The Power of a Playlist
|May 6, 2010||Posted by Lauren under Misc, Running|
First of all, I want to thank you for all your sweet comments and support about my race. Your comments seriously made my day!!
Secondly, if you’ve noticed, my posting has been even more irregular this week than normal. The reason for this is that I’m actually going through a big transition at the moment, and things have been a bit crazy as I prepare. I know that sounds mysterious (maybe my intention!), but I’m just not sure how much I want to talk about this on the blog quite yet. No, this does not mean that I’m getting married, or having a baby…or running off to join the circus! But it does mean that I’m taking a little break from blogging/blog reading this week. I’ve still been trying to follow all of your blogs as best as I can, but if you don’t see me around as much this week, that’s why.
So for now, I will leave you with a slightly less than substantial post that should’ve been short and sweet…yet I’ve somehow managed to make long…
The Power of a Playlist
The right playlist has the power to transform your workout. Music can inspire you to push harder, run faster, and workout longer than you might have been able to otherwise. The trick to this is finding the songs that work best to motivate you. There has been a lot written about the exact tempo, cadence, etc most likely to get you moving, but when it comes down to it, everyone has their own taste in music. The songs that make me want to run faster might make you want to cringe and plug your ears.
That being said, sometimes it’s good to branch out and try new forms of music while you’re working out. Even if you think your “music palette” is pretty refined, you might be surprised how fun a little pop tune makes your workout. As an example, way back when A Knight’s Tale came out (Heath Ledger’s true masterpiece ;)), the soundtrack was one of my favorite CDs to listen to in my discman while I ran. Classic rock isn’t something I listen to on a daily basis, but the songs on that CD were really fun to run to!
Personally, I love making playlists. I love finding a collection of songs, putting them in the “right” order, and making sure they flow together. There’s no real scientific method to how I do it, I mostly just go by how it feels.
However, there are a few guidelines that I follow whenever I make a new playlist for an important run. The list below includes the 5 key things that I include on every workout mix.
The 5 Key Ingredients to The Perfect Playlist
- “Hanging By A Moment” by Lifehouse. This song has started every single running playlist that I’ve ever listened to before/during races since I first heard it during my sophomore year in high school. Jason Wade (the lead singer) and I have been through a lot together — high school drama meets, college races, 5Ks, qualifying for and running Boston, and most recently: a half marathon. Whenever this song starts playing, my body automatically shifts into running mode. I’m convinced that no playlist is truly complete without it.
- A mixture of songs. Don’t just stick with one artist or one type of song…it gets boring, especially when you’re running for a long time. I put some songs on a playlist for their fast tempo or good beat (“Replay” — Iyaz, “In My Head” — Jason Derulo, “Break Your Heart” — Taio Cruz), others for their lyrics (“Marching On” — Timbaland, “Stop and Stare” — One Republic, “Show Me What I’m Looking For” — Carolina Liar), and still others for their angsty melody that pulls on my heart strings (“Love Left to Lose” — Sons of Sylvia). I then sprinkle in a few favorites (Lifehouse, Temper Trap and Vega4) and voila! a playlist is born.
- Separate out each “type” of song and artist throughout the list, so that one section isn’t just hip hop, the next rock, the next a bunch of angsty tunes. The goal is to switch it up to keep your mind on its toes!
- Make the playlist longer than what you think you’ll need. I do this for two reasons: a.) in case I end up hating certain songs while I’m running and want to skip them, and b.) in case something goes wrong during the race and I end up running longer than expected.
- Do not underestimate the power of boy bands. Seriously, how can you hear a little BSB and NOT want to sing along?? (ok, maybe I’m just showing my age here). And Justin Bieber may only be 12 years old, but when it comes to love (or at least catchy pop tunes), he definitely knows what’s up!
So, without further ado, here is the list that got me through my Half Marathon on Sunday. You might think my musical tastes are akin to a 13 year old (no comment), but I’m telling you, this thing helped me sing my way through 13.1 miles.
Prov Half-Mary Playlist — 35 song; 2.2 hours
I’ll be back to more regular posting next week. In the meantime, I leave you with this little face.