Tag Archives: Music

My Top Eight Running Songs of 2016

The past year have seen a resurgence in my passion for fitness. Watching my good friend compete at a triathlon event last September roused the dormant performance demon within me. Since then, I’ve religiously trained six to eight times a week, designing a loose training program around a couple of basketball leagues.

Since I almost always train solo, music is a necessity I cannot live without. No matter how intrinsically-driven one is, one can use a little musical inspiration.

Talking Heads – This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)

This song is perfect for warming-up or at the early stages of a run. It’s slow enough to keep the speed demon inside you at bay, but perky enough (with its eclectic new wave/post-funk twang) to put a spring on your step.

Santana – Evil Ways

I absolutely love how Greg Rolie’s vocals perfectly blends with Carlos Santana’s hypnotic guitar playing in this track. It certainly helps in setting an even pace. The guitar solo at the end is usually my queue to raise the tempo several notches higher.

Justice – Phantom Pt. II (Boys Noize Unreleased Turbine Mix)

Don’t you dare listen to the Justice original. The Boys Noize Turbine mix is a lot more fun to listen to because of all the bells and whistles (quite literally). If this track doesn’t get your juices flowing, I don’t know what will.

Disclosure – Help Me Lose My Mind

Unless you’re the Energizer Bunny, there comes a point in our daily runs when we turn down the throttle. I usually do this midway as I conserve my strength for the final push at the latter stages. Pay attention to Hannah Reid’s vocals on this one.

Eminem feat. Gwen Stefani – Kings Never Die

Remember that iconic Eminem hit from 8 Mile? Kings Never Die is its spiritual successor.  P.S. Watch Southpaw too!

Chvrches – Under The Tide

I’m a big, big fan of this Scottish synthpop outfit. It feels like I’m cruising on a sleek speedboat every time I listen to this.

The National – About Today

The home stretch is where I expend all my remaining energy stores into one last burst of speed towards the (imaginary) finish line. It’s about pushing oneself against taking the easy way out. “About Today” was featured at that intense final scene of the MMA film Warrior (2011).

M83 – Wait

 I’ll be lying if I say that TFIOS didn’t introduce me to the best M83 song ever.

It’s a bit slow in building up but once the songs shifts into high gear, expect a fireworks display of drums and synth.

 

Athletics and Belle & Sebastian

A few years back, I was searching the old Gnutella P2P network for track & field songs. I stumbled upon Belle & Sebastian’s “The Stars of Track & Field.” Frankly speaking, I did not like it. I found the vocals and the guitar strumming quite puzzling. The song was too laid back – too deep, even!

For years, the song languished in my hard drive. I couldn’t bear to listen to it, finding the music and lyrics boring. Soon enough, I’ve developed a liking for the Scottish band. The turning point came when I listened to “Write About Love” (the actress Carey Mulligan was featured on vocals). Hell, it was catchy! A lot more fun-sounding than”Stars of Track & Field.”

I’ve downloaded a bunch of Belle & Sebastian albums a few days back, stumbling upon another athletics-oriented song, “The Loneliness of a Middle Distance Runner.”

Years after I ignored the band, I can now say that I’m a convert. The soft vocals, the oft-poignant lyrics and the mellow melodies had that hypnotic feel. It was like listening to the mythical Pied Piper of Hamelin, so to speak. A Movies and songs about the sport, save for the iconic “Chariots of Fire” and “Hey There, Delilah,” are a rarity. Belle & Sebastian has two – not just one! – songs about the sport that we love.

From budding running enthusiasts, grizzled athletics veterans to middle distance runners, you might want to include the aforesaid songs in your playlists!

Sea Wolf – Middle Distance Runner

Check out “Middle Distance Runner” by the American indie band Sea Wolf. It has superbly catchy title (for track athletes, of course), simple yet honest lines and a refreshingly relaxing beat.

I think it’s cool that Sea Wolf features the cello. I just love listening to the instruments, deep gentle swoon.

“Middle Distance Runner” lyrics

“It’s been a long day on the track. And its stamina that I lack.”

My taste in music is eclectic. I have these various phases wherein I listen to artists like Miles Davis, Taylor Swift, Sting and the Police, Bon Iver, The Dawn and Jose Mari Chan. I really don’t care much about the genre. Music should not be a beacon of coolness, rather, it should be enjoyed in one’s own personal way.

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