I run with Kendrick Lamar.
Do you run with music? Do you exercise with music? It’s a rare occasion to run without headphones in. The only instance is when I’m running the last stretch. For whatever reason, I can’t deal and I yank them out of my ears for the last couple of blocks on my route.
Everyone is different, but I think music preoccupies our mind while our body tries to fight our brain. We push ourselves into these high-stress, endurance-heavy situations and while I believe our body is resilient, there is always that wall. You’ve seen it on Man v. Food when Adam reaches that wall and feels like he can’t put another 20 fries in his mouth. It’s probably because he already had 5 lbs of fries, but I digress because I’m not talking about eating food, I’m talking about exercise and the mental game.
That’s what it is. That’s why I labeled my playlist, “It’s just a mental game.” Featuring artists like Phantogram, Kendrick Lamar, and my latest add, Odesza, they are all high-energy, motivation-heavy music to keep my legs moving. I also have a couple of slower songs like M83’s “We Own the Sky,” because for whatever reason, that keeps me going.
When “Tom Ford” by Jay-Z comes on, I know that no matter how little energy I have or how I feel mentally, I have to run. I don’t have many tips about how to choose music, but I’ll try below with some song suggestions too. One of my friends listens to Tyler, the Creator, another listens to old school rap like Missy Elliot, and my brother listens to Lord Huron.
Tips on Picking Music for your Running Playlist:
- Take your time, it’s trial-and-error.
- Have multiple playlists (thanks for this tip Hannah!) because sometimes it can get old. Have two or more, trade with your friend, collaborate with a friend, pick and choose and make your own.
- It can be slow music or fast music, I mean at one point I listened to Sufjan Stevens, it’s not hardcore rap, but it has a good tempo for me.
- My favorites at the moment: Jay-Z (“Tom Ford”), a whole lot of Justin Timberlake (“Mirrors,” “TKO”), Phantogram (“Black Out Days”), this remix by Grizzly Bear and Diplo.
- Kendrick Lamar’s “Backseat Freestyle” will always be the one though (Warning: It’s explicit).
What do you listen to on your run? I’ll link my Spotify playlist if you want to click this.
Another tip… Make a playlist with all of your absolute favorite running songs from the playlists you already have, but save it for race day. It’s really helpful, especially in the final stretch of a long race.