Race day is 1 week away, wow. When thinking about what to write this week I realized there’s not much left to say on mentally preparing yourself for the race or dealing with the taper that hasn’t already been said very well by others. There’s no doubt that we’re in the ‘silly season’ of training. All the long runs are behind us, and it’s smooth sailing from here. Or to quote Coach, the hay is in the barn.
I decided to write a fun post and share with you my musical choices during training. I run with my iPhone and use it as both my GPS distance/pace tracker and my source of music. Music is obviously a very subjective topic and with that in mind bear with me as I share with you my running playlist that contains four hours of music. And at the end, I will reveal a ‘Top 15′ playlist set that you will be eligible to win via an iTunes playlist gifted by RunVermont.
First, going from my entire catalog of 2,000 songs down to 60 was no easy task and I know if I tried it 20 different times I would get 20 different lists. To me, music is very mood dependent. These aren’t my favorite 60 songs, just a solid playlist that I could rely on to carry me 26.2 miles.
I know running a sanctioned marathon with headphones is against the rules at certain races and qualifying events and I have no plans to conquer VCM with ear buds in. Additionally, the running community is divided on the performance and safety benefits of running with music. All I can tell you is on 100% of my solo VCM training runs, I listened to music.
Time to proceed to the list. I have the songs broken down by genre/era ultimately culminating in my top 15. (* disclaimer – as a child of the 80s and 90s, my music tastes are decidedly reflective of that generation)
Hair Metal/Hard Rock Catgeory
- AC/DC – Thunderstruck (Great intro)
- Anthrax – I’m the Man
- Bon Jovi – Bad Medicine and Blaze of Glory (Young Guns II, very underrated movie)
- Cinderella – Bad Seamstress Blues and Gypsy Road
- Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar on Me
- Drowning Pool – Let the Bodies Hit the Floor; best use of simple counting skills in a song.
- Guns N’ Roses – You Could Be Mine; great combo of a video (back when they mattered) and a movie, T2.
- Metallica – Hero of the Day and Sad But True; as someone who’s seen them in concert A LOT, these are two of their best live songs (along with Creeping Death).
- Motley Crue – Primal Scream, Anarchy in the UK and Home Sweet Home; HSH was VERY popular back in the day of the daily MTV Top 5 countdown, so much so that the video is notable for its long stay on top of the MTV daily request chart, lasting over three months until MTV invoked the unwritten “Crue Rule”, dropping videos from eligibility on their request line after thirty days.
- Skid Row – Slave to the Grind
Guilty Pleasure 80s Cheese Music Category
- Animotion – Obsession; Any song that once rose to #10 in the New Zealand pop charts is good enough for me.
- Nena – 99 Luftballons; good back story if you interested in subtle German protests.
- Survivor – No Easy Way Out; honorable mention to Burning Heart. Each song remains iconic to me for their usage in Rocky IV.
Old and New School Hip Hop Category
- Beastie Boys – Sabatoge and Ch-Check It Out
- DJ Kool – Let Me Clear My Throat
- Eminem – Lose Yourself
- The Go! Team – The Power Is On; the song behind the newish NFL Play 60 commercials.
- Kanye West & Jay-Z – Who Gon Stop Me Now
- Notorious B.I.G. – Hypnotize and Mo Money Mo Problems
Alternative Rock Category
- Cold – Stupid Girl
- Eve 6 – Think Twice
- Foo Fighters – Everlong (Acoustic) and Times Like These
- Janes Addiction – Just Because
- Jet – Are You Gonna Be My Girl
- The Killers – When You Were Young and Mr. Brightside; saw them live in Montreal a few years ago, great show.
- My Chemical Romance – I’m Not Okay (I Promise); very underrated song.
- Nine Inch Nails – Hurt
- OK Go – Get Over It
- Papa Roach – Last Resort
- Pearl Jam – Given to Fly; saw them in Montreal back in the fall, probably a top 3 concert experience.
- Red Hot Chili Peppers – Love Rollercoaster; I’ll take any opportunity to link to the Beavis and Butt-Head movie.
Easy Listening/Other (Embarrassing to Admit?) Category
- Ani DiFranco – You Had Time; a constant reminder about opportunities lost
- Anna Nalick – Breathe (2 AM)
- Cage the Elephant – Shake Me Down
- Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks
- Gary Jules – Mad World; a good song for introspective thinking that occurs on solo long runs.
- Hans Zimmer – You’re So Cool; not a song as much as a jingle/instrumental. Was used beautifully in another underrated movie, True Romance.
Top 15 – This is the playlist you’re eligible to win. To enter please submit a comment and share with us some of your favorite songs to run to. The winner will be randomly selected from those who comment in the same manner as it normally is during RunVermont’s Giveaway Thursdays. I tried to make this a balanced and diverse playlist. To be clear, these aren’t my 15 favorite songs, or even the 15 that motivate me the most while running. But it is, at least for me, a pretty good playlist that can get me through any stretch of a run.
- Beastie Boys – Make Some Noise; I always refer to the intro of this song as ‘funky’, an adjective I still find apt. The song kicks in at about 1:14 of the star filled video.
- Blink 182 – I Miss You
- Cypress Hill – (Rock) Superstar
- Death Cab for Cutie – I Will Follow You Into the Dark
- Disturbed – Land of Confusion; I liked the original ’80s version of this song, but this remake is great.
- Dropkick Murphys – I’m Shipping Up to Boston; despite being overexposed, the song still makes me run VERY fast.
- Eddie Vedder – Hard Sun; probably my favorite slower song for a long run.
- Enimen – ‘Till I Collapse; another song that gets my feet moving.
- Foo Fighters – My Hero; had to include one of Foo’s songs, I’m sure Mox would agree.
- Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out
- Jay-Z & Linkin Park – Numb/ Encore; may be my #1 song to run to.
- The Killers – All These Things That I’ve Done; no ‘Top’ list would be complete without a Killers entry.
- Modest Mouse – Float On; Hey look, it’s Ryan Atwood.
- My Chemical Romance – Welcome to the Black Parade
- Pearl Jam – Unthought Known; I’m more of a beat and rhythm guy than a lyrics guy. But the lyrics of this song make me thing of unfulfilled dreams & desires, which to me represents completing VCM for the first time. This song is the perfect combination of a slow and fast song; if it could somehow be combined with Numb/Encore the result would be odd, but to me, the perfect running song.
There it is. My attempt at a solid 4-hour playlist complete with a Top 15. Comment away with your favorite running songs to be eligible to win my Top 15 gifted to you via iTunes. Or just chastise me for my taste in music, it’s all fair game.
You have until next Thursday, May 24 at 11:59pm to enter, we’ll announce the winner Friday, May 25.