Work It Out Wednesday: Long Run Playlist Gems

Man down…HH caught some sort of nasty flu that has kept him home the past two days.  Unfortunately, I drank out of his water glass on Monday night just as he was at the height of his retching/chilling/aching, so I feel like I’m basically counting down the minutes until I start barfing (I know, I’m not thinking positive here.)  I’ve been chowing on those cute little Clementines and praying to the running gods that my immune system is in tiptop shape to somehow avoid his killer weight-loss plan.

The boys are on spring break, so they got to head out with me and Oscar for our 5-miler on Monday afternoon.  I was determined to take it slow and ease in after my crash on Friday.  I’m sure we looked like quite the group…one crazy dog determined to run a sub-9:00 mile, yanked by a crazyslow woman and two trailing boys in various states of pain.  The boys ran half a mile out with me and then headed back.  Cowards.

The run went fine, as did yesterday’s 8-miler.  I’m headed out later for 5 more and then only have to do 12 this Friday, setting myself up for next Friday’s 20-miler.  I just realized that the race is exactly one month from today.  One month!  Though the training hasn’t gone perfectly, I’m still amazed to look back and think of the miles I’ve logged so far (347!) and the calories I’ve consumed (approximately 10,000,000!).

On to the music…

It’s pretty apparent that I am all about the music.  I’m not one of those rude runners who cranks the tunes and ignores everyone.  I keep my music at a reasonable level and try extra hard to check for other runners during races since I have music in my ears.  But there is NO way I could run a race without my tunes.  Maybe this makes me not a “true” runner, as some purists might argue.

Don’t care…gotta have ’em.

The music I run to for long runs is far different from my raceday or tempo run/speedwork playlists, as I’m sure it is for most runners.  I can’t have my booty-twerking music ringing in my ears too much when I’m out for a 10:00+ pace.  It just makes me run too fast.  Sure, a few booty-popping jams don’t hurt to keep me pumped, but I need a different sort of music to keep me going slow and steady for 1-3 hours.

So what makes a song good for long runs?  I would love to hear anyone’s input, but this is what works for me—

  1. The Beat.  Obviously, a slower beat is good, and I love one that’s repetitive.  Get a solid hypnotic beat going, and I can groove on and forget the sound of my footsteps.
  2. The Lyrics.  Inspirational lyrics rock!  Bring on the drama!  Give me a good love song that makes me happy and grateful.  Make me realize how great my life is, and I will keep on trucking.  Make me cry, get emotional, whatever.  Getting lost in good lyrics passes the time.
  3. The Melody.  How often do we have the time to just listen to the melody of a song?  We’re driving, yapping, texting, multitasking, etc.  Music is in the background…and if I’m in the car, I have a 13-year old boy riding shotgun with an itchy trigger finger constantly forwarding through songs that I like.  Also, with a lot of music today, is there any discernible melody at all?  Bah, says the old lady in me!  Running to a great song with a great melody keeps me going and keeps me sane (well, sane enough to get by).
  4. Nostalgia.  I run to songs now that I hated way back when, just because they take me back.  Reminiscing can kill major time during a long run, trust me.
  5. A Buildup.  I love songs that build up to a great finish or even just a small section of music that I love.  Play What Goes Around/Comes Around by JT and I’m hooked just for the cadence at the end of the song.  That song is over 7 minutes long…3/4 of a mile in the bag.

So, here is a random list of some songs that have been on recent long run playlists:

  • Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys (I know, not original!)
  • Up With the Birds by Coldplay (and almost anything else by them)
  • Juke Box Hero by Foreigner (great beat)
  • Forrest Gump by Frank Ocean (“My fingertips and my lips, they burn from the cigarettes”–I sing that in my head all day long)
  • The Ruler and the Killer by Kid Cudi (hypnotic with vicious lyrics)
  • The Ocean by Led Zeppelin (just fantastic music)
  • Cough Syrup by Young the Giant (“One more spoon of cough syrup now, whoa”…such a moving song)
  • Cloud 9 by Robin Thicke (sumptuous)
  • Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda by Brian McKnight (straight-up perfect song)
  • Hallelujah by Jake Shimabukuro (swells with emotion.  Here, There and Everywhere is just as good)
  • Rich Girl by The Bird and the Bee (I could listen to her sweet voice all day)
  • Stars by Simply Red (probably won’t affect anyone the way it affects me…nostalgia, love, melody, all of it)
  • Under the Stars by Morning Parade
  • Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash (perfection)
  • The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance by Vampire Weekend (just a great slow pulsing beat)
  • What You Wanted and Secrets by One Republic
  • Biggest Part of Me by Take 6
  • Love Walks In by Van Halen
  • Lifeboats by Snow Patrol
  • Dick in a Box by The Lonely Island
  • Business Time by Flight of the Conchords

11x14 Running Answers Problems Retro Print - Marathon Training Fitness Inspirational Exercise Quote


Thanks for reading…happy Wednesday and happy running!



4 thoughts on “Work It Out Wednesday: Long Run Playlist Gems

  1. Great list! When I ran on the beach (sorry 🙂 Coldplay and John Mayer were my go to lists. (X & Y- and John’s new one- forget the name)Now I have to run in this cold- and I’m a baby! But as usual- I am inspired- so thanks!


  2. Hope you don’t catch that bug with only one month to go. Keep scoffing those clementines. Love that quote at the end of your post. Perhaps all politicians should run?


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