Sunday, June 7, 2009

Favorite song for that final mile?

I don't use my iPod while I run, but I definitely know that the right music can give you a psychological boost in clutch situations -- whether you're in the final mile of a tempo run or have the finish line in your sights during a 10K.

I still remember feeling pumped up at the ING Georgia Half-Marathon in March by Survivor's triumphant anthem "Eye of the Tiger," which was blaring out of a sound system as we pounded the pavement in Little Five Points. And then there was the looping steel pan riff of Soulja Boy's "Crank That," which greeted us as we entered downtown Charleston after crossing the Cooper River at April's Bridge Run. Without question, it helped me pick up the pace.

And those aren't even songs I really like that much!

Anyway, I recently posed this question to a bunch of runner friends: What's the best song for getting you through that final mile? In addition to some general answers -- "most anything by Tool," "Linkin Park does it for me" -- there were votes for a wide variety of tunes:

  1. Eminem's "Lose Yourself" ("listen to the lyrics and tell me you can't finish that last mile!")
  2. Pearl Jam's "Rearviewmirror" ("if you time it just right")
  3. Rihanna's "Don't Stop the Music"
  4. Green Day's "American Idiot" ("it's got that nice burst at that beginning")
  5. Airborne Toxic Avengers' "Sometime Around Midnight"
  6. The Charlie Daniels Band's "The Devil Went Down to Georgia"
  7. The Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow"
  8. The Roots' "The Seed 2.0" ("my feet hitting the pavement matches the beat so I can shut my brain off and ignore the pain")
  9. Michael Jackson's "Thriller"
  10. The All-American Rejects' "Move Along" ("got me through ankle rehab")
  11. And finally, Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" ("no joke")
Got your own favorites? By all means, share!


Anonymous said...

My absolute favorite running song is Coldplay's "Viva la Vida." It relaxes me and makes me feel strong. My choice finish line song is "Let It Rock" by Kevin Rudolph. I don't care all that much for the lyrics (well, not the ones I can understand, at least), but I love the rythm!

Anonymous said...

Van Halen's "Running With The Devil".

Anonymous said...

Talib Kweli-Get By

Great beat...even better lyrics;

"This morning, I woke up
feeling brand new, and I jumped up
feeling my highs and my lows,
in my soul, and my goals
just to stop smokin', and stop drinkin
and i've been thinkin', i've got my reasons....just to get by...just to get by..."

Anonymous said...

Anything by Linkin Park. Trust me...

Jason said...

A good Metallica song will do it for me.

Anonymous said...

Abba's "Dancing Queen"!

Anonymous said...

A few of my favorites...

Viva la Vida by Coldplay

Paralyzer by Finger Eleven

Check Yes Juliet by We the Kings

Numb/Encore by Linkin Park/Jay Z

Shake It by Metro Station

Move Along by All American Rejects

Anonymous said...

"Flathead" by The Fratellis

Mols said...

Airborne Toxic Avengers' "Sometime Around Midnight" should be Airborne Toxic Event :-)

Favorite song to run to: Incubus "Zee Deveel"

kickazzz2000 said...

Metallica - Enter Sandman
Metallica - Wherever I may Roam
POD - Here comes the Boom

Anonymous said...

This is easy. These tunes powered me through the last mile or so of the Cooper River Bridge Run this past April. I save every playlist:

1. "Daft Punk Is Playing In My House" - LCD Soundsystem
2. "I Disappear" - Metallica
3. "The Great Curve" - Talking Heads

...might not be for everyone!

Douglas said...

Van Halen: Humans Being (from the movie Twister).

Angie said...

One of my running favorites is the Black Eyed Peas - "Lets get it started"

Anonymous said...

Lunatic Fringe by Red Rider (vision quest soundtrack)

Anonymous said...

Disease by Matchbox 20 or All Apologies by Nirvana (or any other song by Nirvana).

Anonymous said...

Led Zeppelin's "Dazed & Confused"

Anonymous said...

Def Leppard - Photograph

Anonymous said...

"Heroes" or "A Daily AntheM" by David Cook

Anonymous said...

Beastie boys "cant stand it I know ya planned it" and so on

Pdubb2k said...

Somehow everyone has forgotten "Bombs over Bagdad (BOB)" by Outkast.

Kristen said...

I've gotten some good running songs from Nike Commercials:

List of Demands - Saul Williams

Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution - AC/DC

Bittersweet Symphony - The Verve

Anonymous said...

I second the nomination of Talib Kweli's "Get By." That is a great running song! I also recommend "Everyone Nose" by N*E*R*D and "Pearl's Girl" by Underworld (it's almost 10 minutes long and the time goes fast).

Anonymous said...

The Rocky movies theme song.

Kristy said...

"Bootylicious" by Destiny's Child
"Jump Around" by House of Pain
"U and Ur Hand" by Pink
"Dirrrty" by Christina Aguilera
"Womanizer" by Britney Spears (good for the male ego)
"Brick House" by The Commodores (good for the female ego)

Anonymous said...

Drive-By Truckers' "Zip City"
Also, I second Pearl Jam's "RVM." "Corduroy" also is a great running song.

Anonymous said...

80's rock is the best for running! I agree with 'Eye of the Tiger' and would add 'Deal for Life' from the Days of Thunder Soundtrack along with 'Standing Outside the Fire' by Garth Brooks.

Anonymous said...

Seconding "Let it Rock" and "Bittersweet Symphony." Let it Rock has a great beat when you are needing a pick-me-up, and Bittersweet Symphony is a great motivator when the finish line is in sight, and you know you've finished without collapsing ;)

Anonymous said...

A great but little known finishing song is "Try It Again" by the Hives. Fantastic beat, and great lyrics too:

"Try It Again"

Here is to you honey
But I'm out of your league
Never gonna pass me
'Cause I'm out of your league, your league, your league

Lookie here baby
You're coming my way
But I move like a landslide
So get out of my way and stay away

Up from the floor on the count of ten
Oh you get up, you get down and you try it again

Up and down and around again
Oh you get up you get down and you try it again

Anonymous said...

I actually get a lot of song ideas from playing Rock Band on my WII... LOL!

"Alive" P.O.D.
"Boom" P.O.D.
"Crazy B*tch" Buckcherry
"Down with the sickness" Disturbed
"Face Down" The Red Jumpsuits APparatus
"Fat Lip" Sum 41
"One Step Closer" Linkin Park
"Sabatoge" Beastie Boys
"Sex type Thing" Stone Temple Pilots
"Thunder Kiss '65" White Zombie
"Where are we runnin?" Lenny Kravitz