Get the Tunes on

Aloha, my wife tagged me in this picture today on Facebook:


and it scared me a little, I thought it was frightening.  I was also stuck out in the rain for a lot of today:

Disappointingly wet

I couldn’t stop marrying up the frightening aspect of the 150 days post with thinking about thunderbolts and lightning being very, very frightening due to being out in the rain and I made a note to stick that onto my running playlist.  Then I thought I may as well write a short blog about it – so here it is.  At the end I will try to ascertain what I would have on a 1 hour long running playlist.

Before I get going remember you can sponsor me here for the RNIB – a charity that does wonderful things for so many people.  You can also text SMTR76 £5 to 70070 to slip me a fiver – for the charity!

I often wonder what the best type of music is to run to, there are loads of differing opinions and lots of playlists available.  My first instinct is do go with a bit of rock music.  For starters I would look towards “Enter Sandman” by Metallica.  Ever since I saw WWE/ECW One Night Stand and The Sandman’s epic entrance I have associated this song with exercise and aggression and for some reason that helps me run!

It takes a while to get going  but it is worth it.  Another obvious one is Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills”, it seems a nice speed and motivates me well.

These were pretty cool blasting out at full blast as I jogged along but then I discovered the tremendous Leo Moracchioli.  He seems to do a load of pretty awesome metal covers of more mainstream songs.  I think he is touring Scotland soon, if it wasn’t a school night I would be there!  Here are his covers of “Africa” and “Mamma Mia” – honestly, they rock!

Enough of the metal though, anyone that knows me will know that I love my cheesy music, alas though, ,Build Me Up Buttercup doesn’t work for me!  Summer of 69 and Livin’ On A Prayer are alright but this song here:

has a pretty perfect beat to help me along.  I should have mentioned this in my podcast blog but I used to love listening to the Christian O’Connell breakfast show podcast, what a funny guy he was – with Richie too.  I could also have mentioned him in my blog about how running makes you feel because listening to that podcast every morning on the way to work helped take my mind off things that were worrying me – a colleague once asked me why I was so happy in the mornings – this guy’s breakfast show was the reason.  But anyway, he re-introduced me to Spagna, “Call Me” – I think he got into trouble for playing it once on Absolute Radio.  If you live in Melbourne listen to him on Gold 104.3 or here if you are elsewhere in the world (I listen on an app called Simple Radio.)

Classical music is also another interesting one.  I say this without a word of a lie but the following tune gave me a warm glow in the final kilometre of the parkrun when I got a PB.  A genuine, literal warm glow all over my body, it was weird!  It’s the music that the BBC use for the London Marathon:

Another inspiring and uplifting tune that I can’t find on Deezer anywhere is from the soundtrack of one of the best films ever – not Happy Gilmore but Remember the Titans.  It’s called “Titan Spirit” and would be on my playlist if I could find it.

These links are taking ages to appear so I will cut them out now!

Other music I find motivates me or helps me run include: “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac, “Stronger” by Kanye West, “Cum on Feel the Noize” by Quiet Riot and “Enemies” by Shinedown (another nod to the wrestling).  “Party Hard” by Andrew WK is perfect for the speed I run and “Everlong” by the Foo Fighters helps out.  For some weird reason my first song is always “Fascination” by Alphabeat – go figure!

One final link actually, I think this is a Glasgow or Scottish band but this tune is just so happy and catchy I couldn’t miss it out, it’s by Tom McGuire and the Brassholes – filmed under the M8 somewhere, give it a watch!

Anyway, here is my hour long playlist, let me know any other decent tunes I could get in there!

Running playlist – it would be on random so this isn’t the order.



What to listen to when running – Part 1 – a blog about running with nothing about running in it…


Something that I am fairly interested in is reading about running – and surprisingly little is written about what is good to listen to whilst you are running.  Maybe it’s not that important in the grand scheme of things but it is really important to me for a load of reasons.

