Race Prep: Playlist Construction


I know some races discourage you from using iPod’s and the such, but unless it is plainly outlawed or it is an obstacle/mud run, I use my iPhone.  I like the extra boost the music gives me, as well as the distraction it provides me.  For training runs I have started listening to podcasts and audiobooks, but for an actual race, I want the extra motivation.  I use songs on my iPhone versus Pandora or some other streaming application because it conserves battery on my phone and I will not have to fumble with changing songs that I am not that enamored with.  And when I construct the playlist, I subscribe to the Barney Stinson philosophy used for his “Get Psyched” playlist.  This philosophy is simple, there is no up and down with the list selections, the music is all up.  I even borrow several songs from his playlist.

All rise music

All rise music

I am not going to name every song that I am putting in the list, but rather a good sampling of the selections so you can get a solid idea of where I am coming from.  I listen to numerous genres of music, and most will be represented in my race playlist.  These selections are not necessarily what I listen to everyday, but give me a little extra adrenaline on a run.

  • You Give Love a Bad Name – Bon Jovi – this is the lead song in Barney’s playlist, and when it starts, you will bump your pace up a notch or two.
  • Thunderstuck – AD/DC – if you have watched a football hit montage, you have heard this song.
  • Panama – Van Halen – the 80’s will be well represented in this list
  • Chicken Fried – Zac Brown Band – I listen to quite a bit of country, but not much makes this list
  • Don’t Stop Believen’ – Journey – it is always Journey o’clock, especially late in a race
  • Welcome to the Jungle – Guns ‘N Roses – the majority of their catalog will work here
  • More Human Than Human – White Zombie – this was one of my go to high school football songs
  • Eye of the Tiger – Survivor – if it is good enough for Rocky, it is good enough for me
  • Hump de Bump – Red Hot Chili Peppers – one of my favorite bands that is always well represented on my playlists
  • Icky Thump – The White Stripes – this song was made to workout/run to
  • Just Lose It – Eminem – most of his catalog works very well for runs, even if you don’t normally like his music
  • Whoop That Trick – DJ (Hustle and Flow) – it works for the Grizzlies and is basically the Memphis theme song now
  • Rock Superstar – Cypress Hill – even the opening xylophone gets me pumped
  • Crazy Train – Ozzy Osborne – if you watched any Atlanta Braves baseball with Chipper Jones, you are familiar with this song
  • No One Gets Left Behind – Five Finger Death Punch – their whole catalog will work here
  • Home Sweet Home – Motley Crue – less strip club anthem than some of their other stuff
  • Miracle – Nonpoint – a perfect song to walk up to as an UFC fighter
  • Regulate – Warren G – a classic from my youth
  • So Fresh, So Clean – Outkast – my favorite song from a group that has several solid choices
  • Stay Fly – Three 6 Mafia – in Memphis, you have to include Three 6
  • Bawitdaba – Kid Rock – another song that is perfect for a fighter
  • Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash – a classic from the Man in Black
  • Undead – Hollywood Undead – this genre of music is great for working out and fighting
  • Jukebox Hero – Foreigner – this song also gets the blood flowing
  • Going the Distance – Cake – a perfect run song

Several of the groups in this list will be represented several times, depending on the duration of my run.  And if you have not heard of the group, they probably skew towards the heavy metal genre.  They usually do not get radio play.  I really only listen to the groups when I run and workout.  They very likely are not your cup of tea, but they will get you going.

If you are fairly confident in your time splits, you can work in songs where you think they will fit best, say The Final Countdown as you approach the finish line.  Feel free to comment with any songs that you listen to during runs.  This is in no way a definitive list.

7 thoughts on “Race Prep: Playlist Construction

  1. I’m with you on using my phone during a 5K – even if I don’t play music, I like to have interval cues to know how far I’ve gone and how far I have left. Some of the songs on my run playlist are:
    S&M – Rihanna
    Born this Way – Lady Gaga
    Stronger – Kelly Clarkson
    Paralyzer – Finger Eleven

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