Friday Five – 5 Favorite Fitness Tunes

Welcome to the Friday Five Linkup, hosted by my blog buds/local tweeps

Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!,
Courtney at EatPrayRunDC and
Mar at Mar on the Run.
Make sure to stop by their blogs for their picks and hop along to the other bloggers in the linkup, featured at the bottom of their pages!

This week’s theme is: 5 favorite fitness tunes. Flashback to old playlists, new race playlists….Too bad podcasts don’t count!

I train with podcasts but race to music (though I’m thinking of running Richmond with podcasts to keep it as a training run in my mind). My trusty shuffles are below (the blue is older, and smaller – the yellow I got for Shamrock and it’s now my “race” shuffle whereas I currently tend to train with the blue one).

my iPod shuffles

my iPod shuffles

Over time, my taste in music hasn’t changed too much, which is why there are a lot of older songs on my playlists. The selection certainly dates me a bit! Some are from when I was running at a slower pace than what I go for now.

I had to add a lot of songs for Shamrock, trying to keep closer to 180bpm – also figured out that I can tolerate some dance/electronic music and that some of what people think is 180bpm really isn’t. I won’t listen to rap, hip hop, or songs with misogynistic/violent/depressing lyrics, which narrows the set of fast songs with a strong beat quite a bit. I can’t just block out the lyrics (though I don’t remember hearing some of the songs at Baystate!) so I make sure the lyrics are mostly words I’m okay with my brain hearing during training/racing.

I’m adding a Taiko drum piece to my Baystate list, should be interesting. (Richmond has a taiko drummer early on – wish they’d move them later in the race), and I think Big Sur does too. I heard Lucho on Endurance Planet talking about using taiko music to get into kind of a meditative state when he runs, which sounded helpful. I was also thinking about a Native American drum piece but haven’t found one yet I wanted to try.

The list below – in no particular order – is a mix of old and new, favorites for different reasons (some for lyrics, some mostly for the music, some for both). Yes, there are more than 5, bonus for you. Some I’ll be running with on Sunday at Baystate, some are just songs that make me smile when I think of training to them. Enjoy!

  • Best Day of My Life – American Authors
  • Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield (a good one for very early in the race playlist as it’s slower and reminds you things are possible)
  • The Middle – Jimmy Eat World
  • Wild Wild West – The Escape Club If you recall, I played this song a LOT during Shamrock. When I start it up now, I immediately am taken back to those miles and the picture in my head.
  • Never Gonna Stop – Rob Zombie Thanks to UltraRunnerPodcast for this one (it’s their theme song).
  • Synchronicity I – Police H/T to DH for this one, good pace.
  • Raise Your Glass and Get This Party Started – Pink The first one because it was re-made (so to speak) for a conference I have fond memories of, and the second because it’s just such a great “let’s go” song.
  • Don’t Look Back – Boston
  • Beautiful Day – the original from U2, though I’ve added a remixed version rec’d by Deena Kastor to my playlist and like it pretty well too. 
  • Footloose – yep, the Kenny Loggins 80s movie theme
  • Thunderstruck – AC/DC
  • We Will Rock You – Queen
  • Head Over Heels – the GoGos
  • Single Ladies (my only Beyonce song) Great beat and peppy, easy-to-sing lyrics.
  • A 30 second or so clip from the Marathon Talk opening theme is placed at multiple points through my playlist (unfortunately, the clip includes the word “talk” which is a bit jarring but oh well). Don’t know where they got it, but since I listen to their podcast first (and only) on my long run, the music kicks my brain into “we’re running long now” mode. This is similar to using the Ultrarunnerpodcast theme, but more than once. I’ll be a week behind on their podcasts after race weekend (and it looks like a good one), possibly 2 since I won’t be running much in the first week post-race. That means I’ll get backed up on other podcasts too. Just have to run more to catch up, I guess.

What are your 5 favorite running or fitness tunes?