I know a lot of people change up their playlists for different workouts or races, but I’ve had more or less the exact same playlist for the last few years, with a new song occasionally added. Part of this is because I really like my old skool tunes—if I ran out for the pre-game warm-up to it during my days playing varsity basketball, it’s probably a permanent fixture on my iPod.
The other reason, though, is the actual iPod itself—I have the original Shuffle, and it’s old, so I don’t want it to break. Plus, I create multiple playlists on there, so, if I come across a song that’s not working for me during whatever I’m doing, I just skip it. I know—what would the young folks say? Ugh, sometimes I’m just so desperately unhip. Whatever. Nobody can Roger Rabbit quite like I can. And with that out of the way, let’s take a look at my top 10 songs on my playlist.
What’s on Kristen’s Running Workout Playlist?
1. (3:55) Whoomp! There It Is, Tag Team. It’s not only a fun, high-energy song, but it’s also fun to say when I’m done. My fellow runners might not exactly join in, but I have yet to hear a complaint. And, when I’m doing intervals, the constant changes of tempo are a fun way to determine when to pick up the pace.
2. (4:04) Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now), C+C Music Factory. The biggest problem with this song is not busting a move while listening to it. But, assuming I can hold my stride and keep my booty from shakin’, this is a total power song for me. I can’t not move to it in some way, shape or form!
3. (4:49) We Didn’t Start the Fire, Billy Joel. I love putting this classic on when I start psyching myself out. I can focus on the music and the lyrics, and let me tell you, trying to sing along—even in my mind—takes so much concentration that there’s no brainpower left to think about how tired I am or how much farther I still have to run. That’s a good thing.
4. (3:18) Come Out and Play, The Offspring. I didn’t particularly like high school, but one of my favorite memories is taking the court for warm-ups before basketball game. My senior year, I took charge of the warm-up tape (which, yes, was an actual tape), and this was what we ran out to. I still get chill bumps.
5. (3:40) Blow, Ke$ha. Finally, something from this century! I did not want to like Ke$ha, you guys, I really didn’t. But damn, her beats are catchy. This is not only a part of my workout playlist, but is also the song I crank up when arriving at a race—it gets me pumped and quells the nerves.
6. (8:32) Kashmir, Led Zeppelin. There’s no song on earth that’s better for a long, slow, steady run. It might sound crazy, but when I hear it, it’s almost like I can picture victory—it’s like the soundtrack for overcoming an obstacle. Know what I mean?
7. (4:06) Eye of the Tiger, Survivor. WHAT. Fine, you go ahead and be too cool for one of the most inspiring workout songs of all time. I’ve got no pride. I love it and have no qualms about putting that sucker on repeat when I need a real boost.
8. (3:08) Gainesville Rock City, Less Than Jake. I have to credit my husband with introducing me to Less Than Jake (so named because the dog in the drummer’s household, who was named Jake, was treated better than everyone else, so they were all “less than Jake.” You know I love a good dog story!). They’re a ska punk band from Gainesville, Fla., and are my favorite band to see perform live. This song makes me smile, and always makes me appreciate where I live.
9. (3:26) Just a Girl, No Doubt. I remember loving this song to pieces when it came out (Jenn isn’t the only one with a bit of a Gwen crush), and all my friends thinking I was weird because it was just so different than anything else on the radio. Aside from the wave of nostalgia, it always gives me a rush of bad-ass girl power. Try to keep me down all you want, but I won’t quit, you know?
10. (3:14) Mama Said Knock You Out, LL Cool J. His smile might make me a little weak in the knees, but LL Cool J’s music provides that surge of adrenaline I need for knocking out a hill or pushing through the last half mile of a tempo run. Boom!
Do y’all even know how hard it was for me to keep this list to 10? I truly love all the music on my iPod, but, of course, am always open to suggestions. Do you listen to any of these songs? If so, anything you would add? —Kristen