Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My Super 5K Running Mix

Natalie and I are running a 5K this coming Sunday in Portland, ME - the Raccoon Run 5K. Signing up for this race was my way of making sure I didn't slack too much on running during the hottest weeks of the summer, and it will keep me "good" the first 36 hours of so of my vacation. No promises on the other 6 and a half days, though...

Anyway, Natalie and I each have specific goals for this 5K. For Natalie, it's her first road race, so I imagine that her goals are to a) finish, and b) not hate it so much that she never does another one. And I hope she achieves both, especially b, since I'm the one that talked her in to this. For me, I'd like to improve my 5K speed. On the treadmill, I've been able to crack 33 minutes a few times, but that's on a machine with no hills, no distractions, and a moving belt to make sure I keep my legs going at a good pace. I would love, LOVE to run the race in 31 minutes, which would be a 10 minute mile pace. But I don't think I'm there yet, and I also have absolutely no idea what the course will be like. I know it's in downtown Portland, and weather there is at least 10 degrees cooler than here (yay!). But no idea about hills, traffic, etc. So I'm setting a realistic goal (I hope) of running the race in under 33 minutes. That will put me somewhere in the 10 and a half minute mile range, something that would make me happy.

To encourage speed on this race, I've put together a new running mix - much shorter than my usual workout mix that has lots of great songs, but also several "meh/good" songs that I LIKE, but occasionally just want to skip right past. In a relatively short race like this one, every song counts. I need only the most motivating, awesome, favorite songs ever. Or, if not ever, at least RIGHT NOW. Because as you will see, my preferences run to whatever songs are popular at the moment, and not necessarily the high energy classics. My number one criteria is that I have to really, really like the song - that comes before a good beat and poppy/rockin' lyrics.

Ideally the playlist would last only 33 minutes, so I could easily judge my pace and see how close I am to reaching my pace goal. However, I found it really hard to cut the playlist to only 8 songs, so I included a few more with the excuse that I may not be able to time the start of the music exactly with the start of the race.

Without further ado, here is the list:
Paris (Ooh La La) by Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
Rolling In the Deep by Adele
The Cave by Mumford & Sons
Just Dance by Lady GaGa & Colby O'Donis
Mercy by Duffy
Little Lion Man by Mumford & Sons
Africa by Toto
Dog Days Are Over by Florence + The Machine
All the Right Moves by OneRepublic
Love the Way You Lie (feat. Rihanna) by Eminem
Teenage Dream by Katy Perry
Runnin' Down A Dream by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

My first pass had 17 songs, not the 12 listed above. It was very hard to pick some to cut out, and I'm still a bit indecisive about it. At least one of the Mumford and Sons songs is a bit slow to start, but I just like them so much that I couldn't leave them out.

What are your favorite songs to run to? And not just any old song to provide background rhythm while you work out - what songs inspire you to move your legs faster? We don't leave the house (and thus the laptop with our iTunes library on it) until Thursday, so I am open to suggestions for change... :-)


  1. My current (new) faves are:

    Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO. PLEASE look up the video on YouTube to fully enjoy the song first. It is an awesome mix of rave music and hip hop. And it is Alex's favorite song right now. And it makes me want to put on a robot head and do the running man. I ran a whole 5K to just this song.

    I also like (cliche) Born This Way because I like the message it sends to kids. It is Nate's favorite song.

    As for the rest, I like songs that match the tempo I am trying to set. So some old favorites that are still on my running list:

    Whip It
    Boom Boom Pow

  2. I've got a bunch of Pink songs and older Lady Gaga. Of course, Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard. My current favs are Ke$ha. The lyrics are unbelievably stupid but great have a great beat:)