I’m continuing my post-Phoenix Marathon brain dump, which I hope can help me with future races, but also help my readers who are looking to optimize their own performance. I previously provided an overview of all the thoughts I had during the race, and then I wrote about how pacing and nutrition played key roles in my success. Next up: MUSIC!
I am not a music freak. I don’t know what the kids are listening to. I rely on FlyWheel instructors to clue me in on what is hip. I can’t keep musicians straight — I’m known for having gotten Brian Adams and Ryan Adams and Brian McKnight all confused. When I’m in the car, I cruise around to whatever is playing on the country station. If I’m at a concert, it’s probably bluegrass, and the concert was probably a friend’s idea. I train listening to podcasts, and I don’t usually keep lists of motivation running tunes like my friend over at 50 in 50 Marathon Quest. For most of my races, I put on Pandora’s Katy Perry radio and hope for the best.
But I knew that to have the best shot at a BQ time, I needed some sick beats to keep me motivated and positive. So I created a playlist of some of my favorites from over the years that would make me feel like a badass, downloaded it locally on Spotify Mobile, and played it on shuffle. Worked like a charm.
Here’s what I came up with, starting with the obvious:
- Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run*…
- Alanis Morissette, All I Really Want
- Alanis Morissette, Hand in My Pocket*
- Avicii, Wake Me Up
- The Brothers Comatose, Morning Time
- Cat Stevens, Wild World*
- Carolina Chocolate Drops, Cornbread and Butterbeans
- The David Mayfield Parade, I Just Might Pray
- The Del McCoury Band, Sweet Appalachia
- Des’ree, You Gotta Be*
- Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Home
- Florence + the Machine, Dog Days Are Over
- fun., Some Nights*
- Gwyneth Paltrow, Country Strong
- Hozier, Work Song
- John Mellencamp, Small Town*
- Journey, Don’t Stop Believin’
- Lady Gaga, Born This Way
- Lorde, Royals
- Mumford and Sons, Awake My Soul
- Katy Perry, Firework
- Katy Perry, Roar
- Kayne West, Stronger
- Mat Kearney, Hey Mama
- Meghan Trainor, All About That Bass
- Pat Green, Wave on Wave
- Queen, Don’t Stop Me Now
- Rachel Platten, Fight Song*
- The Raconteurs, Old Enough
- Redbird, Ooh La La
- Rising Appalachia, I’ll Fly Away
- Starship, We Built This City
- The Steeldrivers, Heaven Sent
- Walk the Moon, Shut Up and Dance
- Yonder Mountain String Band, 40 Miles From Denver
- Young the Giant, My Body
Starred songs were ones that I remember as being particularly good in the moment.
For my next race, the Big Sur Marathon, headphones are not permitted. This will be my first marathon without music, although I did do a silent half Ironman and survived.
Do you race with music, podcasts, or nothing? Do you think in affects your performance? Are any of these songs on your race playlist?