Back in August of last year I griped about how “Top Ten Running Songs” lists were always awful and then proceeded to make my own, equally awful list. If you click that link you’ll see that some of those songs have disappeared from the list, presumably due to copyright infringement or the like, so I figured it was time for an update anyway.
Yesterday I mentioned how I put my headphones back on during a run for the first time in several months. I took them off shortly after running The Calhoun’s New Year’s Day 5K because I had been reading about the importance of breathing properly during running – how the “wrong” breathing pattern can lead to early fatigue and the correct one could potentially allow me to harness, if not gain extra, energy. Breathe in – step left – step right – step left – breathe out – step right – step left – breathe in – step right – step left – step right – breathe out – step left – step right, etc., etc., ad nauseam and ad infinitum.
To be honest I don’t know how well it’s worked but the time off from music certainly did help me give my breathing its own, independent, rhythm. If I keep a decent pace and watch my breathing I’ve found that while I do still tire out it’s not the same kind of tired. When I finish I’m not exhausted, just a bit winded. I don’t know much about running despite doing it for the biggest part of the last year – I’ve never “hit a wall” and have certainly never had a “runner’s high” that I’m aware of (though earlier this week I smelled someone grilling hamburgers during my run and I think that’s pretty close – it has to be!) but I’d say that just having the control over one’s breathing is considered success. My first run back with the music proved it to be true as my breathing remained unaffected by the pulsing rhythms of the music and I had my longest distance to date.
So what was on my playlist? I’m glad you asked…
Ace Hood (feat. Future and Rick Ross) – “Bugatti” from the album ‘Trials and Tribulations'(2013)
I hate this song. Mostly. It’s like Pitbull. I hate that I like it. It’s cocky, the beat is heavy, almost hatefully so.
Amon Amarth – “Deceiver of the Gods” from the album ‘Deceiver of the Gods’ (2013)
Viking metal is king in my life currently – especially Amon Amarth and especially this particular album. Others from this album worth mentioning: “Father of the Wolf”, “Shape Shifter” and “Blood Eagle”. Sort-of stereotypical Norse titles, yeah, but it’s Viking Metal for Odin’s sake…
Body Count – “Institutionalized” from the album ‘Manslaughter’ (2014)
Body Count’s cover of Suicidal Tendencies’ 1983 jam not only has been updated to include more current social issues but has the fast drums and guitar we all love from the original and apparently (as I learned today) has the ability to make the listener struggle to not yell out in a public park “BITCH, CALL THE POLICE NOW!”
The Darkness – “Barbarian” from the album ‘The Last of Our Kind’ (2015)
I absolutely LOVE the Darkness! Delightfully ridiculous but devilishly talented and neck-breakingly hard rocking both then and now. This debut single from their upcoming album (to be released in June) gets me juiced EVERY time I hear it. Is it true Viking Metal? No, but it gets the point across and I feel the exact same way when I hear it!
Demon Waffle – “Atilla” from the album ‘Eat Your Breakfast’ (2012)
Demon Waffle are the jam. They take the “third wave” ska/punk sound that is, unfortunately, very tired to me and make killer jams that are good time and time again. “Atilla” is probably my favorite running song because it forces the body to run harder and faster each time the horns kick in, which is often. Not to mention, these are hometown boys!
Fall Out Boy – “Centuries” from the album ‘American Beauty/American Psycho’ (2014)
I’ve only recently been “out of the closet” as it were regarding Fall Out Boy. I hate to admit it but they’re just good. Old Fall Out Boy – new Fall Out Boy – it’s a bit different but it’s all good. Something about this song makes it a good training jam – is it the crowd harmony during the chorus? Is it the hammering drums throughout? Or maybe even the message of invincibility belted throughout? Who knows. Who cares? Just run…
Fall Out Boy – “My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark (Light ’em Up)” from the album ‘Save Rock and Roll’ (2013)
I was hesitant to include two songs by the same band on this list but A) This was the only band repeat that actually came up on the playlist today and B) this is a dope song. Since becoming a die-hard Knoxville Ice Bears fan I’ve noticed that certain songs will either get you jazzed or leave you high and dry based solely off their usage before/during home games. “My Songs Know…” blasts over the speakers at the Coliseum and that signals to all of us that it’s about time for the greatest team in the SPHL to take the ice!
Miley Cyrus – “Party in the USA” from the album ‘The Time of Our Lives’ (2009)
Presented here with no shame but also no comment.
Skeletonwitch – “I Am of Death (Hell Has Arrived)” from the album ‘Serpents Unleashed’ (2013)
I’ve turned into a huge Skeletonwitch fan. After seeing them open for Ghost at the Bijou last year if I need a nice combo of Viking/Thrash/Black/Death metal I don’t have to look any further. Thankfully I bought this from iTunes so it is forever on my iPhone from now until Hell actually arrives.
Tyler, The Creator – “Radicals” from the album ‘Goblin’ (2011)
In the last year or so I finally got into Tyler, the Creator. The only album I own is “Goblin” and despite his violent imagery and cocky overtones his music makes me feel more or less chill solely because of the slower, sludgier beats he uses. “Radicals” is no exception really (by “slower” I certainly don’t mean “slow jam”) but the slowness of the beat is made up for by the angry, hateful distortion with every pounding blow of the low end. Not to mention the horrifying lyrics of the chorus (“Kill people, burn shit, and fuck school!”) following a pretty hilarious “random disclaimer” at the head of the song. Tyler is the jam…and apparently a unicorn according to this song.
Fast beats, slow beats, violence, happiness, mythology and Miley Cyrus. Sounds like a nice recipe for running. I’ve been known to do that. I hope I continue to be known for doing it. I haven’t decided if the headphones are staying or going – this randomized playlist was strangely compelling, though…