I’m just back from a 7 miler in the beautiful sunshine in preparation for the Ealing Half Marathon in – eek – just under 3 weeks. I reached the 10 mile mark a few weeks ago and won’t go any further in training, so now it’s just all about keeping my legs moving and getting more miles under my belt. I like to mix it up with short and long runs and 7 miles is just about in the middle for me. However, I often still find myself flagging around the 4 mile mark and it struck me today how much certain songs can really help you power through and reach that goal. Here’s my own personal top 10 tracks that I know I can count on when I really need that push…
10. Proud – Heather Small
I’ll admit this one is a little cheesy and I’m sure won’t be on many other ‘best running tracks’ lists out there, but I’m a sucker for a little cheesiness! I downloaded this onto my iPod especially for my first Half Marathon last year, knowing that at some point I would probably need to rely on emotional rather than physical strength. Annoyingly, it never actually came on as I ran the race a little faster than I thought I would and so had put a few too many songs onto my playlist. However, now whenever it does pop up during a run I am reminded that I can run faster than I think and that it’s OK to be a little cringe-tastic and feel proud of yourself sometimes.
9. Goodness Gracious – Ellie Goulding
Firstly, Ellie Goulding is a great source of running inspiration. She doesn’t do it to be skinny, she aspires to be toned and fit and strong, plus she looks hot. I love the video to this song and when I hear it during my runs I can always visualise her dancing around in her little light up shoes with her long, lean, strong legs. Total fitspiration. Basically I love this song because it reminds that whilst running and exercise shouldn’t be all about looking good, it’s a pretty good bonus. Ellie Goulding’s legs here I come.
8. Don’t Stop – 5 Seconds of Summer
Probably not the coolest choice, but a good uptempo number to get the heart rate back up. Plus, anything telling me not to stop can’t be a bad thing! Also, even though I’m 23, I kinda like to imagine people are thinking this about me as I run past…. *cough cough*
7. The Boys of Summer – The Ataris
When I listen to this, I’m not in Oxfordshire or Bournemouth or wherever else I may be training, in my head I’m running along the beach in California, the sun is shining and isn’t my life just great. (Unfortunately I can’t find a good video for this song)
6. Wake Me Up – Avicii
I first heard this song when I was travelling around South East Asia last summer, so it’s a song full of memories for me. Again, I can pretend I’m still living the backpacker life and running along a beach in Vietnam somewhere, instead of running in the rain and on the pavement (bore). I love to remind myself that there’s a big wide world out there whilst I’m running and this song is pretty much perfect for doing so.
5. Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
This doesn’t really need an explanation, does it?
4. Classic – MKTO
Another song where I like to pretend it’s being sung about me as I glide down the road all outdoorsy and fun. I am this classic gal they’re talking about, look at me go… (just humour me here OK?)
3. Run the World (Girls) – Beyonce
I AM A SHINING BEACON OF FEISTINESS AND I CAN RUN THIS RACE. I RUN THE GODDAM WORLD FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. etc etc…
2. La Roux – Bulletproof
When you need a little reminder that, really, nothing can stop you. You might be tired, you might be on an uphill section, your legs might be just about ready to give up but DON’T. You’re unstoppable, you can do this, it’s totally in the bag. Also, if I’m totally honest, this song reminds me of the time me and my 14 best friends from school went to Malia after our A-Levels. Total throwback.
1. Rihanna – Complicated
I don’t even know why I love this song so much. It doesn’t remind me of anything or anyone, it doesn’t take me back to anywhere in particular but there’s just something about it. When the beat kicks in at the first chorus I always run a little faster. It just does something to me and it’s all I could want in my number one running track; something that pushes me to dig a little deeper. Perfection.
So that’s it, my top ten running tracks for really getting you going and getting you out of the 4-mile slump. Today I finished my 7-miler with the help of my ultimate playlist back near my Mum’s gorgeous house in the Cotswolds (excuse the red faced sweatiness, pretending you’re Beyonce really takes it out of you!)
Now time for a cuppa…