Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The medievalist's speedwork playlist - no Gregorian Chant here

So, Runner's World frequently reveals various top-runners' iTunes playlist, and they give a little explanation of why they listen to that kind of music. Well, Runner's World hasn't contacted me yet for my top picks, but I thought it was time to reveal my go-to playlist:
Oh, and they always show an action shot of the runner, so here's mine:

It's the End of the World as We Know It - R.E.M.
Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
Tunak Tunak Tun - Daler Mehndi
Crazy - Gnarls Barkley
Sandstorm - Da Rule
Acrobat - U2
In the Navy - Village People
Pump It - Black Eyed Peas
Animal City - Shakira
Let's Make Lots of Money - Pet Shop Boys
Defying Gravity - Wicked Soundtrack
Come on Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners

And now for the explanation.

I listen to a wide variety of music when I run. On my long runs, the ones that take a few hours, I like to start with classical music because it keeps me relaxed and steady as I get moving. Top picks for that include Beethoven's 9th Symphony, Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, Bach's Magnificat, and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. But that's for slow and steady. You need a different mindset and mentality for speedwork, which is is why I listen to the music listed above. Songs like It's the End of the World as We Know It and Brown Eyed Girl are great for first intervals - they are upbeat, but not too intense. Then Tunak Tunak Tun (CTY canon song that is just epic...and I know how to do the dance) is great for a mile repeat when you need to push hard. Crazy followed by Sandstorm was what I used to set a mile PR; back to back they both are fast-paced with no rest. Acrobat by U2 is good during recovery laps, to slow down and be steady. In the Navy is one of my go to songs - it can always pick me up during a work out (especially when they do the "They want you" chant - I pretend I'm getting recruited). Pump It recently got added - I am loving Black Eyed Peas more and more, and I wish I could sing and dance like Fergie. Animal City may not be one of Shakira's well-known songs, but it is my favorite (my friend from college Rob and I used to play it as a pump up song when studying for music history). Let's Make Lots of Money was the theme song to Beauty andthe Geek (a reality show), and is great for the home stretch. Defying Gravity from Wicked is also great, especially toward the end (when Elphaba flies) and a great way to finish up.
And that's what I listen to when I run!