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Running With Music


Run Real Fast At UTMF - Music That Matters

The Great Buddha Kamakura - Age 761 Years - Height 13.4 meters - Weight 121 tonnes
I've gotten into the habit through my last few long distance runs, usually of 100 miles in length or more, of making a play list called "Run Real Fast At (insert race/fkt attempt here)"

Music is a powerful motivator and since 'discovering' its true benefits while running, more specifically during my final 20 miles at Western States 2010, I've set out to become a more educated and engaged listener.

I posed the question on Facebook just 24 hours before we departed for Japan,

"Name ONE SONG you currently love to run to"

There were almost 100 responses and some great insights into what can drive and motivate people while they're out there slogging along. It's clear the majority of us not only love to run to music but we love hearing what others love to listen to as well.

I simply ran out of time to even YouTube all the suggestions, let alone download/purchase/upload new music to my UTMF playlist.  In the end I added a few newbies to my personal playlist and will look to add more in over time.

In the interest of a music sharing style posting I'll continue to do this prior to other big races throughout the year. Hopefully you'll find some new tunes to run to, and please do share your own personal favorites for future reference as well.

I should preface this playlist by saying that there's a decent amount of music in here that I'd really never listen to otherwise. Songs such as Gangnam Style, I Know You Want Me, Barbara Streisand, and Welcome To The Jungle may pump me up late in 100 mile efforts but I'd likely turn towards something more along the lines of Alt-J, Tame Impala, Local Natives, Stereophonics, Phoenix, Imagine Dragons, or Mumford & Sons on a daily basis right now.

Monarcy Of Roses - Chili Peppers
A Tattered Line Of String - Postal Service
Junk Of The Heart - The Kooks
Juliette - Hollerado
Home - Philip Philips
Sergio's Trio - DJ Champion
Marching Bands Of Manhatten - Death Cab For Cutie
Radioactive - Imagine Dragons
Burn It Down - Linkin Park
Ten Thousand Hours - Macklemore and Lewis
ABC Theme Remix - Pendulum
Highway To Hell - AC/DC
Barbara Streisand - Duck Sauce
Time To Run - Lord Huron (thanks Melanie Sakowski)
What I Got - Sublime
I Will Follow You Into The Dark - Death Cab
This Too Shall Pass - OK Go
Under The Bridge - Chili Peppers
Can't Hold Us - Macklemore and Lewis (thanks Luke and Laura and Anita)
You Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC
Enter Sandman - Metallica 
Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
On Top Of The World - Imagine Dragons
Love Like A Sunset - Phoenix
How You Like Me Now - The Heavy
Thrift Shop - Macklemore and Lewis
Stronger - Kanye West
Anna Sun - Walk The Moon
One More Mile - Paper Tongues (thanks Douglas)
The Funeral - Band Of Horses
It's Time - Imagine Dragons
Money Maker - The Black Keys
Reno Chunk - Hollerado
Bloodbuzz Ohio - The National
In Your Light - Gotye
Keep On Ridin - DJ Champion
Invincible - OK Go
The House That Heaven Built - Japandroids (thanks Ross)
Little Lion Man - Mumford & Sons
Otherside - Chili Peppers
Gangnam Style - PSY
Connected - Stereo MC's
Bodyrock - Moby
Aeroplane - Chili Peppers
Fire - Kasabian
Entertainment - Phoenix
Sacrilege - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Violins and Trambourines - Stereophonics
Walk This Walk - Aerosmith & RUN DMC
We Are Young - Fun
Somewhere Only We Know - Keane (thanks Josh)
We Got The Love - I Mother Earth
Madness - Muse
The Pot - Tool
I Know You Want Me - Pitbull
King Eternal - TV On The Radio (thanks Ed)
Typical - MuteMath
Well Thought Out Twinkies - Silversun Pickups
Welcome To The Jungle - Guns and Roses
It's Tricky - RUN DMC

Incense Offering To The Great Buddha

3 days 12 hours and 30 minutes until we head off into the night around Mt. Fuji!




