Today I started my official training for the Houston Half-Marathon! While it wasn’t much different from a usual Monday morning run, it was nice to get back to my training schedule and cross something off. I’ve created my own training schedule for the first time for this race, but I’m probably not going to post the exact schedule until the race is over and I’ll know I won’t be leading anyone astray!
But I was thinking about music today when I went on my run – specifically the music for my first Master’s recital and my upcoming audition for Baylor orchestra seating. I’ve talked about how getting fit and eating well has affected my playing abilities, as well as how the running has improved my dedication to practicing, my work ethic, and my stamina. However I’ve neglected to talk about how, when I really gets down to the root of things, practicing and training for an event are almost identical.
I am a music performance Master’s student – not only does that imply that I practice a large amount, but I actually do practice a large amount, I could never survive in the music world without it. I put blocks of practice time in my schedule along with my classes, rehearsals, concerts, and work-outs. If something is in my calendar, it must be done. Running, on the contrary, is my sanity, it isn’t a course, a grade, or a requirement of my degree, but it is necessary for my mental health (and physical of course). And today while running I thought about how my little 3 mile run may not seem huge in the scheme of my race season, but it is. The average runner can’t just jump out on the course and run a half or full marathon without training. I can’t just jump into a performance or audition without practicing.
These two concepts may seem obvious, but it’s seen so frequently. Someone only goes on 1 long run and their usual midweek, mid-length speed run each week thinking this will prepare them for their first long distance race and by mile 16, their chances of reaching that sub 4 hour marathon are shot. Or the musician that decides that 1 mega practice session a week on their orchestral repertoire over a few weeks will prepare them for the audition. Then the nerves take over in the room and the lack of repetition causes them to fall apart because the muscle memory just isn’t there. (And yes I’ve done that back in the day)
Today my run was 3 miles of building muscle memory at 9:03 per mile – just below my goal pace for my next half. Today my practice session was repeating the same 10 measures over and over again under tempo so I will never get the notes wrong, no matter how nervous I am. And I like seeing this symmetry in the two most important activities in my life.
Mileage – 3 miles, stretching
QOD – To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.
P.S. – Go check out some of the amazing music I’m working on!
Bach – Cello Suite no. 1
Strauss – Ein Heldenleben
Mozart – Symphony No. 40
Brahms – Symphony No. 2 in D major