My favorite running-related Christmas present this year was my new shoes, but these would be a close second:
Gone are the days of me constantly jamming my crappy iPhone buds back into my ear holes every 10 steps or relying on a headband to hold them in place! It took me a couple runs and a video on YouTube to get fully acclimated to my new yurbuds, but now that I am actually installing them in my head correctly, I’m in love. The sound quality is boss while still allowing me plenty of access to ambient noise.
Anyway, this cool girl Lauren who reads my blog, also loves yurbuds, and is always so full of good ideas suggested to me the other day that I make a post about what I listen to on my shiny new headphones when I run. More power to all of you who run without music and I think you are amazing, but I just cannot do it if I’m going any longer than a mile or two. Even music with the volume turned down to barely a whisper works better than nothing for me. On a longer distance run I’m pretty sure I’d go bananas if I was left with only the thoughts in my head and also there have been times when a certain song has gotten me through a tough spot. It’s kind of a neat feeling to be struggling with a hill or something later on in a run and then the most motivational song fills my head and suddenly I’m singing and kicking ass all the way to the top.
And yes I do sing when I run. I also lip sync and fist pump and even dance a little if I’m really feeling frisky. Ask anyone who saw me running in the Baltimore half.
I guess I should start with my device and how I have things set up on there. I run with my iPhone and have crafted playlists for a variety of run distances that I might be tackling. So for example I have a playlist entitled “So You’re Running a 5K” and then one called “So You’re Running a 10K” and so on and so forth. This option has worked out really well for me. Each of these playlists start off slower and more relaxed and then get more up-tempo as I get farther into my run. Not only does this help later when I need that extra boost, but I’ve found the slower tunes in the beginning help to slow me down. I know I can’t be the only one who has a problem with going out too fast. I add to and switch around my music every couple weeks so that things don’t get boring. Here is a sample playlist from the 9 mile run I did this past Saturday and one of my favorite mixes of music as of late. There’s some Katy Perry on there, but don’t worry. I already judge me.
- Wheel in the Sky – Journey
- Sweet Disposition – The Temper Trap
- Freedom – George Michael
- Price Tag – Jessie J
- Panic Station – Muse
- Bodyrock – Moby
- Can’t Get You Out of My Head – Kylie Minogue
- Jump Around – House of Pain
- Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke
- Breakout – Foo Fighters
- Don’t Stop the Party – Pitbull
- Teeth – Lady Gaga
- Harder Better Faster Stronger – Daft Punk
- Applause – Lady Gaga
- Roar – Katy Perry
- Dragostea Din Tei – O-Zone (Okay so this is possibly the weirdest song ever, but it is AMAZING for a good energy boost!)
- The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Flogging Molly
- Hello – Martin Solveig & Dragonette
I listen to other judge-worthy songs sometimes too such as What Does the Fox Say?, but that one isn’t so much motivational tempo-wise as its ridiculousness takes my mind off of how much I might be hurting at that moment (it’s later on in my half marathon playlist).
Another cool tool that I discovered awhile ago is a FREE download for your computer called the MixMeister BPM Analyzer. iTunes has a smart playlist function where you can organize your music based on BPM, but most music does not come into your iTunes with that information (although Lady Gaga’s does). MixMeister can analyze and tell me the BPM of each song. I dragged some music files in for an example. This is just a random alphabetical sampling and not necessarily songs I run with:
120 – 140 BPM is the ideal tempo for a workout. This handy application let’s you see the music that falls within that range and you can arrange your playlists accordingly! See? Now I know without a doubt that “Hot Potato” by The Wiggles is WAY too slow for me to want to listen to in the middle of my run. Because I obviously otherwise would have been listening to The Wiggles while I run.
Let’s Playlist Share!
I love checking out new songs and adding new music to my arsenal. I would love to hear from other runners about what they are rocking out to on their long runs! What are your power songs? The ones that really get you over the hump? Shout them out in the comments so I can raid iTunes later on today for some new stuff!
I’d also love to know what kinds of headphones you all run with and how you organize your running playlists. Or if you don’t even run with music at all I’d love to hear about that as well because I think you are pretty amazing!
I hope everyone out there in Blog Land has a wonderful, happy, and SAFE New Year’s! It’s almost 2014, guys! Let’s make this the best year yet!