Music To My Ears

I was recently interviewed for Talk Ultra and it went live on Friday. Here's the link with full podcast details. As it lists in the Show Notes I pick up the mic at around 2h30m into the show.

I've never been one to train or run with music, though I love music, strive to discover new artists on a regular basis and attend at least five or six live shows a year. Music is a big part of my life, yet it has never effectively made it into my running on anything near a regular basis. The main reason behind this is that I've simply never had success in any of my running with music experiments. The last time I recall running with music prior to 2013 was during the final 20 miles of my WS100 2010 run. The music made a huge difference in helping to block out the pain and I do believe it allowed me to close out stronger than I would have otherwise, yet my setup was still marginally frustrating and it never migrated into my regular running routine.

Heading into the HURT 100 last month I really wanted the ability to zone out over the final 20 mile loop and I knew from experience what an asset music could be in this regard. I started searching through online running with music forums and write ups and sure enough there has been a slight technological shift in how you can effectively run with music these days. My primary issue in the past has always revolved around the wires and how to effectively cut down on the annoyance of the bouncing and frustration of the tangling.
Though we don't yet have hoverboards in our daily lives the integration of bluetooth technology has slightly revolutionized the listening experience. After a few hours of disseminating information I made the decision to break the golden rule. I was going to purchase new items that I wasn't going to get a chance to train with. I was going to effectively trust in the reviews I'd read and head into my final lap at HURT with a completely new system that I had yet to properly test. (it arrived the day before we departed for Hawaii and I ran with it for a total of 30 minutes in advance of the race)

The Jaybird Freedom bluetooth headphones promised a lifetime warranty against sweat, but more importantly they offered up to 6 hours of battery life and cost less than $100. The reviews were pretty much unanimous that these were leading the way in the bluetooth headphone charge.
I didn't want to simply carry my bulky smartphone, so next I sourced the smallest bluetooth enabled music player and it didn't take long to settle on the brand new iPod Nano, even though I had recently happily migrated away from Apple based products. At $149 for 16gigs it seemed reasonably priced and it was incredibly compact and exactly what I was looking for.

I rather blindly trusted that my own research combined with the manufacturer claims, along with the reviews I'd read, would be accurate enough to at least get me through my final HURT lap without any major issues. Sure enough and thankfully so everything performed amicably on race day and I got away with my breaking of the cardinal rule in ultra running.

Since HURT it's been a bit of a treat to incorporate music into my personal running experience as I've always  desired to do. Typically right now I'll use music on one or two of my runs a week, usually on days where motivation may be lacking, or on days where I'm looking to run at a hard pace and where I know music will help push me along.

Today I got to listen to my first Talk Ultra podcast while running and it worked perfectly as a distraction tactic to help me focus on my twenty mile run more than the shitty-ass weather of the day. I was almost an hour into my run before I even looked at my watch or processed that I was already sopping wet with a few hours of running left to go.

Music and podcasts are a highly effective way to keep motivation high or help bolster motivation when it may be lagging far, far behind you.

So I'm curious, do you listen to music or podcast when you run? If so what kinds of music or podcasts and what type of setup do you use or prefer?

I hope you enjoy the interview. I really like what Ian and Talk Ultra are doing for the sport and it was an absolute pleasure to get a chance to tell my story a little in front of what I know is a very diverse international listener base.

As a side note, some other long term ultra running goals that I failed to touch on near the end of our talk include:

-FKT attempt on Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier
-A possible larger volcano based multi day running journey in WA State
-FKT attempt on entire Pacific Crest Trail which stretches from Mexico to Canada and finishes/begins in the park where Linda and I are getting married later this year
-FKT attempt on the Stein Valley route in BC north of Whistler
-Hardrock 100
-Tour Des Geants in Italy
-Grand Slam of Ultra Running