Without music, I would, undoubtedly, be a much fatter bastard.
While my stubbornness sends me on long runs when my common sense tells me otherwise, it is the noise that travels up my earbuds that is solely responsible for any level of personal fitness. Without massive guitar riffs or driving kick-drums screaming in my ears, I would not have the requisite courage to push through when my lungs are burning and legs are cramping. As such, I do not recommend trying any form of physical exertion without any musical accompaniment.
Furthermore, being a fairly accomplished geek, I am able to track my athletic performance quite accurately using a few choice pieces of software and a GPS. I compile data after every run and evaluate my strengths and weaknesses across a specific terrain. Only recently have I thought to evaluate my performance based on what song was playing during my run. Typically, I run to a shuffled playlist that I record following each run. Until now, I had never given much thought to song selection. Maybe I should.
Based on my findings, the following is scientific fact:
- Each one of these songs causes me to accelerate my pace
- Each song on this list makes me run faster than the one preceding it
- My pace decelerates immediately following the end of one of these songs (unless followed by a song higher on the list)
- I am 15% slower when I have no music.
Note: the actual meaning of the song is irrelevant in this context. Music is very utilitarian while exercising and is almost solely appreciated for its pace, beat, melody and aggression.
Without any further delay, here is my list of top 8 workout songs:
8. Lyla, Oasis
Perhaps the most surprising song on the list. The steady, driving beat is the perfect metronome for my stride. It keeps me on a steady and sustainable rhythm for more than 5 minutes. I am also the rare person who does not want to kill himself when listening to Oasis.
7. Firestarter, Prodigy
I become very aware of my breathing during the intro to the song. And it always becomes noticeably less laboured half-way through when the intro repeats.