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Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Magic of the Race Day Playlist

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” 
― Bob Marley

I could manipulate that quote to infer that the right song can make us forget that we are hurting during a race.  The right song can lift our spirits and make us want to go really really REALLY fast.  The right song's lyrics remind us that the finish line is in sight and we just need to push a little long.  Or...there's the song that just kicks ass and you can't run without it.  

I wish I had a nickel for every training and/or race day playlist that I've created.  I totally channel John Cusack in HIGH FIDELITY when he says:

"The making of a great compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you got to take it up a notch, but you don't wanna blow your wad, so then you got to cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules."

The break up reference aside, there truly ARE rules for a great race day playlist.  Such as:

1.  Don't play all your "power songs" at the beginning.  Like your run itself, you need to have "kick" at the end.
2.  Make sure your list is going to cover the amount of time you project it will take to finish...and then add 10 minutes in case you get jammed up at the start line (the timing of when to start the music is a whole other story...)
3.  Decide if you are going for a particular genre and stick with it - although, if you're like me, you have single genre running playlists AND race day playlists that cover a bunch of different music.  
4.  Have a cool name for your playlist.  I have some like "Songs to Go Fast", "Kick Ass Rock Songs", "80's High School Jams", "Summer Sizzler" and so forth.  

Anyway, when I posted my Race Day Pace Chart the other day, it occurred to me that I need music that will match my race day strategy of starting out "slow", finding a good race pace and picking it up at the end.  Knowing that I'm hoping to finish in 2:15, with an average song length of about 4 minutes, that's roughly 2.5 songs per mile.  

Miles 1-3:  this is my "warm up" at a slower pace.  Songs I'm considering for this phase:
Cryin' - Adam Lambert's version 
Brave - Sara Barreilles
Compass - Lady Antebellum
Heart and Soul - T'Pau
Light Up the World - Glee Cash
Hall of Fame - The Script with
Cruise (remix) - Florida Georgia Line with Nelly

Miles 4-10:  this is the "settle in" phase - gotta pick up the pace a tad:
Feel this Moment - Pitbull featuring Christina Aguilera
American Idiot - Greenday
Dr. Feelgood - Motley Crue
Turn Me On - David Guetta & Nicki Minaj
Mama's Broken Heart - Miranda Lambert
Brokenhearted - Karmin
Dynamite - Taio Cruz
I Blame Myself - Sky Ferreira
Let it Will Be - Madonna (from the Confessions Tour)
My Own Worst Enemy - Lit
Raise Your Glass - Pink
Nothin' To Lose - Josh Gracin
Stone in Love - Journey
Blow - Kesha
Fading Like a Flower - Roxette (special remix done by my friend Tim)
Cherry Cherry - Neil Diamond (Hot August Night version)
Find the Beat Again - Sugarland

Miles 11-13.1:  the big finish.  This is where the POWER SONGS come in!
Bezerk - Eminem
22 - Taylor Swift
Ray of Light - Madonna
Going the Distance - Bill Conti (from the ROCKY soundtrack)
Baba O'Reilly - The Who
Thunderstruck - AC/DC

Crossing the finish line to THUNDERSTRUCK is my dream!  That's always my go-to running song, it's on almost every playlist that I create.  

Not exactly sure this will be THE go-to list for Orange County, but it will be pretty damn close.  I eagerly await any ideas or suggestions of what else to include.  

Up next - Crystal arrives!  Whatever shall we do with race weekend??


AMY said...

The right song can make such a difference!

Joseph Hesik said...

Breakup references aside, the soundtrack to High Fidelity rocks!
Your playlist sounds like fun, but I really only recognize three songs (Green Day, Neil Diamond, and the Who) because I'm an old curmudgeon, but I definitely am going to check out your AC/DC finish line song.