Workout Beatz

T-24 days until Seawheeze! I’m getting more and more excited for the weekend festivities, meeting lots of travelling runners at the hotel, and of course the run itself! I’m looking forward to experiencing all those weird emotions again, and this time I get to share it with friends!

You’d think that with all my excitement my training has been full of drive and motivation. Killing tempo runs, welcoming hill sprints with open arms, totally ready to beat my time at the BMO half.

Not so much.

To be totally honest, with the exception of my long runs, training has felt like a bit of a chore. It’s unfortunate, but I’ve kind of got the “been there, done that” mentality. I’m not pushing to beat my time, I just want to have fun and run all over Vancouver with my friends! But those shorter and more challenging runs involving hills and sprints are so important to staying injury-free and not feeling like you’re going to die during the half. So what’s been my saving grace?

SICK BEATZ YO

For real. I have become so grateful for internet radio. I have the technological capacity of an 80-year old woman and haven’t really gotten a good grasp on this whole “torrent” business, so for quite some time I was limited to what I had downloaded back when LimeWire was still in existence and whatever I felt like paying for on iTunes. Don’t get me wrong, all my old songs are great. It’s just that Tool doesn’t really cut it for pushing me through 1+ hours of constant running, and buying enough songs to last that long can get expensive.

ENTER 8TRACKS AND FITRADIO!

I’ve been using 8Tracks for a few years now and it’s great. You can listen to user-created mixes and search for thousands of tags, from Christmas music to “White Girl”. As I type I’m listening to “White Girl Rap Music”; the first song is by Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz. This is way out of my comfort zone.

ANYWAY. A few months ago I discovered FitRadio and completely forgot about 8Tracks for a little while. As the name implies, FitRadio is music for gettin’ your fitness on! There’s a really great selection of music; you can listen to stations meant for running, cardio, lifting, zumba, stretching, and more. You can also listen by genre. There’s something for pretty much every taste and every workout here.

FitRadio re-kindled my love for drum&bass. At heart I will always be a lover of Classic Rock and Metal, but I find most newer metal bands to be complete garbage and Classic Rock is, well…Classic! That makes for listening to a lot of the same songs over the years. The past couple years I’ve really developed a love for electronic music. I could never argue about whether Avicii or Adventure Club has made a bigger social impact like I can with the classics, but damnit they sound good!

The downfall is that FitRadio is all music streams (I think that’s what it is? One of you kids correct me if I’m wrong here), so if you find a song that really hits that earspot of your’s, unless you can remember some of the lyrics to Google later it’s lost forever. Until the stream repeats a few workouts later. I came across one stream that I absolutely loved and had so many amazing songs, but I never knew when I was going to be able to listen to it, which made for quite an anxiety-ridden workout. Was I going to get to hear that song today? Would I EVER hear it again??!??! The suspense killed me.

I decided to welcome 8Tracks back into my life a couple weeks ago. I was tanning by the pool and for some reason some dirty DnB seemed like good relaxing tunes. I searched the “Dum & Bass” tag and came across a mix called “A Ladies Touch Vol:2”. I gave it a shot cause hey, I’m a lady, and HOT DAMN WADDYA KNOW those songs I was dying to hear again were all gathered into one fucking amazing playlist. With the song titles and artists listed and all. I was in heaven. Then I had a brilliant idea…Vol:2….that must mean there’s a Vol:1 as well! And like magic, with a quick search there it was. It’s like “Padidles” (the user who created the mixes..I always find usernames super amusing) crawled into my brain and picked out every song I loved but had no idea what it was called or who it was by and put them together solely for my own listening pleasure.

I shit you not I have listened to nothing except those two playlists since June 30. With the exception of “White Girl Rap” today and much to my man’s dismay “80’s White Girl” this past Sunday morning. But the rest of my music-listening life has been filled with drops and sprint-worthy beats galore.

This is just my personal opinion, but DnB makes for fantastic running music because of it’s intense, yet repetitive nature. I find the repetition really helps me zone out & ignore the rain, chafing thighs, steep hills that really have no place being where they are, and other little annoyances that can make a 15km run feel like Hell is encompassing you. Then there’s those drops and tempo increases, the perfect push into a sprint that lasts as long as that segment of the song. It’s like DnB was made for running! Even while staying in my mental “zone” if you will, it’s like my legs can sense that a drop is coming and it’s about time to sprint. For as long as the song stays crazy they sprint, and then it’s back to a comfortable pace until the next drop. Perfect for random speedwork.

And now it’s time for me to shut off White Girl Rap, round up Padidles and his Ladies Touches, and head out for my own run. I look forward to listening to this music almost as much as I look forward to my long runs. Almost.

What sort of music do you use to fuel your workouts? Do you even use any?

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