Running Music: The beat of my own lyrics

running_music_16l3ica-16l3icd1My running music playlist is an embarrassment to “real” music. It’s full of candy pop, hip hop, booty bop, and electronic rock.

I don’t always run with music, but when I do, my primary goal for a running song is the beat. I need the boom-boom-boom-boom to work with the cadence of my footfalls, so this frequently leads me to “that” section of iTunes in search of the boom-ba-doom-ba-boom-ba-doom-boom bass.

I’m particularly partial to any song that has the word “remix” in the title.

While I select songs based a fast beat, after listening to them over and over, the lyrics do begin to sink in. To put it mildly, I find that I’m not necessarily on board with the majority of these lyrics. They are silly, vapid, unimaginative, and/or offensively stereotypical.

So, instead of thinking of those lyrics, I give them a training-inspired twist, while imagining different aspects of a race day scenario. It’s become a bit of a game.

With some lyrics, it is really easy to do this. For example, “Body Movin’ (Fatboy Slim Remix)” by the Beastie Boys. The title has an obvious connection to training. The lyrics also feature gems like:

“So kick off your shoes and put on your swim fins
‘Cause when it comes to quarries I’m known to swim…”

“Body movin’-Body movin’
Body movin’-We be-Body movin’…”

Another Beastie Boys favorite is “Intergalactic,” features the line, “I run the marathon to the very last mile.” I KNOW that’s right. In general, I like the Beastie Boys collection. You can’t go wrong there.

Other times, it takes a simple word substitution to make the song fit the action. I like to throwback to the ’80s, with a feel good candy pop song from Flashdance, “What A Feeling [Power Remix]”, from Nicki Bliss (No, it’s not the original artist, but I have to go for the remix, folks).

Anytime she says dance or dancing, I substitute run or running. Works like a charm!

In Nicki Minaj’s “classic” song, “Pound the Alarm,” she sings, “Yo, what I gotta do to show these girls that I own em?” I like to imagine myself “owning” the competition on race day. And, so this song brings me there. We can all be friends before and after the race, of course.

Another song, “Where them girls at?” by David Guetta, Flo Rida and Nicki Minaj, leads me to imagine getting off the bike, and then heading out of T2 to run down my competition. You know, where them girls at? This song does require some creative imagining, however, since it’s really about finding people in a club to hook up with. But, with some creative reworking, I’ve made it about finding my targets ahead, and then running them down during the marathon. My. Favorite. Pastime.

Another David Guetta (feat. Sia) song, “Titanium” requires a little less creative reworking.

“Shoot me down, but I get up. I’m bullet proof. Got nothing to lose. Fire away. Fire away. [imagining my competition trying to come for me.] … You shoot me down. But I won’t fall. I am TITANIUM. [BIG VOICE].”

I’m perfectly satisfied with those lyrics because, you know, I. AM. TITANIUM.

I could go on with the rest of my pathetically embarrassing running music. But, that would only make me feel more ashamed, and perhaps lead you to leave my Running A Life community.

Please don’t judge me. I do it for the beat.


Do you listen to music when you train? Do you re-work the lyrics to visualize racing? What are some of your favorites? I’m always looking for new music. Please share!


  1. Pingback: 2016 Infinitus 88k: My almost first time DNF - Running A Life

  2. Pingback: Post-Race Analysis: Next Time I'll Be Bulletproof - Running A Life

  3. Pingback: Power Music Workout - Flashdance (What a Feeling) [Power Remix] [MP3 + M4A] | Free Download

  4. Pingback: It Takes An Anvillage: 2016 Florida Double Anvil Race Report - Running A Life

  5. Nate Winslow

    Check out DJ Earworm’s “United States of Pop (Blame It On the Pop)”. All he does is Re-mixes of popular songs and this one is AMAZING!! If you want to run fast, check out Ana Tojoux’s “1977”. That one has an amazing up-tempo backbeat. Everyone’s tastes are different, so I can’t promise you’ll love them, but I think you will…


    I know exactly what you are talking about in EVERYONE of these examples! I find myself doing it to Pitbull songs, too. But, lately Titanium is pretty freaking awesome. Love that someone besides me is out there be-bopping along to my own racing words!

Comments are closed.