The first question is whether to listen to anything at all or not..  If I am doing a race like the Glasgow 10k there is no way I will be listening to anything, I want to soak in the atmosphere and the cool choir at the top of St. Vincent Street, they are awesome.  I will definitely be going earphoneless during the London Marathon, no way I am missing out on any of the atmosphere of the day.  On training runs, parkruns and treadmill runs I will always have some kind of sound in my ears.

The second question is music or speech?  I would go speech every time, it serves as more of a distraction and the wrong type of music can get my wee legs moving too quickly and tire me out too soon!  Although there is a place for music at times.

But anyway, I am a massive podcast and audiobook fan.  They serve as the best distraction ever when out running.  Here are a few of my favourites:


Born to Run by Christopher McDougall – gee this is a great book.  It looks at Ultra Running, explores the physiological and some of the psychological aspects of running and is interspersed with some amazing characters like Jenn Shelton and Cabayo Blanco.  If you can read (or listen) to this book and not go for a run afterwards then there is something wrong.  I would have said that Christopher McDougall is responsible for a lot of the sales of running shoes in the world given the motivational message in his book but he puts forward a very good case for running barefoot…I was almost convinced myself.

Running: A Love Story by Dom Harvey – a book about a middle aged man who suddenly decides to lose weight and get himself fit by running (it could be me but I am 10 year behind him in terms of getting going!).  This again is an inspirational read/listen.  The whole concept of running for a time versus running for enjoyment is explored, again, I couldn’t wait to get my marathon training started once I read this.

Don’t Stop Me Now: 26.2 Tales of a Runner’s Obsession by Vassos Alexander – another late entrant into running, the author easily motivates and makes you want to get your legs moving!  He tells the story of the final 26 mile run leg of an iron man triathlon interspersed with other running stories and contributions from famous names in the running world about how they got started in running and what role running currently plays in their lives.

I really could have mentioned the 3 authors above in my last blog about who had inspired me but I wanted that to be more personal, these 3 men have helped me get out there when I otherwise wouldn’t have bothered, I would really recommend all 3 of their books – thanks a lot for writing them!!


I love podcasts – there, I have said it!  I spend about an hour and a half in the car every day, time that could be spent learning a language or catching up with current affairs, but I regularly use the time to become expert on wrestling, football and trivia.  Here are a few of my favourites.

Quickly Kevin, Will He Score? – 90s football podcast hosted by Josh Widdecombe, one of the funniest things you will hear.  I used to listen in the car but now save the podcast for some of the longer runs I go on, they are the perfect length for a 10k run.  People must think I really love running when I have such a big grin on my face, I am just enjoying the podcast so much though.

Fighting Talk – An old favourite.  A sporting panel show quiz type comedy affair.  Maybe not the best to run with as it makes me laugh too much and interrupts my breathing!  But these are the sort of thing you can listen to again and again.

Flintoff, Savage and the Ping Pong Guy  – I’m not sure how to describe this, part sporting, part philosophical, part comedy, these 3 people talk about all aspects of their lives and there are some quite strong motivational messages, especially from the Ping Pong Guy (Matthew Syed) who is especially interesting, listening to him gives you a belief in yourself and in the world.

Lineker and Baker – The new pod on the block.  Danny Baker has to be my favourite broadcaster ever, when I first discovered his original 606 show it hit me like a sledgehammer, it was my idea of perfection and I would tape them off the radio and listen to them all the time.  Him and Gary Lineker just sit and chat, it’s great!  So simple.  Danny Baker’s autobiographies could have been in the audiobook section of this blog as well but I would have been here forever.  Danny’s thick London accent keeps me going as I train to run around some of his old stomping grounds in April.

So, there we have it, a blog about running but nothing much about running in it!  I am going to do a parkrun tomorrow so I will write about that soon.  I flaming love parkruns!

What do others like to listen to when running anyway?  Anyone got any new ideas?

That’s it,