Day 114: Running Music

Is running music a crutch? As a fan of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, this snippet with Captain Holt haunts me:


Because I have had exactly that thought. While exercising. Also while not exercising, I suppose.

I’ll hit a bad song that doesn’t really work in the moment and think “I should take this out of rotation.” Then I think “why?” And then I think “Should I need this in the first place?” Followed by “is running music a crutch? Am I weak?”

And so on.

But I love running music. Hell, I love everything with music. Working. Walking. My wife and I sleep with music as background noise. It just makes things… better.

The problem is that it gets stale, right? I have… let me check… 91 songs in my workout mix. I sync it to my phone (yo, Plex!) and hit random. Probably 10 of those songs are new this year. Most of them go back a while. Some go back a decade.

But a good workout song is, forgive me, hard to find. It has to have a beat, first of all. A hook is good. Intelligible lyrics or no lyrics at all. And for the most part, it has to be fun. That’s a hard one to quantify. There’s a lot of Scissor Sisters in my running mix DNA. I’m looking into Jungle and 2 Bears right now. Proto-disco is where my head’s at for running music, I guess.

Running music isn’t good for anything else

A good indicator that I’ve found a running music song is I don’t want to use it for anything else. I can’t work to it, I can’t cook to it. It’s just too exercise-y.

But the “crutch” question is interesting. Am I developing a dependency? I’ve had my phone and/or headphones die in mid-run before, and it does make for a kind of gruelling slog back. If I want to start getting back into distance — real distance — should I also start weaning myself off the music?