Friday, February 19, 2010

Beats on the Streets...or sidewalk...or path...or on a treadmill

Two years ago, when I started this whole "running" thing, I knew from the moment I stepped foot into the gym at school or eventually the loop around where I live that I was going to get distracted easily. Case in point, as I was running, all I could hear was the sound of my breathing and my feet hitting the pavement. For those of us that remember when we started to run, that was the most unpleasant sound in the entire world. The "heaving" and "hacking" and muttering under our breath as we cursed those that got us into this in the first place (Stephen and Tana @b_bmom I am directing that to you). As for your feet hitting the pavement, you could hear every "pound" and "crunch" and you became more aware of your legs and your pace. It was brutal!

Now, there will be the die hards out there that will say, "now Brett, when you are running, and you are outside, you should listen to nature; the birds singing, the leaves blowing in the trees, the peacefulness of where you are." I say, "YEAH RIGHT! That's not happening so I am getting an iPod, loading my music onto it, just so I don't get bored and I have something to distract me during my time out there." The funny thing is that time does fly when you have tunes in your ears.

I also know that there is a lot of people in the running community that are either for having MP3 players during races and those that are dead set against them. Even now, MP3 players are "strongly discouraged" in races and if you do have them on, you must make sure that the volume is at a level that you don't become a "hazard" on the course. I totally agree with that. Plus, during our training runs, I would hope that most of us that do have MP3 players with us are not so wrapped up in our music that we lose complete self-awareness that we are running in places that have heavy traffic. If you can't hear the semi coming up behind you, YOUR VOLUME IS TOO LOUD, PEOPLE!

As for my selection of MP3 player, I decided to go with as small as I could get in both physical presence and memory. For some reason there are people that need to have all of their music with them when they run or workout. For me, as long as I can put on about 50 to 100 songs onto the player, I am happy. Plus, I don't have the need to have a designated "workout playlist" as it is all on the player. That made me decide to go with the iPod shuffle (second generation). I went with the 1GB version as it allows me to have about 200 songs on it. As of right now, I only have about 84 songs on mine right now. Luckily, they are all songs that I don't care which one comes on because it is one that I know I can run or workout to. I will say that I am not too happy with Apple's design on their generation 3 iPod shuffle. They have now designed the iPod shuffle so that the controls are on the ear buds, not on the actual player which would let me go between songs. Which leads me to my next gripe; headphones.

As for headphones, for some odd reason (whether it be genetics or what) those little iPod headphones that come with all their MP3 players do not stay in my ears when I run or workout. So, after many attempts at the "buds" I decided to go with the wrap around the back of the head Sennheiser PMX60 Street-Style Headphones. They are awesome! Great sound plus, they stay on my ears! Thus you can see why I will stick with the generation 2 iPod shuffle for as long as I can. At least with generation 2 I can decide which headphones I want to plug in. Apple, Steve Jobs, can you hear me? Change it back, please!

The last part is the strap to put your Shuffle on. Yes the generation 2 iPod has a nice clip you can place on your person so that it work for you. However, the last thing I want to worry about, while running, is having the iPod fall off and me having to put it back in place. That is where my Belkin iPod strap comes in hand. The iPod just clips in, you put it around your arms with the velcro strap and you are good to go. Plus, the velcro is amazingly strong. Have had it for over a year and a half and have never had issues with the velcro.

Blah Blah Blah! That might seem like the "plug" for the products, but people have asked me what I wear while running and I am just telling you what works for me. Would you rather talk about types of running shoes? Yes? Well let's leave that for another entry.

Now, onto music. What do I listen to while running or working out? I know that everyone has different tastes in what they listen to. I have lots of people on Twitter and Facebook ask me about what is on my iPod shuffle to keep me going. My taste in music is eclectic (spelled that right on my first attempt!). I listen to pop, rock, and even country. Whatever is in the Top 40 or popular at the time, I will listen to it. I love the classics as well (60s, 70s, 80s, even the 90s now). The second I get sick of a song it comes off the Shuffle That's the nice thing about having a device like MP3 players where you are able to swap out your music at will to fit your taste at the moment.

