Until almost two weeks ago, I was trying to be more consistent when it comes to running in an effort to shift some winter weight and see how easily I can make it fit into my regular routine. News flash: it’s hard. Then I did my sacroiliac joint and those plans went belly up while I try to recover. This has been frustrating (tears have been shed), but things are on the improve.
So when I can run, I do because I enjoy it, although I admit there are some days I need some really good music to get me through kilometre slumps, when I picture myself just stopping and saying ‘to hell with it’ and walk. Now, I’m not above walking. Haruki Murakami might want ‘At least he never walked’ on his headstone, and I’d be happy to have on mine, ‘At least she strapped on her shoes’, but walking isn’t quite going to cut it if I want to build up to proper longer distances.
I also get to a point when I’m thoroughly sick and tired of all the songs in my playlist, no matter how much I loved them to begin with. Just like toys for toddlers, I like to keep my music on a rotation wherever possible, with the exception of a few standard favourites that always get me through tough patches. So in an effort to try and find some new tunes, I turned to some fellow blogging buddies who also run to find out their favoured tracks.
Off to iTunes I go!
Kelly from A life Less Frantic
My favourite songs to run to are popular eighties songs re-mixed to a dance beat. I am such a throwback! My iTunes features albums called things like ‘Top 40 Hits Remixed (Power Music Non-Stop Workout Mix)’ and this is the stuff I most like to run to. I actually find I switch off to the music and do a lot of thinking, but the fast beat still registers in my brain and give me a nice push along.
Kate from Operation Move
My playlist is eclectic to say the least. At the moment I’m likely to be singing along to Katy Perry’s Roar when I’m trying to up my cadence, or loping in time with Khe Sahn which was the first song I used to try and hold pace to (and really struggled whereas now it is my take it easy song, love that!). Most of my music reflects different parts of my life, mostly because I’m training for my third half marathon and need the psychological lift on the long runs. Come Out and Play by Offspring always makes me grin as I think about my BFF and the trouble we used to get into when that came out a million years ago; Broken Leg by Bluejuice is my crack up song that I added when I injured myself in the lead up to my first half; and Sandstorm (Darude) is my reminisce about the rave days with the husband before he was the husband.
Grace from With Some Grace
Michael Jackson’s Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’I have finally decided on my song and hands down it has to be . The steady, hypnotic drum machine beat helps me keep pace. Then, as the song works up to a crescendo, my legs feel like they’re ready to take off. “Lift your head up high and scream out to the world, I know I am someone and let the truth unfurl…” There’s no getting past the infectious rhythm, funky brass or powerful lyrics. Before I know it, I’m feeling completely empowered; ready to run for as long as I have “attitude”
Zoey from Zoey Martin
At the moment I’m loving The Lumineers – Ho Hey – it’s slower than most of the other things I listen to, but somehow it always ups my pace and puts me in a comfort zone of running. Can’t really go past Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen because Springsteen. I like Eminem’s Til I Collapse mainly for the opening lyrics which are awesome, especially if you need a lift on a run. And for just general upbeat stuff I can’t go past a bit of vintage Michael Jackson. It’s possible that I have Eye of the Tiger in their somewhere. And maybe some 30 second to Mars for a bit of emo rock.
Related: have very uncool taste in music. Except for Bruce Springsteen, that’s not uncool at all.
Karen from Karen Cheng’s Fashion and Life
I Love Rock and Roll (original version by Joan Jett!) for the really hard uphill climbs on my bike. I’m also a sucker for The Muse, Wolfmother and Maroon 5 for making me run faster.
Nicole from Planning With Kids
I am quite pedantic about putting my playlists together. I have a number of playlists for each month – e.g Running 30, Running 60, Running 90, so they are timed for how long I want to run. What music I run to is completely different to what I listen to at home. I love trashy mixes and mashups when I am running. I love to keep it up beat and high BPM. I think it is because it reminds me of younger days when I actually went out to clubs!
Some favourites over the last couple of years have been Walkin’ Out Yo Girlfriend (Unk vs. Avril Lavigne vs. Toni Basil) – DJ Lobsterdust, Perfect Love – DJ Smolli, Here I Go Again with Zina – g4gorialla, Viva La Clarity – DJ Morgoth, So Long And Good Night – DJ Lobsterdust
Naomi from Under the Yardarm
I’m a creature of habit when it comes to the running playlist. Songs are removed or added occasionally. Shazam gets a fair workout as I search for songs with the perfect tempo. I have one long playlist that sees me through short runs right up to those that are around 2 hours. I rarely use shuffle, song order gives me a good idea of pace and distance. This year there was some movement, giving faster tempo music at points I tend to feel tired. There’s a boost at around the 7k, 10k, and again at the 15k mark. Some songs I could never run without: Breathe by The Prodigy, Yell Fire! by Michael Franti, Pulp’s Common People. But without a doubt, the song that always gives the biggest boost is Mr Brightside. It’s like a perfect roadside cheer squad sign on a long race. The only problem is remembering I have headphones in, and to not sing along, starting wildlife, locals and tourists as they share the paths with me.
…And then there’s me
In one of those cases of hate-the-movie-like-the-soundtrack my most listened to song is Puff Daddy’s Come with Me. The part of me that wants to justify this choice can reel out a few reasons: it heavily samples Kashmir by Led Zeppelin, and I love those guys (hell, Jimmy Page helped him produce it); it’s base beat is a good one to keep rhythm with; there’s an orchestral section (violins! Who doesn’t like violins!?); at a smidge over 6 minutes, if I’m on my preferred pace, I know that when it’s over I’ll have done a kilometre; and last, sure, the lyrics are ridiculous, but it’s helps unleash my inner anger (“Fuck my enemies / Fuck my foes”) and sometimes you need that.
I also have a soft spot for Screaming Jets’ Better because it came on about 400 metres from the finish of my first half marathon, when I was so sick and really, really done, and it gave me a much needed lift. Hunters and Collectors’ Holy Grail isn’t bad either.