What’s on your running playlist?

Ok, readers. I think I can safely say that spring’s finally here. Yuck, I did see a few snow flakes this week, though…and also a few people wearing flip flops! For me, spring means making the switch from the treadmill to running outside. But, even though being in nature makes my runs much more enjoyable, I just can’t seem to get a good rhythm without a great play-list.

I can vividly remember the first time I ran with music. It was a few years ago in May and was one of those days where you let out a sigh of relief as soon as you step outside and experience blue skies and perfect summer weather. I was visiting a friend in Kingston and while she was working, I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and go for a run along Lake Ontario. She let me borrow her MP3 player (yeah, I don’t think many people had iPods then!), which introduced me to a whole new running experience.

I can still remember some of the songs that I listened to, as I ran into the warm summer breeze, feeling fresh and energized. I paid no attention to my watch as “Like A Prayer,” “Eye of the Tiger,” and (I’ll shamefully admit) “Backstreet’s Back” played, motivating me to keep a quick pace to meet the beat of the music (and shake my shoulders every now and then in rhythm to some of those feel-good songs I will never get sick of). I finally understood the “runner’s high” as I felt like I could have run forever. It was completely different than any run I had gone on in the past.

As a recreational runner, I often have trouble “getting through” runs. There gets to a point where, regardless of how my body feels, I mentally defeat myself and just want it to be over. I check my watch every minute or so, wondering if I’ve finally hit the 30 minute mark (or whatever target I’ve set for myself), and can start my cool down walk. Listening to music definitely motivates me to keep going when I feel like quitting.

Although most people who I see running have the distinctive white iPod buds in their ears, I have one friend who actually prefers to run without music. She says it helps her feel more connected to the run and allows her to better experience the outdoors. Not me! After that first experience running with music in Kingston, I don’t think I will ever be able to go back to running without it. It has become such a dependence that I would choose not to run over running without music.

It is a very tough call, but I would have to say that my top five favourite songs to run to are (oh, and I had to use a lot of self-control to keep Backstreet Boys from making the cut!) :

“Just Dance”- Lady Gaga

“When Love Takes Over”- David Guetta Feat Kelly Rowland

“Waka Waka”-Shakira

“Going Insane”- The Warp Brothers

“Don’t Stop Believing”- Journey

Readers, do you have any songs that you love to run to? Have you heard anything lately that just wants you to lace up your runners and get outside? Let me know!

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