Some people like silence and solitude when they run to allow total focus and de-stress. I’m in the other camp – the believers in the scientific fact music can actually improve your distance running performance. Not just any ditty will do either, because which songs are on your playlist affects your pace and your attitude. Given these two things make all the difference between training and actually making it to the finish line, I put as much time into my run mix as I do mapping trails.
My run playlists desperately need updating since they’re all circa Healdsburg Half Marathon 2010. While Mystikal is not likely to ever be displaced, my booty occasionally needs fresh motivation. So, I’ve been on the hunt for tunes to tread the trails and decided to do some field experiments. Today, I tested Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires in the City. Given I secured my post-15km reward for Zevenheuvelenloop by reserving tickets to the VW Amsterdam show in November, it seemed a given they be in the race lineup. The results? I did not get in a full 5km as planned because the Modern Vampires cajoled my vintage injury to misbehave. Was I a little too bouncy on the Baby, Baby, Babys and Ya Heys? Perhaps. I did, however, improve on my pace from the last run by about 10 sec/km. So, big points for those fleet-footed rhythms getting me almost to the technical run pace.
Interestingly, I also noticed a number of running references, none of which I had really picked up on in the last couple months of non-stop listening. (It is possible lack of oxygen contributed to these connections, or maybe I’ve solved the paraphrased riddles.) Here’s the recap:
- “No one’s gonna watch you as you go” Obvious Bicycle
- “So while the sun’s coming down, cover ground, cover ground.” Obvious Bicycle
- “Four, five meters running round the bend” Diane Young
- “It’s the last time running through the snow” Don’t Lie
- “Everyone’s dying, but girl you’re not old yet” Step
- “The punishment I needed all my life” Finger Back
Now I’m going to ask you to lend me some help. Leave your mega-motivational mix songs in the comments. I will test them out in further field experimentation and we can compare the graphs.