For those who, like me, need serious distractions in order to run.
Here’s the thing: I kind of hate running. But for some reason, unbeknownst to even me sometimes, I do it. To date, I’ve surprised myself by doing two half marathons (would’ve been three, if not for a pesky broken ankle) and a few smaller races, and am now training for my third.
But, in order to get through my training runs, I absolutely need to be distracted; and one of the best distractions is music. Old-school music, in particular, has proven to be very effective for me. I imagine it’s the combination of nostalgia (What grade was I in when this song came out? OMG this reminds me of that one time…) and pure joy at hearing old favorites that does the trick. Here, I bring you my—extremely random—throwback playlist (it’s mostly from the 90s) bound to keep you distracted and euphoric enough to finish your workout and get to brunch.
“I Want You” by Savage Garden
The first time this came on a random Spotify playlist I was listening to while running, I got so happy that I actually started to dance a little. While running. I mean, seriously, how can you not love the ‘chica cherry cola’ song (which for many years I thought was ‘chicken cherry cola’)?
“This Is Your Night” by Amber
Mentally transport yourself from the running path to the most fun middle school sleepovers ever with this one.
“One Week” by Bare Naked Ladies
If you didn’t love this song when it came out, I don’t understand you. It’s just so damn catchy! Aside from that, trying to mentally sing along to that one really freaking fast part (mumbling until ‘vanilla it’s the finest of the flavors’ does not count) while running is quite possibly the most ultimate distraction.
“Ready, Steady, Go” by The Meices
I only know this song from the movie, Empire Records, which is one of the greatest movies ever but somewhat unknown, so I don’t actually know if the song was ever that popular. But it’s intense enough to get you moving.
“Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson
I can’t make a throwback playlist without including at least one MJ song. This one just makes me feel kind of badass.
“Right Now” by Van Halen
If for no other reason than the insanely long intro is, in my opinion, right up there with “Eye of the Tiger” as one of the greatest pump-up tunes.
“Basket Case” by Green Day
Something about Green Day just makes me want to speed everything I do up by 10 times. Including running.
“Ready to Go” by Republica
Again, a classic pump-up jam. Inspiring on so many levels. You can’t not be ready to go when listening to “Ready to Go.”
“Sugarhigh” by Coyote Shivers
Another Empire Records jam (What can I say? It was a great soundtrack). Listen to it and envision that sugar high you’ll be on after consuming the four slices of challah french toast you’ll definitely have earned after this workout.
BTW, the version of “Sugarhigh” in the movie is even better. Complete with Renee Zellweger, pre face-change. See for yourself:
“I Want You Back” by Jackson 5
Give yourself a break from angsty 90s music with this one. It’s just joy-inducing.
“Buddy Holly” by Weezer
This one’s all about the nostalgia; it was just one of those great, weird-but-awesome-and-catchy 90s songs.
“It’s The End Of The World As We Know It” by R.E.M.
Here’s another try-to-sing-along-with-the-insanely-fast-lyrics song. Your brain will be so focused on attempting to keep up that you might actually forget you’re running.
“Push It” by Salt-N-Pepa
Getting tired? Feeling like giving up? Salt-N-Pepa will change that that. Just do what they say and Push It, dammit.
“Higher Ground” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
The beats in this song remind me of a bouncy ball, literally bouncing off the walls of a big room without ever slowing down. Embrace the beat; be that ball of energy.
Listen to this playlist on Spotify: