Regular readers of this blog know that the perfect running playlist is a lifelong, ongoing quest for me. As soon as I’ve nailed the perfect mix for a certain distance, I’m sick of half the songs on it, or I’ve moved on to a new distance goal.
Even with the right mix of songs, a race-day mix is tricky: Overestimate your goal time, and you’ll be listening to Bob Marley when you should be sprinting to the finish. Underestimate your time, and you’ll be listening to the same Tribe Called Quest song over and over. Trust me: When repeated six times, even the hardest-core gangsta rap song loses its power.
But thanks to a little bit of trial and error (otherwise known as the GW Parkway Classic Ten Miler on April 26), I ended up with the playlist to end all playlists for the 10-mile Broad Street Run on Sunday. It comprises some new songs for me, like Viva la Vida and Love Lockdown, which my girl-crush Kara Goucher allegedly likes. It also includes some songs that remind me of races where I felt fast (like, the front of the middle of the pack) and powerful — “So What” from the National Half Marathon, “Moving to New York” from the Gainesville Five Points of Life Half Marathon, my very first.
The best part: I must have skipped one song on the hour and a half playlist, because I crossed the finish line just as the closing chords of “Moving to New York” played. Amazing.
Hope the list below provides some inspiration for your own best-ever race-day playlist. What are you listening to right now? Let me know by posting a comment below. If the past is any indication, you might just introduce me to my next new favorite running song.
Mudhouse – Bob Schneider
Viva la Vida – Coldplay
Love Lockdown – Kanye West
Award Tour – Tribe Called Quest
Electric Relaxation – Tribe Called Quest
Mothers Sisters Daughters Wives -Voxtrot
Radio Nowhere – Bruce Springsteen
Beautiful Day – U2
Chelsea Dagger – Fratellis
Flathead – Fratellis
Run On – Moby
What a Wonderful World – The Ramones
Dear Sergio – Catch 22
So What – Pink
Fugeela – The Fugees
How It Ends – DeVotchka
You Can Do It (Put Your A** Into It) – Ice Cube
So What – Pink (Yeah, it’s on here twice. So what?)
Rump Shaker – Wreckx N Effect
METHOD Man – WuTang Clan
Vivrant Thing – Tribe Called Quest
Scenario – Tribe Called Quest
Moving To New York – The Wombats