Friday, February 27, 2009

Audio Motivation

Whether the reason is injury or bad weather, being stuck indoors for workouts is never preferable. In a perfect world we'd all live in a temperate running climate with mountains, soft trails, and pleasant breezes right outside our door every day. Sadly, very few of us live in this running utopia (we're angrily shaking our jealous fists at you, California Bay Area!), and an inevitable forced death march on the treadmill or elliptical is bound to occur more often than any of us would like. Since there's no way around it, I'm wondering what my fellow runners do to break up the monotony and keep the energy level up when stuck on an indoor machine. Of course I'm asking this right now since I face a couple more weeks of rehab on the elliptical, and my current level of motivation/desire to keep coming back ranks just below participating in a Tin Foil Chewing Contest. I need some help!

Obviously movies and music are the best medicine for my ellipti-phobia, and since I have the semi-odd habit of running/elliptical-ing with my eyes 99% closed on long workouts, I usually opt for musical entertainment. (This is probably a topic for another post, but seriously, does anyone else run with their eyes closed? or am I just the laziest guy in the world? Obviously I pay attention if I'm on a new route or near other runners/bikers/traffic, but on my usual/familiar long-run courses, I usually slip into a running coma about an hour into the run and my eyes just start to close - The right one shuts completely, and the left one stays open just enough to see the rough shape/direction of the footing ahead of me. If I'm stuck on a treadmill, the eyes shut immediately since I know there won't be any rocks or turns to worry about. Now that I've actually typed all this out, it seems even weirder to me....let's just get back to the point of this post and forget about all about the eye thing.)

So...back to the topic of music. Since I'm stuck indoors for rehab right now, I'm looking for some new suggestions/recommendations for bands/songs that people like to listen to while running (also, good "driving" songs tend to work just as well for me when I run). I like just about every type of music, so feel free to send along some of your favorites without fear of me judging you and your love of Swedish Dance Pop. We all have an 'Ace of Base' or 'ABBA' cassette kicking around in our basement worries.

To prove I will shame no one's musical taste, I've set my ipod running playlist to 'shuffle', and here are the first 10 songs to come up (with a couple links for songs you may not be able to find on iTunes if you're interested):

1) Iron Maiden - 'Two Minutes to Midnight'
2) Lily Allen - 'LDN'
3) Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles - 'Daniel Lee'
4) Rancid - 'Lock, Step, Gone'
5) Fatboy Slim - 'Going Out of My Head'
6) Huey Lewis & The News - 'Power of Love'
7) That Dog - 'Never Say Never'
8) Mighty Mighty Bosstones - 'Hope I Never Lose My Wallet'
9) Diesel Doug & the Long Haul Truckers - If I'd Shot Her When I Met Her (I`d Be Outta Jail By Now)
10) Sev - 'Same Old Song'

So there's a random sampling from me, how about you? Any songs to toss my way and help me break the boredom of rehab? I thank you mightily in advance!!


Stanley said...

For practicing your falsetto whilst running, I recommend the following:

Scissor Sisters
"Don't Feel Like Dancing"

"Grace Kelly"

The Darkness
"I Believe In a Thing Called Love"

Have you ever tried running to some Ministry?

Anonymous said...

The key to treadmill music is matching the style of music to heart rate/effort, etc. As you begin for the first few minutes of treadmill action, keep the music peaceful, like maybe some Shawn Colvin...then, when you're trying to break through the first barrier (from no-sweating to sweating), pick something inspirational, something with "run" in the song title--so that you reward your decision to run/rehab in the first place. When you start to feel good 15-20 minutes into the workout, find something edgy, like Tori Amos' "TaxiRide", to get you motoring. Finally, at 25-30 minutes in, when you feel on top of the world, pick something loud and thrashing from the "Gladiator" soundtrack and just burn the legs till they're toast. Then slowly retrace your steps on the cooldown, using U2's "Beautiful Day" to bridge from maximum effort to medium effort, then something feel-goody to warm down.

