In comparison to other sports, running has a stigma of being considered insufferable. This sentiment is one I cannot deny; simply put, it kind of sucks — it’s not fun, and it’s certainly not entertaining on its own. Fortunately, in every dark cloud exists a silver lining. For running, that saving grace is the playlist. Whereas other sports recognize individuals through their characteristics of play, running emphasizes personalization through music. In a sense, the playlist acts as the runner’s swagger, their calling card, their fingerprint. I’ll be the first to admit I am a lesser runner without one.
For today’s entry, I’ve put together a simple, 15 track mix I plan to use for my 2017 runs. This mix retains my uniqueness in musical taste without delving too deep into niche territory. Let me know what you think!
1. Keeley Burford – Moon River (∞ Climax Mix)
I’m a sucker for a good pop song. The upbeat remix of the timeless classic makes a tremendous opening gambit to any run. Clocking in at over 8 minutes, Moon River provides ample time to establish a pace.
2. Kanye West – Mercy
We’ve gotten our pace down — Time to sit back, chill, and let the music do the heavy lifting. By simply zoning in on that simple three note back-beat, we can forget about the discomfort of running for a spell. Love your run like Kanye loves Kanye.
3. Skylar Grey – Straight Shooter
We’ve kept out pace for long enough — time to do work. Straight Shooter is the perfect speed-up track. Channel energy from the short, controlled burst of vocals and focus that power into accelerating. Brevity works in mysterious ways.
4. Conor Maynard – Turn Around
Now that we’re a little faster than before, it’s time to stabalize again. Pop tracks work well for maintaining a pace, and Turn Around is no exception to the rule. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy a little Ne-Yo in their step?
5. We are Scientists – The Great Escape
Sometimes you need to throw in the wrench to know how it all breaks. The Great Escape is my deliberately calculated curve ball — slipping in the wildcard early will get your brain juices flowing without placing it under the duress of breaking. Don’t expect to follow the beat. Instead, evaluate how the run is going and, more importantly, how you’re feeling. That’s not an excuse to slow down though.
6. Utada Hikaru – Simple and Clean -PLANITb Remix-
Time to tighten this ship up — with this track, we want to drift back into the flow. Hearing Utada should feel like emerging from an ocean, taking the huge breath of fresh air that you’ve been longing for. Keep it simple. Keep it Clean.
7. DJ Hero – Hands in the Ayer vs. Favorite DJ
We’re getting close to the halfway point, time to boost the hype levels. This mash up is designed to put us in our best state of mind for the bottom cut of the deck. Take note: YOU ARE ON FIRE!
8. Panic! At the Disco – Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time
Welcome to the back half! Let’s start it off on a good note, but not so much so that we kill ourselves in the process. The Rock Lobster sample makes for a perfect beat to run to, while the vocals provide variation to the melody. Have fun — We’ve still got a long road ahead of us.
9. Calvin Harris – I’m Not Alone
Time to cool the fire down. The somber opening to the song is there to calm us down so we don’t wreck ourselves. Assess your legs, your arms, your breath. This song also seconds as your one motivational speech during the race: true runners are never alone. We’re all working together to surpass ourselves.
10. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Zero
Feel the music. Don’t you want to feel cool? This song is reeeal cool. Trip on this, trip on this: What if we could keep a fast pace, but like, recover in at the same time? Keep the pace, win the race.
11. Kaskade – Fire in Your New Shoes
We’ve had our fun — Now we work. For three minutes, I’m asking for your best. Kaskade is for those moments in life when we need to get things done. Rekindle the fire.
12. Avenged Sevenfold – Bat Country
We’re keeping it heavy with a dab of A7X. Every runner gets angry at some point during the run. Running is INFURIATING when you think about it! Tap into that pain to unlock your potential for the closing act.
13. Money Trees – Kendrick Lamar
This is the final calm before the storm. You’re going to make everything after this count. Don’t push yourself — Kendrick is a storyteller; listen to the street tale as you regain your breath for the final push.
14. Linkin Park – Until It Breaks (Datsik Remix)
You’re probably tired by this point — You should be. You’re probably angry at this point — You should be. Drown your sorrows in the sublime techno beats of Until It Breaks. Plan for the build up, plan for the drop — Godspeed.
15. Jess Glynn – Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself
Jess Glynn will be there for you need to dig deep, searching the soul for that final boost of energy. A quick jolt of positive emotion pushes you through the finish line. Start with pop, end with pop.