I’m sporty. I’m not very good at any of it, but I’m happy to give it a go. My current sport of choice is road cycling. I say current, because I try new activities and they then become my new favourite thing. I’ve only owned my road bike for just over a year. I also have a mountain bike and take that out every now and again to give me an adrenaline rush. I also run. I also swim – summer lido life is my favourite time of the week. I’ve given up netball – it’s too hard on my knees. This summer I am spending 5 days learning how to surf. You get the picture. Sport keeps me fit, deals with any stress I’m feeling as I beast my body, it’s social and I get a sense of achievement when I do something I never thought I could manage.
When I run and in the winter when I use my bike on the turbo trainer, I have to listen to music. It’s a way of distracting me from my ragged breathing and any pain I might be feeling, the beat also keeps me going. Some of the music I use on my various running and turbo playlists is not at all what I would listen to on a day-to-day basis – it has a purpose; to motivate me. I associate certain tracks with activity (I have a pavlov’s dog type reaction when I hear Pendulum – I just want to run!) and rarely listen to them when I’m not running or on the turbo trainer. The music I use is varied, ranging from hard rock to dubstep to mainstream pop. What the tracks have in common are high BPM or soaring melodies.
I mentioned Pendulum above; I remember the first time I saw them perform. I was blown away by the music and the light show. Witchcraft, Watercolour and Propane Nightmares have all found their way onto my running playlist. The way they all start quietly and lift to thrashing drums and synths helps me speed up and maintain a good fast pace, the gorse and heathers of my local common a blur in my peripheral vision as I concentrate on keeping up with the beat.
Then there’s Britney’s Toxic. A good track for the front or back end of the running playlist. Steady, pulsating beat for warming up or down. The bass line played loud through headphones is awesome. Crazy in Love by Beyonce is another good pop tune I’m very happy to plod to. Rudimental’s Feel the Love is the sort of track you want to come on just as you are reaching the mid-point of that stubborn sandy hill that’s always such a bitch to get up.
Then there’s the heavier stuff; Clutch are a relatively recent addition to my running list. Their track X-Ray Visions is a fabulously noisy tune to get my arse up most hills, as is Fuckshovel’s Long Time Dead, originally introduced to me by Darcey’s Dad on RR. Drowning Pool’s Bodies is one that is great when you are gritting your teeth to just get through.
In terms of turbo training on my bike, it’s dubstep all the way. I love the undulating, off-kilter beats this sort of music offers. It means I can pedal at high cadence and then just as the track kicks in, get out of the saddle and grind out and imaginary hill. Skrillex and The Qemists both have great tracks for this sort of training.
I’ve put a little playlist together of some of these tunes for you to enjoy (?)
So, why am I telling you all of this? These are pretty much all tracks I wouldn’t listen to at any other time other than to train. I want to know your tracks you only listen to for a particular reason.
Yet again ‘Spillers I come to you to discuss this issue. What do you know about all of this? Do you have tracks that you train to, or that get your creative juices flowing? Are there tunes you need to listen to at work to help you concentrate? Do you have a favourite song that lulls you to sleep? If you are a performer, is there something you need to listen to before heading on stage; a musical lucky charm? What are your tracks you save for a particular purpose?