Dan Rose said...

Great advice on matching the "stages" of the workout to different music. I'll definitely need to try that. My problem is usually that I just start running at one pace and stay there until the end - mostly because I'm lazy, I suppose. Breaking up a 90 minute run into 3 sections sounds like a pretty good idea. I'll give that a go this afternoon!

As for running with the likes of Ministry, Pantera, Cradle of Filth, etc...I learned early on that I need to keep the likes of those shredders off of my running mixes completely - otherwise I'd end up burning myself out at mile 3 of a 24 hour run. Either that or other runners would need to give me plenty of room on the trail so I didn't hockey-check them into the bushes as I passed by...I need to work on slowing myself down out there, not cranking my heart rate to 200!

Staci said...

We all know that "When I'm with you" by Sheriff is by far the best falsetto practicing song ever, sorry Chris. But, that isn't a good running song. I would recommend some stuff of of Moby's play. Unfortunately, I have your Moby CD. Want it back? The first track, Honey has a great beat. I will keep thinking.

Dan Rose said...

Dude, I was totally singing that Sheriff song on the drive back from FL last weekend! I swear I was nailing it so well (read: horribly) I had my eyes open for a karaoke joint for about 400 miles through the Carolinas...I needed to share that gift with the rest of the world.

As for you stealing my Moby'll be hearing from my lawyers.

Chris Carver said...

When I'm training indoors on the exercise bike I like 'relevant' songs to sing along to (this is the ONLY time I ever sing along). Here's a selection from my iPod:

One Way Or Another


All Night Long

Faith No More
From Out Of Nowhere

Here I Go Again

The Black Crowes
Hard To Handle

Kaiser Chiefs
Oh My God

Barclay James harvest
Life Is For Living

Black Sabbath
Heaven And Hell

My Last Breath

Judas Priest
Living After Midnight

ZZ Top

Johnny Kidd & The Pirates
Shakin' All Over

Doctor Doctor

Don't Stop Believing

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Thin Lizzy
Dancing In The Moonlight

Don't Stop Me Now

Deep Purple
Highway Star

Road Runner

and my all time favourite ...
Golden Earring
Radar Love

I've found that music has a positive effect on my indoor training ... but what works for one person may not work for another.

Dan Rose said...

Great songs, Chris - Thanks!

I actually heard the White Lion version of 'Radar Love' in the car last weekend (Florida radio stations still love those late 80s bands), and my first instinct was to switch over to the ipod and play the Golden Earring version instead. Great running song indeed!

...and for those who ran UltraCentric with me, they probably recall my singing of 'Don't Stop Believing' as I ran around the loop in the late afternoon. I know I was entertaining myself anyway!

Charlie said...

Diesel Doug & TLHT salute you!

Agent Em said...

I totally run with my eyes closed. I even do that outside, for short periods, when the coast is clear enough to do it... it may be why I love to run in the rain so much. There's no one else on the sidewalk!

Agent Em said...

Oh, and to reply to the main point of your post... I am a huge fan of audiobooks. Seriously, a good book can make a two hour session on the treadmill seem like a special little treat to yourself. I highly recommend Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere and the other books he narrates himself.

This American Life can be great, but watch out for the depressing ones or you will feel like laying down in the road mid-run.

As for music, Michael Jackson does it for me. And I like Podrunner , but I admit that they're pretty seriously techno.

Dan Rose said...

Thanks M, I've thought about the audiobooks, so now that I have your recommendation I'll give Gaiman a try as my first one.

...and I do like me some hardcore techno too, but only in moderation. Something about 20 hours of running, a queasy stomach, and 200BPM occasionally makes for a nasty techno-color outcome on the trail!

Dan Rose said...

Oh, and running in the rain with your eyes closed is the BEST! When I run Hains point in DC, there are about 3 miles along the perimeter of the peninsula that are all mine in the rain...sometimes it can blow pretty hard off the Potomac out there too, but there's no better feeling than cruising along all alone as the rain pours down!!