the turntables, actually mixing the songs in a seamless manner and adding all those cool scratches, samples, loops and effects that only DJ’s can really do.This is by far the toughest part: not just mixing and the cool effects, but deciding when and how to mix from one track to the next. Do you leave a track to play for 3 minutes because it’s got such great energy? Or do you leave it on for only a minute so the runner gets a taste of the song and then moves on?Ah this my friends is the beauty of it! There is no one right answer, hence the art involved. And trust me, it can be agonizing to get it just right – so the tracks mix perfectly, there is no overlap on lyrics (nobody likes that!) and the energy remains consistent.Add to this the fact that most DJ’s are perfectionist and it can take anywhere from 10’s to 100’s of hours to put together a great, flawless DJ mix. Girl Talk, a DJ famous for his mashup mix sets has said before it can take 40 hours to do 1 min of a mix. Incredible!But at the end of this effort can be a great work of art – a mix that can stand the test of time and still be great running music years and years from now.So next time you are listening to one of our DJ mixes, take a moment to consider how it was created: There was a lot of TLC put in that mix to help you run faster, stronger and longer!


Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

  ·  3 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

In the first installment of the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answers questions from RunRockers! Is it better to run in the morning or at night? – RunRocker Bree Here’s the simple answer: whenever you can enjoy it the most. That said, there are some technical and physiological considerations to keep in mind. The best time to exercise, including running, is when your body temperature reaches a peak and your muscles are most supple, commonly in the late afternoon. Early morning runners enjoy the motivational jolt it gives the day, despite the fact that it’s not considered the best from a physiological perspective—stiff muscles and low body temperature don’t make for an easily executed run. If you are training for a race, which most often gets started early in the day, it’s a great idea to run in the morning to be prepared for the big “ready, set, GO.” While running at the end of a workday can be a mental challenge, there is research that suggests there is an increase in lung function and peak performance later in the day, making the run surprisingly easier to do.I’m relatively new to racing (obstacle/road). I’m having a hard time getting psyched up. Then I have trouble settling my nerves. Do you have any pre- race techniques I could use? –RunRocker Sean“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”
-Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winnerI’ll offer you a number of tips to get yourself mentally ready to settle your nerves and avoid any mentally created obstacles.Rehearse the race before you cross the start line. This requires you to plan out your speed, stride, step and pace.Be sure you’ve accustomed yourself to the course you are going to run. This will help decide when to use associative or dissociative thinking style along the path, especially as you break the run down into segments.Plan your thoughts across the run in advance. Associative thoughts are about your bodily sensations and self-talk. Dissociative thinking is used to distract you from fatigue, such as music, counting, fantasizing, people watching. Associative thinking is typically connected to faster running times, and used at key times during a race to propel the runner, while dissociative thinking is often switched to when fatigue and pain set in.Self-talk is not always a bad thing. What are you telling yourself or predicting before you start? Make sure to encourage yourself and not predict in your mind obstacles that don’t exist.Goals? Focus on process goals, not the outcome. Compare and despair at your own risk. It’s not an “all or nothing” run. Run without expectations except to meet your goals along the way.Stay physically relaxed using deep and slow breathing and use mind-body internal reflections to scan your body for tension to be released once you find it. Visualize the race using all senses – see yourself running, image what people look like along the way and watch yourself crossing the finish line in good spirits. Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

