Music and Running

…Go hand in hand as far as I’m concerned.  I remember the first 10k I signed up for; I read through all the information that was sent out, but one thing stood out like a 3-legged llama at Miss America contest:

…no headphones…

Say what?!  How can anyone run without music?  What madness is this? Is pretty much, thought for thought, the result of reading those two words.  This race, no joke, would be torture.

I can remember reluctantly tucking my mp3 player into one of the ‘secret’ compartments of the rucksack I’d lock to my bike and heading towards the crowd.  I hadn’t left myself much time (translation: I woke up hung-over after a Eurovision Song Paty) so everyone was assembling at the start line.  And in 90% of ears at the start line?


Hung-over, and with just the sound of panting and feet padding along the road, I was totally not feeling the vibe.  I guess I saw it as a kind of initiation – a hazing from ‘The Running Monster’.  I mean, I would have preferred a swift aerodynamic paddle to the ass once or twice instead, but whatever – I’m over it.

Anyway, the only time since that painful day that I have run without my jammin’ beats was the Bupa Great Edinburgh Run this year, because it was pissing down with rain and I (quite sensibly) decided not to risk damaging my quite expensive (to me) mp3 player.  Oh, and of course the rain stopped 5 minutes into the run.  I have since purchased a cheap ‘back-up’ mp3 player for such occasions.

I find that any music, even the radio, is fine for running if you’re taking it easy (like my Sunday run), but there are some songs that never fail to get me totally pumped.  They cover a range of genres (I used to be all about rock, but I’m sullying my style by adding some generic pop, dance, cheesy 80’s stuff and dub step.  A few of my failsafe tracks at the moment for psyching me up (and I’m not even ashamed!) include:

Example – ‘Midnight Run’

Nero – ‘Me and You’

Boston ‘More than a Feeling’

Saul Williams – ‘List of Demands’

Alice Cooper – ‘School’s Out’ (I’m a teacher, this never fails to lift my spirits)

Flux Pavilion – ‘I Can’t Stop’

So what songs give you an instant adrenaline rush?  And are you one of the ‘weird’ people that runs without music?  Let me know, not least so I can nick some song choices!

1 thought on “Music and Running

  1. Absolutely agree. I reckon motivating music can make me run 30-40% longer than if I didn’t have. If you have time, I would suggest making 3 playlists (warm up, jog, sprint) and flicking between them. Done this for 10k / marathon training before, and it helps so much.

    Metal/Rock (the more industrial the better) and Dance music (Ministry of sound / Euphoria etc) worked best for me. Anything with a pounding, steady beat really.

    The Nike+iPod also has the ability to program a “power track”, that 1 song that will lift you up big time… can’t tell you how many times that’s helped me!

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