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:
- Eminem's "Lose Yourself" ("listen to the lyrics and tell me you can't finish that last mile!")
- Pearl Jam's "Rearviewmirror" ("if you time it just right")
- Rihanna's "Don't Stop the Music"
- Green Day's "American Idiot" ("it's got that nice burst at that beginning")
- Airborne Toxic Avengers' "Sometime Around Midnight"
- The Charlie Daniels Band's "The Devil Went Down to Georgia"
- The Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow"
- 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")
- Michael Jackson's "Thriller"
- The All-American Rejects' "Move Along" ("got me through ankle rehab")
- And finally, Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" ("no joke")