One of the questions I get the most often: Lisette, how do you go from running to singing easily?
Watch my youtube video below for my complete answer.
Many singers have come to me asking for advice and I am thankful for the trust people have in my experience. I can absolutely say that running and singing go hand in hand, compliment each other, and build strength in the body, mind, and heart. All exercise done in a mindful way is healthy, and this particular exercise is the one that has changed my life the most. In this video, I share with you 5 tips on how to make the smooth transition from a running workout to a day of singing. No matter if you are just starting out building mileage, or already have experience, these essential ideas are basic fundamentals to keep your practice healthy and consistent.
Singing is, after all, an athletic endeavor in many ways, and one that requires the use of the entire body, mind, and breath. To stay in good singing shape, you not only need to have a healthy instrument and technique, your body must be healthy as well. This doesn’t mean you need to be thin, muscular, or “athletic” in your build, but it does mean your breath to body connection needs to be as strong as possible.
Make sure you warm up for each run, and cool down from each run. When you stop running, unless it is VERY cold outside, do at least 5-10 minutes of walking. Don't go straight inside and hop in the shower. Spend a few minutes bringing down your heart rate. If you have the time, also spend at least 5-10 minutes stretching your legs back out with a few easy yoga poses like runner's lunge, warrior 1 and 2, and downward dog.
During the run, always keep your breaths deep, as if preparing to sing. I like to use an in-for-3, out-for-2 pattern. That is, I count my steps, 3 for inhale, 2 for exhale. If you are going quite fast, you can do 2-1 ratio. The idea is that you spend slightly more time inhaling and exhaling and landing on a different foot each time. This is meditative at first but once you get the hang of it, it is very helpful.
Stay hydrated. 30 minutes before you hit the pavement, drink a glass of water so that you’re not losing too much when you begin to sweat. If you’ll be out for more than 45 minutes, plan for pit stops or bring some water along the run. If you’re in a dry climate or elevation, double your efforts. Dehydration will make your voice feel scratchy and give you cotton mouth; elevation, travel, air conditioning, and stress will dry you out as well. Don’t skimp on this one!
Timing your workouts
Time your workouts to benefit your main line of work. If you are really pushing yourself in your runs, say, working on speed intervals, your body will take a couple hours to get back to being settled. You may even need a full day to recover, or more, if you have done a race or a very long distance. This kind of work is wonderful for you of course, but best save it for days you don't have a performance or audition. Most runs should be done at conversational pace or even slower, more as a "warm up" for the day, and not as an intense workout.
After you run, walk for several minutes, have a nice drink when you get home, have a bit of banana or another light snack, take the time to warm up the voice gently and get some steaming benefits in the shower. At first, you'll feel the difference in your chest, but building the habit of singing after running will help you recover faster.
I always wait at least 2 hours before doing any major singing after my run.
Don’t forget to have fun. If you think of your run as “me time,” a time to meditate, listen to great music, enjoy nature, get to know a city, or even spend time with friends or a significant other, it keeps your commitment strong. If you want to set goals, these can be powerful motivators, and may be all you need to keep going. But you don’t need to race against a clock. The only person you are competing with is yourself, and it doesn’t matter how fast or how far you go, the point is you get out there and do your best. Sometimes as I’m tying my shoes, I “trick” my mind by saying I’m just going for a walk, and I do just that, for the first 5 minutes. If I don’t want to move on from that, I don’t. But 99% of the time, I pick it up and go. And 100% of the time, I am thankful that I did. 😃