Soundtrack Of My Life: Running Songs

Let me start off by saying that I hate running. I used to say unless there was someone chasing me or a big bag of money across the street, I wasn’t moving these gams for no one.

Then I hit 30 — and my metabolism plummeted. I quickly learned if I didn’t want to turn into a big ball of mush, I would need to put aside my problems with jogging and learn how to fly like the wind.

After investing in a supercute outfit, shiny new trainers and fancy pedometer, I turned my attention to the most important part of my cardiovascular mission: making a high-energy playlist. I spent hours testing the BPMs, counterpoint textures and ascending rhythm of chord progressions to make sure I compiled the most high-energy songs possible. Finally, I was equipped with everything I needed to run circles around Carmelita Jeter.

I’d love to tell you that I run 10 miles every day and am currently training for the New York Marathon. Unfortunately, I’d be lying. In the past year, I can count the times I’ve gone jogging on one hand — and three fingers, if you want to get technical. I can say that I listen to my running mix all the time, though. It’s the greatest soundtrack for bedroom dance parties. (Hell, those have gotta burn some calories, right?)

That’s why you should do as I say; not as I do. So, if you’re looking to raise your heart rate and log some miles on the concrete, I suggest you load up your music player with songs from CSS, Daft Punk, The Sounds and Shiny Toy Guns.

Finally, learn more about me and all my musings by visiting my website and following me on Twitter (@redpatterndress).

+ Check out my “Running Songs” picks after the jump.

1.) CSS’ “Jager Yoga”: I was always a fan of “Let’s Make Love And Listen To Death From Above,” but I didn’t really get into the Brazilian electro-pop band until I heard their sophomore album, Donkey. I was instantly hooked from the kickoff drum beats on “Jager Yoga.” The upbeat synth-rock melodies are inspiring enough, but the lyrics provide an even bigger spring to my step. (Ex. “We didn’t come in to the world to walk around/We came here to take you out.”) When this song comes through my headphones, I become unstoppable — at least for 3-and-a-half minutes. Then I usually have to stop, hold on to a tree and drink a lot of water.

Listen to “Jager Yoga”

2.) Daft Punk’s “Digital Love”: When it comes to running, you really can’t go wrong with any Daft Punk song, but I prefer “Digital Love” because of its sunny sentiment and twangy breakdowns.

Listen to “Digital Love”

3.) The Sounds’ “Queen Of Apology”: I first saw The Sounds in 2003 when they played the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland. They were a relatively unknown Swedish band that was making the rounds with music critics, and I was excited to see what all the hype was about. I was standing against the wall in the back of the room, minding my own P’s and Q’s, when I heard a selective hush fall over the meager crowd and then saw a mass of people migrate from the front entrance to the back bar. Seeing that I’m a Nosey Parker, I casually made my way into the bar, too, and surveyed the area for what — or who — was causing all the commotion. It was then that I set my eyes on Dave Grohl, who was a fan of the band and decided to stay for their gig after playing a concert downtown the night before. What does all this have to do with my running mix? Well, when I rock this song, I imagine that I’m a Foo Fighter, trying to escape an overzealous mob of Clevelanders. Works every time.

Listen to “Queen Of Apology”

4.) Shiny Toy Guns’ “Le Disko”: I was always bummed that Shiny Toy Guns never really took off. Sure, they were nominated for a Grammy, but they played musical chairs with their singer — first it was Carah Faye Charnow, then it was Sisely Treasure and now it’s Carah Fay Charnow… again — which kinda slowed down their momentum. I’m hoping that the newest incarnation of the group (and the band’s anticipated third album, III) will blast the band into the pop-music stratosphere, but in the meantime, I always run like a rocket when I cue up “Le Disko.”

Listen to “Le Disko”