Saturday, January 23, 2010

What music do you listen to?

If you are the type of runner that runs listening to music, do you have a preference of what type of music you listen to?

I bring this up because if you own an iPod and use the Nike+ that measures miles or minutes that you run, you will notice that it allows for a 'Power Song'. I'm assuming that this is a song that you would use to get you motivated.

I do have one pick out – 'Taking Care of Business' by Bachman Turner Overdrive. I do have to say, though, I've never hit the 'Play Power Song' once in the three years that I've used the Nike+.

It seems silly to me to push the button. I mean, really, - what race, what run, what effort, would a person make that one song would accomplish the task? If any of you have found a need for this, please email me and let me know.

I've found that there are three 'types' of music that I listen to. For long walks or short easy runs, I listen to audio books. No need to focus on the speed, distance, heart rate, etc. Just listen and let it flow. The second is what I call 'Tempo running' music. This is music that can come from a favorite 'live' album (Frampton, Seger, Zeppelin, etc.) or a new album that you've just added to your iTunes, or really any groups of songs that won't detract from you being able to keep a steady pace.

The last type of music that I have on my iPod is music that actually 'motivates' me to run fast. I created a playlist for this music. In my iTunes library, I have rated all my music from one to five stars. I have on both my iTunes library and my Nano, and iPod iTouch a playlist that contains all of my 5 star music. This is what I play on my Nano when I doing speed workouts or running a 10K race or shorter. Any longer distance and any 3, 4 rated songs will do (yes, I do have a playlist that includes all 3, 4 and 5 rated songs for running 10 milers, Half-Marathons, and Marathons).

So what do you listen to? Write me at and let me know. I will also putting together a blog post that will contain the Top 10 running songs and would you know what use to motivate your running.


janderso said...

Enjoyed the post. I definitely think that finding the "right" music that motivates you can help on a run. I also think that matching the bpm (beats per minute) to your pace can also be very helpful. I've put a few of my favorites w/ bpms below and I hope you'll check out the 4 different playlists I've put together specifically for running (esp for marathons). There is over 25 hrs of running music w/ carefully selected songs that are inspirational, about running, or at least are fun w/ great beat (no "19th Nervous Breakdown", "Loser", "Blister in the Sun", etc.) It's focused on indie/alternative/classic rock, and power-pop but w/ several R&B, Hip Hop, even country-rock mixed in. Check it out at

Some favs:

Tick Tick Boom - The Hives (137)
This Year - The Mountain Goats (140)
Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken - Camera Obscura (145)
The Way We Get By - Spoon (152)
Take a Minute - K'naan (156)
Joker and the Thief - Wolfmother (158)
Niagara Falls - Harlem Shakes (159)
Slight Figure of Speech - The Avett Brothers (165)
Salute Your Solution - Raconteurs (165)
Come Together - Beatles (167)
Jigsaw Falling Into Place - Radiohead (167)
Australia - The Shins (171)
Black and White Town - Doves (173)
Paper Planes - M.I.A. (173)
I'm the Man - Joe Jackson (174)
Such Great Heights - The Postal Service (175)
Me and the Farmer - Housemartins (182)
Friend or Foe - Adam & the Ants (184)
Talk to Ya Later - The Tubes (155)
Kick it Out - Heart (157):

Barb said...

I am not a competitive runner, nor am I very fast. At all. For me, music is crucial. If I'm REALLY into an audiobook, I'm OK listening to the book, but if the book hasn't gripped me yet, I think listening to it while I'm running actually slows me down, gets me frustrated, and I start reaching for that button to get to my Power Song (which is currently set to "Sly" by the Cat Empire. I also like "Pump It" by the Black Eyed Peas).

Like Janderso, I also get into determining the BPM and order my playlist with a slower song to start out with, something fast for the first few hills, keep it a medium level for about two miles, then kick it up again, and back down for cool down. My "medium level" song is between 120 and 130 BPM, so as you can see (compared to Janderso), I'm a sloooow runner.

I do use my Power Song, usually at least once during each run. Sometimes it's just to get me back in the groove of my run.

Here are some of my favorite running songs:
Laid - James (115)
TNT - AC/DC (126)
Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC (127)
Love Shack - B-52's (134)
Running On Empty - Jackson Browne (137)
Girls Got Rhythm - AC/DC (138)
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) - Bruce Springsteen
15 Beers Ago - Deaf Pedestrians (149)
Lady Marmalade - Patti Labelle (133)
It Must Be Summer - Fountains of Wayne (140)
Already Gone - Eagles (146)
I'm Not Okay (I Promise) - My Chemical Romance (120)
Dreams - Brandi Carlile (118)