I have been meaning to write about my running playlist for a while. I finally found the impetus to do it when Bob Gabordi, Executive Editor of our Tallahassee Democrat, runner, and Move Tallahassee enthusiast, blogged about his list and asked, “So what’s on your playlist to keep you moving?”
My list is not static. Songs that make me feel incredibly pumped up and motivated for weeks suddenly grow stale and find themselves replaced. But for that period that they’re “in,” they have a combination of great beat, musical novelty, and contagiousness that gets me through many miles and various workouts from my coach that have me running all kinds of combinations of heart rate zones and distances.
The WarmUp Song
I am pretty sure Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys will always be my warm-up song. Its beat is “medium” enough for a warmup and each time I play it, it’s a little tiny homage to my favorite place. Ironically, I miss my favorite place so much right now that I can’t bear to listen to the song so I’ve been going straight to the fast stuff.
Tunes I Love
Shake Señora by Pitbull featuring T-Pain and Sean Paul
Jump by FloRida (The Chocolate Puma full vocal mix)
Scream & Shout by will.i.am featuring Britney Spears
Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton
Magic by B.o.B. (featuring Rivers Cuomo)
Universal Mind Control by Common
Till The World Ends by Britney Spears (The Bloody Beatroots Extended Remix)
Run by Flo Rida (featuring RedFoo – Bonus Track)
Run to the Hills by Iron Maiden
Be Good To Yourself by Journey
Timebomb by Kylie Minogue (Extended Version)
Turn Up the Radio by Madonna (Offer Nissim Remix)
Include Me Out by Robbyn
T.H.E. Hardest Ever by will.i.am (featuring Mick Jagger & Jennifer Lopez)
Lose Yourself by Eminem
Electricity by Ashley Jana
What I’ve Done by Linkin Park
For Cool Downs
Just Give Me A Reason by Pink featuring Nate Ruess
I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz
But Wait!! There’s More!!
When I got back into running (in 2008) and started searching for music, I relied quite heavily for a while on “beats per minute” mixes. Now, I primarily use those when I am doing speedwork at the track or when I particularly want to focus on form and consistency. The ones I have used and recommend include:
Beats Per Minute Music
Podrunner Podrunner is the first “beats per minute” podcast service I subscribed to. DJ Steve Boyett (who is also an author!) works hard to create this free podcast (there are technical considerations, music licensing negotiations, and a whole host of things besides slapping together catchy tunes).
Motiontraxx Motiontraxx has added a lot of options since I began downloading their podcast a few years ago. There are now apps for iPhone and Android, and there are mixes/coaching cues for HIIT workouts and other activities besides running.
BeatRunning I don’t have as much of a “relationship” with BeatRunning as I feel like I do with Podrunner and Motiontraxx; I just bought some of their mixes off of iTunes. They’re the ones I happen to use most frequently now — a solid 180 bpm of something that I can try to attach my cadence to.
I love audiobooks. I go through them rapidly. If I have a long Zone 2 (conversational pace) run planned, I will frequently listen to an audiobook. The miles can go back a lot more painlessly if you’re wrapped up in a biography or great fiction story.
There are so many fantastic podcasts out there. It was through podcasts that I have ended up with some of my favorite running connections. The first running podcast I ever listened to was Chris Russell’s RunRunLive (fortunately I wasn’t too thrown off by the first five minutes being about mountain goat hygiene services (Chris has a quirky sense of humor). I was introduced to it by Ann Brennan of Ann’s Running Commentary. She now has her own running podcast at Ann’s Running Commentary. Both of these podcasts have my highest recommendation.
I would be remiss if I didn’t give a bit of credit to running without earbuds, without someone else talking or singing into your ear. And of course this doesn’t actually mean you’re listening to “nothing.” If you are working on your running form, you have a chance to listen to your “light fast feet” (or the fact that they’re not as light and fast as you thought!). Birds, traffic, animals, other people, the thoughts bumping around in your head. Sometimes it’s best to leave all the music/talk at home and just run.
A Note About Safety
While I love running with the various songs, books, and podcasts mentioned above, I want to remind you (assuming teacher/mom/coach voice here) that safety is key. This article has a few tips about running safely with headphones (some of which I defy on a daily basis but they’re good food for thought).
But Enough About Me
What are your faves? Let me know in the comments!