Running Playlist – Can music make you faster?

Well, after last weekends half marathon, the answer for me was probably not.  But maybe they will make you run faster.  Some people are convinced that the faster the tempo, the faster the pace.  It’s never worked that way for me.  For starters, I need to use my runs as time to check out new music or concentrate on something I am interested in.  In addition, for me a song does not have to have pounding rhythm or a fast tempo to get me fired up.  In fact a big bombastic ballad or stark scary folk song where something really bad happens can easily get my heart pumping during the middle of a long run.  I take a lot of grief from those I live with about my choice of music during training runs.  I was charged with coming up with a playlist that was (mostly) up-tempo songs.  I had all week to compile a playlist, but as is always the case before a big race, I only remembered after I went to bed the night before.  So I hopped out of bed and this is (part of) what I came up with.

1.  THE ROLLING STONES   “Rocks Off”    (From Exile on Main Street 1972).    This song gets me fired up, especially when the horns come in.


2.  THE ROLLING STONES   “Respectable”    (from Some Girls  1978).   Ok, I need fast tempo.  Check.


3.  MATTHEW SWEET  “Come To Love”  (from 100% Fun  1995)   The tempo is slowing but this song rocks!


4.  SUGAR  “Good Idea”   (from Copper Blue  1992).


5.  DAN DEACON  “Lots”   (from America  2012).


6.  TED LEO AND THE PHARMACISTS   “St. John The Devine  (from The Tyranny of Distance  2001).   Slower tempo but driving rhythm, right?  The album this comes from is a classic and a great introduction to the very wise Ted Leo!


7.  VAMPIRE WEEKEND  “Diane Young”   (from Modern Vampires of the City  2013).   Wow, pretty good third album.  Alice says it’s all Rostam, right?


8.  ARCADE FIRE  “Keep The Car Running”   (from Neon Bible 2007).    Nothing keeps you moving more than a hurdy-gurdy!

9.  CURTIS MAYFIELD   “Move On Up”   (from Curtis  1970).


10.  SUPERGRASS  “Cheapskate”  (from In it for the Money  1997).


11.  PALMA VIOLETS  “Best of Friends”   (from 180  2013). One of the greatest debut albums since the dawn of time.  Says Oskar.


12.  TALKING HEADS  “Pulled Up”  (from TALKING HEADS 77  1977).  Hey, didn’t we see these guys already?  Oh wait, that was Vampire Weekend.


13.  NEW ORDER  “Weirdo”   (from Brotherhood  1986).


14.  RADIOHEAD  “Body Snatchers”   (from In Rainbows  2007).


15.  X   “Your Phone’s Off The Hook, But You’re Not”    (from Los Angeles  1980).    A shot of adrenaline to finish the race!

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