  ·  3 min

Ask The Fitness Psych: Morning vs. Night Runs and Pre-Race Mental Tips

In the first installment of the RockMyRun ‘Ask The Fitness Psych’ blog series, fitness, sports and health behavior science coach Dr. Michael Mantell answers questions from RunRockers! Is it better to run in the morning or at night? – RunRocker Bree Here’s the simple answer: whenever you can enjoy it the most. That said, there are some technical and physiological considerations to keep in mind. The best time to exercise, including running, is when your body temperature reaches a peak and your muscles are most supple, commonly in the late afternoon. Early morning runners enjoy the motivational jolt it gives the day, despite the fact that it’s not considered the best from a physiological perspective—stiff muscles and low body temperature don’t make for an easily executed run. If you are training for a race, which most often gets started early in the day, it’s a great idea to run in the morning to be prepared for the big “ready, set, GO.” While running at the end of a workday can be a mental challenge, there is research that suggests there is an increase in lung function and peak performance later in the day, making the run surprisingly easier to do.I’m relatively new to racing (obstacle/road). I’m having a hard time getting psyched up. Then I have trouble settling my nerves. Do you have any pre- race techniques I could use? –RunRocker Sean“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”
-Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winnerI’ll offer you a number of tips to get yourself mentally ready to settle your nerves and avoid any mentally created obstacles.Rehearse the race before you cross the start line. This requires you to plan out your speed, stride, step and pace.Be sure you’ve accustomed yourself to the course you are going to run. This will help decide when to use associative or dissociative thinking style along the path, especially as you break the run down into segments.Plan your thoughts across the run in advance. Associative thoughts are about your bodily sensations and self-talk. Dissociative thinking is used to distract you from fatigue, such as music, counting, fantasizing, people watching. Associative thinking is typically connected to faster running times, and used at key times during a race to propel the runner, while dissociative thinking is often switched to when fatigue and pain set in.Self-talk is not always a bad thing. What are you telling yourself or predicting before you start? Make sure to encourage yourself and not predict in your mind obstacles that don’t exist.Goals? Focus on process goals, not the outcome. Compare and despair at your own risk. It’s not an “all or nothing” run. Run without expectations except to meet your goals along the way.Stay physically relaxed using deep and slow breathing and use mind-body internal reflections to scan your body for tension to be released once you find it. Visualize the race using all senses – see yourself running, image what people look like along the way and watch yourself crossing the finish line in good spirits. Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D. has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

  ·  4 min

10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

I’m fed up with people that hate on those of us who enjoy running with music.So, I created a manifesto for the music listening runner. A set of beliefs that those of us who enjoy our music while running share and governs our behavior.Just so you know where I’m coming from, my discovery of the this dislike for us began as a result of a lot of the research I did as one of the founders of Rock My Run into what makes runners tick and what running music would best help them perform. Between hours and hours of interviews and extensive online research, one of the things I discovered is what many of you probably already know: There is a split between those who listen to music while they run and those who don’t.What came to light is that there seems to be some harshly negative views of those that like or even love music while they run. I’ve heard people condemn runners that listen to music as disrespectful, clueless and even question their dedication to the sport.I’ll admit that this frustrates and annoys me.  While we have all dealt with clueless people on a race course or out running in the streets, I don’t believe that this is related to whether or not they are listening to music. I believe that there are clueless people independent of their music listening habits.  I believe that those that are rude on a course don’t represent me and my ability to run with headphones.Once I started thinking about all this I realized that us runners that listen to music need a manifesto; a set of beliefs and principles that define us as a community and can help dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about who we are, why we love our music, and our ability to perform.From there the idea of being a “Run Rocker” started.  However I realized that “rocking a run” meant more than just the combination of running and music – it was about passion, excitement and enjoyment.  It’s about the joy that comes from completing a goal, from performing well and overcoming obstacles.So with that said here is my first stab at a manifesto for Run Rockers everywhere.  See if you agree with me.Music listening runners, unite!I can run with music and still be considered an excellent runnerI will at times unabashedly pump my fist to the beat of the music while I’m running if I’m really feeling a song. After all we’re supposed to have a good time with this, right?I can run with music and still pay attention to my surroundings. Not only am I’m talented like that, I’m also smart enough not to crank my volume in the wrong surroundings. Sometimes I will run only with one earphone in if that’s what the situation calls for.I am not ashamed to admit music can affect me emotionally.  The right song at the right time can make me happy, nostalgic, help me power through a hill or focus on maintaining my paceBelieve it or not, it is absolutely possible to listen to my body AND my music at the same time.  I can rock to a hot mix and determine if that soreness in my hamstrings is an injury or just some lactic acid I need to work throughI believe that “rocking a run” means not just listening to music while running but giving my best effort during every workout, every training run and every race.I believe that while I enjoy running with music, it is not my crutch.  If my iPod dies during a workout or if a race bans music players I can still compete and give it my best.  I just may not like the sound of my own panting.I believe that talking during long runs is ok, but don’t get offended if I turn on my music for a bit.  Sometimes I just want to zone out and rock with my tunes.Treadmills are bad enough as they are.  My music helps me tune out that person next to me talking on their cell phone at the gym (note: there is no “Cellphone Run Talkers” manifesto for good reason :))I am proud to be a run rocker because it means I am taking on new challenges, stretching myself and becoming a better me.What about you? Are there other beliefs that should be added to this list or taken away? What do you think?


