Barefoot vs. traditional? Zero-drop vs. cushion? I don't want to hear it. Do you.
That's why I was surprised when Runner's World's Facebook page posted an image a few weeks back that opened the floodgates for heated debate that was filled with un-runner-like animosity. People feel really strongly about this, apparently.
|The image in question...the comments on this from both sides of the debate were simply ridiculous.
My music falls into three main categories and a sub-genre, but I mix them all together into a single playlist because I like to hit all three areas of my mood, rather than choosing a mood and sticking with it the entire run.
Anything catchy, upbeat, and fast-paced falls into this category. Of course, there's a fair amount of unexpected alternative and rap here too...Who can say no to DMX or The Clash? They clearly go together. These songs kick up my pace, and usually I can be found mouthing the words or pretending I know how to play air-piano while running.
Probably my favorite songs, but the least-represented on my playlist, my zoning out songs are sometimes slow and may seem like the antithesis of workout music. But they follow a very important rule: I know every. single. word. Matchbox Twenty (oh my gosh, favorite!), Goo Goo Dolls, The Spill Canvas...These are the best when I take the playlist off shuffle and let a few of them play in a row, especially if I'm well into a long run and facing some tough miles.
I love Nike+ for having this option. Adding power songs to my playlist lets me hear exactly what I need to at any particular moment with just a tap of my phone screen. (Seriously, people who ran with Disc-Mans and Walk-Mans? How did you do it?!) Most of my power songs are about overcoming something. I've got "How Far We've Come" by MB20 right alongside "No More Drama" and "Work It" by Mary J. Blige. And for some reason "Backstabber" by Ke$ha is super effective.
If you've even glanced at the pictures in this post, you know what I'm talking about. 3OH!3? Gangnam Style? Avril Lavigne? Yeah. You need some space for embarrassing music that you genuinely love on any running playlist. A run simply wouldn't be complete without it!
As far as running races goes, I've never run a race that was so crowded with spectators and entertainment that I felt I was missing something by having my music going. I guess if I ever run a Disney race or any show-stoppingly huge race, I'll stow my headphones.
But for the most part, I'm just a music lover. Music gives me a way to deal with my head; the beauty of music is that it speaks to us in a way that is personal and intimate but also universal. If running is the perfect time to get my head straight and refocus my emotions, then what better companion is there to run with than a good playlist?
Do you run with or without music?
What about at a race?
What are your top music choices right now?