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Putting together a marathon playlist

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I have a problem. Well, a few. But one, in particular, for today. I’ll bother you about the others another time. I like to think I’ve got a broad musical taste but the music I tend to listen to on a day-to-day basis is not even remotely close to being good running music.

To be honest, now that I’ve typed that, I’m not actually sure I know what defines “good running music”. Sure, stuff like BPM (beats per minute) is important but, then again, everyone’s pace is different so it’s still very hard to find music that suits a particular style of running.

Sometimes I notice what I’m listening to at home or at work and I wonder whether the appropriate sport for these songs is kind of restricted to “bawling your eyes out” (that’s a sport, right?). But that’s okay. Like I said, I’ve got a broad enough range of stuff I listen to that I can put together a playlist for my workouts. So I did that about, hmm, a year ago. And I’ve stuck with it since then.

Last week, during one of my runs, I caught myself skipping pretty much every second song, which completely distracted me from the run. This, buddies of mine, is a clear sign that Lady Gaga and I need to spend some time apart.

There are a few songs that, for some reason, I haven’t gotten tired of (yet). In case you’re looking for some good songs to keep you going, here’s the list of stuff I’m currently happy to run to:

  • Florence and the Machine – Dog Days Are Over (actually, pretty much all of her songs)
  • Chemical Brothers – Galvanize
  • Eminem – Lose Yourself
  • La Roux – Bulletproof
  • Bloc Party – Banquet
  • OK Go – Get Over It (or, you know, any of their other songs)
  • Iron Maiden – Run to the Hills (pretty self-explanatory)
  • MGMT – Kids
  • Kids of 88 – My House
  • Arcade Fire – No Cars Go
  • Franz Ferdinand – This Fire (or any other of their songs, basically)
  • Vampire Weekend – Run
  • The Killers – Mr Brightside
  • The Postal Service – Such Great Heights

That’s it. Fourteen songs that probably won’t make me hit the “next” button while running. You know who can run a marathon within the time that it takes for these fourteen songs to play? No one, that’s who.

So I need more music. I’ve been trying to find the right kind of stuff and have been pretty successful with some discoveries. Rock My Run, for example, is one of my new favourite websites and some of their mixes have kept me really happy during some lonely runs. The problem is that I’m far too OCD to risk running a marathon with a playlist someone else put together.

I’ve also tried audiobooks and I’m even considering giving them another go but I find that they require a level of concentration that I cannot give them while running (I kept getting distracted and then going back to listening and not knowing a thing about what was happening to the characters).

So this is where you come in. I need to block out the sound of my lungs trying to pop out of my mouth (lovely image, I know. Sorry, it’s out there now). So tell me: what song really gets you going? Have you mastered the perfect running playlist? What’s your power song for when you feel like maybe you should just turn around and walk back home? Is it really embarrassing to have the Eye of the Tiger on your playlist? Tell me everything!

***

After telling me about your favourite running songs, don’t forget to enter the Pro Compression giveaway that will be running (running, hahahahaha, get it? So clever) until January 20. You can enter as many times as you like since I love hearing about what’s brightening people’s days. And since we’re sharing, my day today was brightened by a lovely picnic with a bunch of fellow runners followed by a delicious gingernut latte. What about yours?

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22 thoughts on “Putting together a marathon playlist

  1. Hello! Really enjoyed the post, and it just so happens I wrote one about running playlists and music today! You should check it out, if you get some time. I think it may help you out a bit, at least with a few songs!

  2. Hiya. Well, I’m definitely not an expert in running…but I’ve varied between a few bands. My absolute favorite so far is Project 86. Crash Rickshaw , a band a little like the Postal service (a band which shows you have good taste in music BTW.)and Thousand-foot Krutch (Puppet is my favorite)coming in somewhere. My music tends to be my driving force to push through the feeling of my legs wanting to fall off. Also, if Eye of the Tiger inspires you to push through it, I say go for it!

  3. I love listening to Girl Talk’s All Day, which is an hour plus remix of various songs.

  4. Running with the Devil – Van Halen : 1st one on the play list, good to get you started
    Don’t stop me now – Queen: gives you (at least me) energy
    I see red – Split Enz : Had a good laugh when it came up during the 2009 Auckland Marathon (if you remember the colour shirts)
    Radar Love – Golden Earing : works good in the car too (and a good old Dutch rock band)
    I like the way – body rockers : good beat

  5. Hmmm….I’ll have to take a look at my running playlist & email it to you. Some of the songs I don’t love, but they have a really great beat to run to & that makes them perfect (in my book).

  6. I like to read your blog.
    I like to listen chinese song.
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful blog and nice giveaway.

  7. Here’s a few that I really like: Workin’ Day and Night – Michael Jackson, The Pretender – Foo Fighters, Potential Breakup Song – Aly and AJ, Comeback Kid – Sleigh Bells.
    It takes me FOREVER to pick out songs for my running playlist and I’m the same way, what I listen to everyday typically doesn’t always work. But don’t be ashamed of Eye of the Tiger! Holding Out for a Hero by Bonnie Tyler is what got me up a monster hill the other day!

  8. I just recently wrote a similar post. I too am always on the search for songs that will get me pumped up. Right now I am really into Lindsey Stirling. here is a link to the post if you want to learn more… http://sweatdaily.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/running-music/

  9. Our playlists are very similar and my day to day music is quite different from my running music, too. Maybe you’ll like these songs (don’t judge):

    Sexyback – Justin Timberlake
    Fighter – Christina Aguilera
    Feel Again – One Republic
    One More Night – Maroon 5
    Stronger – Kelly Clarkson

    So, I would probably not buy any of these cd’s in their entirety ( except maybe One Republic?)
    Have fun picking out a new playlist. I’m going to check out the songs you mentioned and see if I can expand my own list :)

  10. Oh, I’ll be checking in on the suggestions here every now on then. I’m taking the time now when I’m not running to gather some new songs for the running playlists – always in need of new artists/songs to look up!

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