10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

  ·  4 min

10 Beliefs About Running with Music – A Manifesto

I’m fed up with people that hate on those of us who enjoy running with music.So, I created a manifesto for the music listening runner. A set of beliefs that those of us who enjoy our music while running share and governs our behavior.Just so you know where I’m coming from, my discovery of the this dislike for us began as a result of a lot of the research I did as one of the founders of Rock My Run into what makes runners tick and what running music would best help them perform. Between hours and hours of interviews and extensive online research, one of the things I discovered is what many of you probably already know: There is a split between those who listen to music while they run and those who don’t.What came to light is that there seems to be some harshly negative views of those that like or even love music while they run. I’ve heard people condemn runners that listen to music as disrespectful, clueless and even question their dedication to the sport.I’ll admit that this frustrates and annoys me.  While we have all dealt with clueless people on a race course or out running in the streets, I don’t believe that this is related to whether or not they are listening to music. I believe that there are clueless people independent of their music listening habits.  I believe that those that are rude on a course don’t represent me and my ability to run with headphones.Once I started thinking about all this I realized that us runners that listen to music need a manifesto; a set of beliefs and principles that define us as a community and can help dispel stereotypes and misconceptions about who we are, why we love our music, and our ability to perform.From there the idea of being a “Run Rocker” started.  However I realized that “rocking a run” meant more than just the combination of running and music – it was about passion, excitement and enjoyment.  It’s about the joy that comes from completing a goal, from performing well and overcoming obstacles.So with that said here is my first stab at a manifesto for Run Rockers everywhere.  See if you agree with me.Music listening runners, unite!I can run with music and still be considered an excellent runnerI will at times unabashedly pump my fist to the beat of the music while I’m running if I’m really feeling a song. After all we’re supposed to have a good time with this, right?I can run with music and still pay attention to my surroundings. Not only am I’m talented like that, I’m also smart enough not to crank my volume in the wrong surroundings. Sometimes I will run only with one earphone in if that’s what the situation calls for.I am not ashamed to admit music can affect me emotionally.  The right song at the right time can make me happy, nostalgic, help me power through a hill or focus on maintaining my paceBelieve it or not, it is absolutely possible to listen to my body AND my music at the same time.  I can rock to a hot mix and determine if that soreness in my hamstrings is an injury or just some lactic acid I need to work throughI believe that “rocking a run” means not just listening to music while running but giving my best effort during every workout, every training run and every race.I believe that while I enjoy running with music, it is not my crutch.  If my iPod dies during a workout or if a race bans music players I can still compete and give it my best.  I just may not like the sound of my own panting.I believe that talking during long runs is ok, but don’t get offended if I turn on my music for a bit.  Sometimes I just want to zone out and rock with my tunes.Treadmills are bad enough as they are.  My music helps me tune out that person next to me talking on their cell phone at the gym (note: there is no “Cellphone Run Talkers” manifesto for good reason :))I am proud to be a run rocker because it means I am taking on new challenges, stretching myself and becoming a better me.What about you? Are there other beliefs that should be added to this list or taken away? What do you think?


Stay in touch!

Keep up to date with running tips, news and promotions.
We hate spam too, we promise not to over-email you.
Newsletters go out twice a month.