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Classical 101

A New Year's Exercise Playlist: Beethoven and Barbells

So you've purchased the perfect exercise shoes. You have timed your lunch break to fit a whole workout and even drink a protein smoothie before heading back to your desk. You are on track. But what will you listen to on the treadmill or out on the trail? Which composer will power you through your calisthenics and not slow you down? Personally, I am a runner and I love high impact workouts at home and at the gym, so I need music that will keep my heart rate up and inspire me to dig deep and 'feel the burn.' Classical, Romantic, and Post-Modern music often fuel my longer runs and keep me on pace. (Along with my canine running-companion, Gunther.) Whether you are a walker, jogger, or marathon runner, here are some helpful hints to keep quality music pushing you through a quality workout. In my experience there are two main options for running or working out to classical music: 1.) Find one massive work and see how much you can get through before it finishes, or 2.) Make a playlist designed to keep up your energy, enthusiasm, and heart rate. Option 1: Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125; this is the big one. The first movement is about 15 minutes in duration; a great warm-up. The second movement is labeled Scherzo: Molto vivace – Presto, translation: "Hello, heart rate." and it's approx. 12 minutes which is a great amount of time for a high-powered, fat-blasting mile or two on foot, or a few miles on your bike. The third and fourth movements also lend to a well-formed workout plan since the third fluctuates between Andante and Adagio which allows a bit of time for your heart rate to recover, and the fourth movement is the famous Presto; Allegro molto assai (Alla marcia). This final movement is exhilarating and deeply motivational. The choral section usually begins as I am wrapping up a decent run, and the impact of the endorphin rush and German text such as " Be embraced, you millions! This kiss is for the whole world!" is just incredible. Try as I might, I have just never gotten that from pop music. Don't be mistaken, I am certainly not the originator of this concept. In fact, Columbus has been home to a Beethoven 5k for the past three years. A few of our hosts have even participated! Learn more and sign-up here: http://premierraces.com/viewevent.asp?eventID=786 Option 2: A Playlist  Luckily for us, ClassicFM created a playlist of 50 tracks fit for an entire marathon; the London Marathon to be specific. The entire list is absolutely perfect for any workout, and I plan on downloading it myself this week, especially since the first selection is, Die Walküre, Act III: "Hojotoho!" Nothing gets me up a hill quite like a band of Valkyries on my tail! Here is the link to the tracklist on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/50-running-classics-marathon/id849703931