Monday, April 22, 2013

Guilty Pleasure: The Runner's Playlist

Posted by CheapRunnerMike
I have recently been reintroduced to my iPod.  It has been a long time since I have run with my earbuds in, but a few weeks ago I took the plunge back into running with music.  I have to say it does help the miles go by on those long solo runs.

With the reintroduction of music to my running routine I was also reintroduced to one of running's guilty pleasures...the running playlist.  Most of you reading this probably know exactly what I am getting at; that playlist that is for running only.  It is designed to do many things, from pumping you up through the opening leg of your run to helping power you through some of the tough stretches.  It can also be a huge embarrassment if it were ever accidentally played at a party.  The runner's playlist can be home to some of the most cheesy inspirational music ever recorded, and that's okay because no one but you will ever hear it (unless of course you are like me and sing out loud as you run down the road).


You know the songs...they are on my playlist and chances are they are on yours too.  Don't Stop Believing by Journey can power you through the middle of a tough run (guilty).  The Rocky theme, Gonna Fly Now by Bill Conti...pure Philadelphia Cream Cheese (not guilty).  More Rocky music, and as a Detroit Tigers fan one that's a little closer to home, Eye of the Tiger by Survivor (guilty).  Rick Springfield’s Jessies Girl makes my cheesy playlist as does Mr. Mister’s Take These Broken Wings.  As you may notice, my musical taste is stuck firmly planted in the 80’s.
There are plenty of other songs on my playlist that may be clich√©, but they are great running tunes.  These include Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty’s Running Down a Dream, I Ran (So Far Away) by Flock of Seagulls (classic!) and Run Like Hell by Pink Floyd (if the chant of Run!  Run!  Run! doesn’t get you running I’m not sure what will).  I haven’t even delved into my love for country music yet, and there are certainly a bunch of great country running tunes.  Zac Brown always gets my feet moving, Miranda Lambert and her threats of shooting my cheating ass challenge me to run away as fast as I can and I’m right there with Johnny Cash when he proclaims that he’s gonna break this Rusty Cage and run.

Earbuds in, ready for my run

Ultimately the playlist just comes down to what motivates you to keep pushing.  We all have our power songs (has Nike trademarked ‘Power Song”?)...I know one guy who swears by the Montage song from Team America.  Whatever works.  Two that come to mind for me couldn’t be any more different from each other.  The first is I Just Cant Get Enough by Depeche Mode gives me a lift right from the opening keyboard strains and it’s poppy beat hurtles me through another 3 minutes and 44 seconds. The other song is Eminem’s Lose Yourself...it is (for me) the most inspiring/motivating song I have ever heard.  The story and build-up of the song just gets me going and it even comes in at 86 BPM (beats per minute), which falls in very nicely to the ideal 180 strides per minute running cadence.  I try to rap along (stop laughing), but I usually don’t have the breath to spit rhymes while I’m running.  All I know id that this song gets me going every time, and that’s what my running playlist is all about.
Remember, there are plenty of bad songs out there, but there are no bad playlists.

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