voice marathon

I am a firm believer in a quote by Steve Jobs: “Genius is in the associations.”

In this text, I intend to make an association between voice and running. Theory and practice. Science and sport. Sound and muscle. Acoustic energy and physical energy.

My object of study, for as long as I can remember, is the word, be it written, sounded, gestured, drawn, and so on.

I went through the paths of letters and speech therapy to try to understand the nuances of this thing that enchants me every day: the word!

And from five years ago, I also decided to become an athlete. The reason? There are many: healthy aging, overcoming challenges, being more disciplined and having a healthy lifestyle. I've toured a few countries, and if I can, I want to run marathons all over the world.

It was amazing what happened in my career: I started running, and I was called to work more. I believe that I have become more interesting because today the market wants a multiple professional! With different abilities.

The correlation between talking and running is in many ways but I would like to focus on some of them like breathing, flow state, focus and pace.


The lungs are triangle shaped. This means that if the breath is higher, close to the shoulders, it will be short of breath because it is the region where less air fits. It is not recommended for voice professionals, much less for marathon runners. By the way, it is not indicated in life!

Breathing in the middle of the lung is what we learned in physical education classes at school. In running, for many hours, like in a marathon, it happens most of the time.

To speak, sing and even during marathon times, the indicated breathing is costo-diaphragmatic, or lower, where the lungs are larger, therefore, more air can fit. And we still have the movement of the floating ribs, which helps us with the movement of air in and out.

Remember that the more we keep our brain oxygenated, the calmer and more centered we will be. Not to mention the feeling of well-being. No wonder meditation techniques are all focused on breathing.


It's that moment when we're so focused, we don't even feel time pass, and it's where our best performances happen. Everything works out very well!

It's when the marathon runner runs and no longer feels the body (because it looks like it flies). It's when a narration is made, people listen, and cry. It's when our voice meets the soul, and technique becomes art. Suddenly, the word, the voice and the body are unique. We found the right tone, the right timing, the right intensity and the perfect break.

But to enter a state of flow, many hours of training, dedication, study, dedication to the subject or cause, planning and, above all, commitment to the now are needed. The present moment is what matters. Just it. It's you and the race. You and the sound. Feeling. You and the text within a context.

Imagine Cirque Du Soleil. Doesn't it look like they fly? How are they never wrong!?

They are certainly in a state of flow...

Marathons require preparation, training and a lot of dedication. An excellent voiceover, too. Flow, only for those who can combine: knowledge, practice and genuine delivery.


Focus is everything. It sounds cliche, but it's the truth. Believe!

For a speech to become interesting, the focus of sound must happen. Focus is the highlight, our choice. I decide which sound to highlight according to my intention. What do I want to convey? The goal is that you, when listening, feel. Voice is emotion.

In linguistics, the different sound is called prominence. It is the sound that was different in the word, which produces meaning, and consequently, generates an emotion. In speech therapy, we call it emphasis.

It all depends on the intention. The right sound beat, on the tonic syllable, which matches the meaning of the word, is convincing!

In running, the focus is on the brain, eyes and entire body. We think and then we feel. I must have body awareness and mindfulness. What movements make me run well? Focus on them.

A tense body produces serious injuries. And it's also impossible to run with your whole body relaxed. We need muscle flexibility, strength on the climbs, change in the pace of the steps, awareness of what we are doing with our feet and legs, until everything becomes automatic and fluid.


The alternation of steps, at different speeds, throughout the race, sometimes faster, sometimes slower, is what makes our muscles remain intact and strengthened, without suffering an overload.

The same happens in speech. The alternation of the speed of our speech is very interesting for listeners because it produces complex sounds. The human ear loves different sounds. Talking and running involve similar actions.

In my opinion, for a marathon runner, the first 10k is a warm-up. The focus is on the body, breath and thoughts. Then the delivery takes place and the running mechanism becomes pure pleasure. This is where the limbic system kicks in. He is the center of our emotions. When activated, our feelings emerge.
This happens both in communication and in sport. In the interpretation of a text, when the Limbic System comes into action, the result is a spectacle.

Running is an active meditation. Brain focused on mental images that generate well-being, continuous rhythm, fluency of movements, eyes on the path, new discoveries, delivery, disposition for new challenges. In speech, the search for mental images generates sound fluency. Suddenly, the memory organizes the messages and the sounds are produced sequentially, in our mouth, with perfect diction, as in a song.

In running, physical flexibility becomes emotional balance, and the result of the medal on the chest is the realization of a masterpiece. Our achievement in the face of challenges.

In speech, muscle flexibility becomes expressive, intelligible and memorable content. The result is that the listener understands, internalizes and repeats the content to others.


Finally, a little philosophy.

What moves the human being? The will to learn.

If something makes us grow, it's good.

In today's world, communication changes every day. We are connected at all times, and many times we are not even aware of absorbing so much information. We have to learn, then, to be selective.

What develops me? How am I going to use my voice?

What am I going to pursue in my career and in my life?

Hint: run away from liars, envious people, corrupt people and people who don't add anything to you! Run for love, for joy, for truth and above all, run to achieve your inner freedom!! Run in search of new discoveries.

Spread your wings, show your voice to the world, and fly in this marathon, which is life...


Claudia Cotes

PhD in Linguistics, Master in Speech Therapy, specialist in voice and graduated in Literature, in addition to being a Marathon Runner. He has already run SP (twice), NY, Disney, Berlin, London and in 2020, he will run in Tokyo.


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