I should have titled this ‘Marathon Monday’ but I think you’re all pretty used to the fact that I am a runner and am more often than not training for some race somewhere, whether it’s 10KM, half marathon, full marathon, or most recently ultramarathon.
Yes, I’m a short, fat, female runner. A plus size runner. A curvy runner. I don’t go fast, but I go.
As my distances get longer, and the time out on the road turns from twenty minutes to forty, to an hour, or two, or three, aside from my mind, there’s a little demon I have to battle.
I’m happy to be left to my own thoughts for a while, I go into a quiet headspace where I reason things out, work through the stresses of the last few days, think ahead to what I’m doing, about my training, what I’m going to eat when I get back. And then somewhere, I get a bit bored. Stuck. That’s when my mind wanders back to the music in my ears and I might sing along for a bit, or let the music take me somewhere, but I have to keep the music fresh, interesting, I don’t have time or energy to skip a track, I need to still love the music in my ears.
I want music that makes me laugh, makes me angry, or somehow inspires me and the latter can come from the most bizarre sources. Try listening to this from the Transformers film when you’re out first thing in the morning and I defy you not to feel amazing.
Or this from Battlefield – dramatic can be just as amazing to run to as pop or rock.
Finding stuff that fits that pattern, that I like, that keeps me going, that inspires me is frustratingly difficult. I’ve trawled running track albums and gym track albums, Spotify lists and mixes, but it’s such a personal thing, that obviously not everything suits and I need all the help I can get.
Last year Run Hundred released their Top 10 Workout Songs of 2015 – recording the most voted tracks from their site over the last 12 months. The idea is simple, register, vote and receive a monthly top ten, from which you and I can listen and see if any are going to make it from online list, to our ears.
I’ve started to use this to add to my own tracks as not only does the list give you the tracks and link you to a download, it also means that you can see the beats per minute. I know that I need around 130 or so minimum (there are exceptions to the rule) to keep my pace consistent, so I can avoid those that aren’t going to make the grade.
Out of January’s tracks, these are the ones that made my own playlist (never let it be said I’m not eclectic):
Twenty One Pilots – Heavydirtysoul
Diplo & Sleepy Tom – Be Right There
Demi Lovato – Confident (The Alias Remix)
Personally, I’d love to see more metal on there, more rock, something with a heavier beat, so I’ll be adding my own votes to the list for next month.
Until then? I’ll keep running to the beat.