Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The obligatory pool-running tracklist post

[well, not really]

From time to time, people post lists of "great running songs", "good tempo songs", etc.  I've always been reluctant to do so, as I think music is very individual.

Assemblage 23's "I am the Rain" spoke to me deeply in the early days of my injury/pool-running saga, as I processed my frustrations with myself and my failed training.  But I'm guessing this track doesn't mean much to my pool-running buddies, or to anyone glancing at this blog.  And likewise, when others post tracklists to their blogs, most times it's meaningless to me -- just words on a page, not the compilation of feelings and emotions that they are to the original poster.

Music is very personal and individual.  What motivates me is noise to you.

That being said, there are a few tracks that come up on my iPod's shuffle function from time to time while pool-running that seem worthy of note.

  • The track that makes you certain your iPod is mocking you: Pretty much any track that references water, rain, oceans, drowning, etc... -- you never realize how many of them there are until you're pool running with your iPod on shuffle.   Rotersand's "By The Waters" does send me for a loop ("meet you by the waters/ To dance beneath the waves...")
  • Most surreally appropriate track: Pink Floyd - "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2" (best played while the high school kids walk to the end of the diving board and jump, one by one).
  • Most discordant track when using a pool in Arlington, VA: NWA - "Straight Outta Compton"
  • The track that the artist never envisioned you pool-running to, but probably wouldn't care: The Sex Pistols - "Anarchy in the UK"
  • The track that the artist never envisioned you pool-running to, and probably would be highly mortified: The Cruxshadows - "Marilyn My Bitterness"
  • The track that works remarkably well for pool-running: Dirty Vegas - "Days Go By"
  • The track that does NOT work at all for pool-running: Nine Inch Nails - "The Perfect Drug" (29/8 time signature and sections with a BPM of 269)
  • The track that you think at first will work for pool-running, but really REALLY doesn't: Moby - "Thousand"
  • The track that you probably don't want to start mouthing the lyrics to: Lords of Acid - "I Must Increase My Bust" (or anything by LOA)
  • The track that inspires you to push onward: The Shamen - "Move Any Mountain"
  • The track that you skip to, simply because it's so long that you should be done with your pool-run before it ends: Underworld - "Born Slippy (long)" (or anything by Rush)


  1. Hahaha. Love the commentary. You're right about music being completely individual though. I've never heard of most of these songs!

  2. oooh I love that moby song. but i guess not for pool running! sometimes i put floyd in my swimming mixes, it distracts me. love this post :)

  3. Katie -- you think it'll work at first, and it just keeps getting faster!

    Amy -- these WERE the mainstream tracks, for the most part (with the exception of A23, Rotersand, and the Cruxshadows, I consider all of those mainstream). Maybe I'm more out of touch than I thought?

  4. LOL on "The Wall" and the kids jumping off the diving boards!!! I made a list like this for swimming songs a few years back and have since then added "No Air" to the list. :-)

  5. This is too funny. I'm such a dork, I've got Glee and Bee Gees and too many other unmentionables on my pool running list, since it takes so long and I never ever update the music on my waterproof mp3 player.

  6. This is a great blog! I'm glad we got to meet on Sunday!