I love my music and the nice thing about having a blog, and like I do on Twitter on occasion, is link to music that I am enjoying at the moment. Is it for everyone? NO! We all have our own taste. For me, I don't mind having Lady Gaga mixed in with Aerosmith, Jason Derulo mixed in with Journey, or a Glee song mixed in with DJ Kool.

For me, as long as the song can keep me moving between a steady or a hard pace during a run, I will have it on my iPod. It has got to make me GO GO GO! Because of the joys of the internet there is even sites devoted to running songs. There is even a site that breaks songs down into Beats Per Minute (BPM)! Songs are broken down into their BPM and then listed on the site so people can see how hard they could actually be working their body. Please check it out at Running Music Mix.

Because music is a passion of mine, along with MANY other things (cough cough Disney cough cough) I would like to post a few links to songs that I am listening to every few weeks. I hope that you will, maybe, hear a song that you would like put on your MP3 player for your workout.
Music is an amazing motivator during a run or a workout. Whether is is the lyrics, a certain guitar riff, or the beats per minute, music can keep you going through the hard parts when we need that extra little bit of "kick". Sorry nature folks, tweeting birds do not get me motivated!

So, what's on my iPod right now? As you can see, Owl City's "Fireflies" is not listed as those who follow me on Twitter know that I detest with a passion! Here we go:

Let It Rock - Kevin Rudolf
Jai Ho - AR Rehman and Pussycat Dolls
Boom Boom Pow - Black Eyed Peas
The Quest - Brynn Christopher
Let Me Entertain You - Robbie Williams
I Don't Care - Fall Out Boy
Just Push Play - Aerosmith
Walk This Way - DMC and Aerosmith
Can't Stop Messin - Aerosmith
Stronger - Kanye West
Breaking Dishes - Rhianna
In My Head - Jason Derulo
Jump - Flo Rida with Nelly Furtado
Telephone - Lady Gaga and Beyonce
Blame it on the Pop 2009 - Dj Earworm (AMAZING MIX of 25 hits from 2009)

Celebrate You - Corbin Bleau (Cause let's face it, we have to have something Disney in this entry! Definitely thinking about January 2011 Goofy's Challenge when running to this one)

This is just a taste of what is on my Shuffle. There will be other entries dealing with running and workout music in the future as I keep changing what is on the iPod! :) If you have one that you workout to all the time, please feel free to list it in the comment section. I am always looking for new music to put on the iPod. Please, let me know what you are listening to!

Have a good one!


  1. I totally hear you on the headphones! The earbuds drive me crazy, so I've gone back to the sony sport headphones that my dad bought for me about 18 years ago!!! They fold up, they go over my head so they stay put, and they're designed to let outside noise in (ie traffic). I have a 4th gen iPod nano, as I wanted to use the Nike+ system. That helps me stay motivated because I can see how far, how fast, and how long I ran without having to keep track myself. I know there are flaws in the system, but it works for me! Plus, it's kind of cool to finish a run and hear something like "This is Lance Armstrong. Congratulations on a personal best time for the mile" :)
    I look forward to hearing more of your motivating music, although so far our lists don't have a single song in common!

  2. Haha I laughed a lot while reading this. "Sorry nature folks, tweeting birds do not get me motivated!" Hahaha. I'm not a runner, but my BOGP family is motivating me to get back into shape (I used to dance for hours every day when I was in high school), and I'm looking into getting some running shoes and the Nike+.

  3. I encouraged Monica to get the shuffle. I like the Nike+ enough that I had to get one for myself. Before I got the shuffle, I was running with a generic mp3 player (and a Garmin Forerunner, which I will still use outdoors).

    I said all that to recommend you check out Podrunner, he also creates mixes based on bpm.

    I also just started barefoot running. It really hurts your calves, but nothing else hurts.