Music: the Minds Fuel for Running
Take a look at the runners that are seen out and about as travel happens. Look out of the vehicle window and watch, or when on the trails, be mindful of those running and jogging. While some may wear Fila while others wear Puma, one thing seems consistent, and that is the wearing of headphones. For some it is the ear buds (which never stay in anyone’s ear but always seem to for “other” people) while for others it is the standard “mouse ears” headphone attire that also works as earmuffs. No matter the Ipod, the cell phone, or the 1980’s Walkman (anyone?), it is the music that gets the runner moving, and keeps them moving. It can be claimed that music is the minds fuel for running.
One of the most obvious choices then is a song by Iron Maiden called, “The Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner”. While not too fast (such as the other favorite of sprinters, “Liar”, by Megadeth), the song does much to capture the mood of a long run and it’s affect upon the runner. Clocking in at over six minutes, it is also useful because it holds the feeling that it creates, as well as being a good tool to use to see just how much ground is covered in six minutes.
Some other good choices in the rock world would be “Gotta’ Keep A’ Runnin” by The Godz because while the message is pretty much just stoner rock, the chorus chant and song name can work wonders to keep a perfect cadence up while training. Also, music that is technical such as the art of Rush or Animals as Leaders may stimulate the mind, but just try keeping a running beat to a Tool song someday. When running, sometimes the predictability of AC/DC is a much better choice.
Nothing Beats Classic Techno When Running
Techno or rave music is also a very good choice for runners because in many instances, the Dj or artist will remix the songs to add considerable length to the song. While this may sound repetitive at first, once played in “headphone-land” and a bit of open road in which to really study the music, the nuances found in this music will utterly captivate. One remarkable choice for this is Eon’s “Void Dweller” which after the first song is nothing short of a journey into sound excellence. Songs such as “Spice” and “Basket Case” will never leave the player once discovered. There is simply no other electronic CD that has a feel that is anything even resembling this masterpiece.
Also not to be looked over is “Music for the Jilted Generation” by The Prodigy. Some argue that The Prodigy created, while attempting to make the best rave full length of all time, have created the best running CD of all time in the process. Songs like “No Good (Start the Dance) and “Speedway” all but lift the runners legs for them.
For those that don’t mind a bit of harsh lyrics, the first two CD’s by Combichrist are both CD’s that hold a standard beat, yet offer a deep and varying structure within. Don’t overlook Front 242’s “Front by Front” nor the 10 minute version of “Plastic Dreams” by Jaydee, either.
Some people like classical music while running, and if this is on the palette, then what matters here to a great deal is just what kind of headphones are chosen. While Dr. Dre and raps “flavor of the week” may sound amazing on a your son’s headphone setup, with classical music, headphones matter just as much. For lovers of this music, “classical music headphones” are a nothing short of revolutionary. The sound rendered from these are calibrated to bring the music to more crispness and grandeur than even the great composers got to ever hear from their own music. This is because music and room calibration did not exist at the time that the music was birthed.
While top 40 can be the most overplayed music that has even been cursed to the masses, some people find a certain comfortably in it. The problem usually comes up that pop songs by their very nature are short, and finding a set of remixes that are going to work for a good long run can be cumbersome. Thankfully, many runners are already making these playlists. A simple search for “Running Music” on You Tube will bring up a number of options. These songs are put together often by runners for SOLE purpose of running and beat consistency on otherwise shorter songs.
Lastly, for sprinters, the door opens up quite a bit. While a song like the above mentioned “Liar” would likely give a long distance runner a massive. coronary, often times sprinters and shorter distance runners want that kind of a burst. For these runners who crave an eruption of fury to fuel the run, it should be suggested that most of the music by the legendary “Dead Kennedy’s” work very well. The song “N.W.O.” by Ministry is also one of the best running songs of all time, even sampling a “hup hup” military march in it!
Other grand choices for shorter runs would be Thunderdome’s “Messiah” which features samples from the “Running Man”, Front Line Assembly’s “Millennium”, and if jazz is in order, “I want to be Like You” from The Hot Sardines is perfect.
While on the topic of jazz, the music of “Hot” from The Squirrel Nut Zippers is not a bad choice. “Dead Stars” by Covenant is bouncy and offers a bit of flare to any timed run, as does the rap tinged “He Never Lost His Hardcore” by NRG. If rap is in order, Atmos does a song called, “Watch the Skies” that is perfect for almost any run. The same is true of the short but effective, “War on For Your Mind” by Passing Time. If the music is to to be taken to the level of the absurd in speed, “Out of the Will” by an obscure band called “Vengeance Rising” has quite likely the fastest middle sections in all of music….you were warned.
With the worst of the Christmas snacking and slacking over, now is the time to get serious about running again. Armed with this list of musical suggestions, getting back into the routine should be a breeze…or a song. One thing is for certain, those shoes are not going to jump on your feet and lace themselves. Get out there, and turn up the volume!