Chilled Synth Running List

This is a response to Eve Emilie’s comment on my post Mid-week Run:

“Wishing you all the best in overcoming these challenges! I would love to find out what songs you enjoying running along to- it would be an interesting blog post to write listing your favorite ones!”

But before I begin, I would encourage you to visit her blog where she gives a thoughtful list of songs that have inspired her in 2017.

I posted about my Zombies, Run! inspired playlist before.

This is a very different playlist, designed on a whim for a chilled evening run:

  • Running Up That Hill – I used to think Kate Bush was a bit of a one-hit-wonder who only did Wuthering Heights in the late 70s, but my brother has been telling me that she’s worth listening to for years; it turns out she’s got an incredible back catalogue and a bit of a cult following as an experimental artist. I particularly enjoyed her latest album, Fifty Words for Snow. It has one or two overly pretentious moments in my opinion but it’s worth it for the overall beauty of her jazzy piano and vocals. Running Up That Hill is right up my street because it is a classic laid-back 80s synthesizer track from Kate’s Hounds of Love album, with a great vocal and unusual lyrics.
  • All In One Night – this isn’t really synth heavy or anything but the general mood of this song just seems to fit the playlist. It’s from the latest album by the Stereophonics. (Quick Stereophonics story: I saw them at the Isle of White festival 2004, which was also one of David Bowie’s last ever concerts, and they were fantastic. The only trouble with that festival was that the music stopped after 11pm, so we made a camp fire and I kept getting passed a guitar, so one of the guys we were camping with gave me what he said was Kelly Jones’ plectrum at the end of the weekend for “entertaining us all festival long”.)
  • Push The Sky Away – this is the final track on the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds album of the same name. It builds slowly and creates a lot of atmosphere: “And if your friends think that you should do it different, and if they think that you should do it the same, you’ve gotta just keep on pushing, and keep on pushing and push the sky away.” This is definitely not a song that will get your heart rate up, but I like it.
  • The City – just in case that last song put me to sleep, mid-run, this really changes up the pace. My favourite album by Patrick Wolf remains Wind In The Wires, but this song from Lupercalia is just so joyfully exuberant.
  • Heartbeats – this is the original version by The Knife. The Jose Gonzalez cover is truly beautiful but this is a great track in its own right.
  • Only This Moment – quite a cheesy, poppy song in many ways, this is by the band Royksopp and does the rounds on coffee shop sound systems but I like it. (Then again, I am someone who still digs Faithless in 2018!)

That’s it – the playlist is a work in progress. Suggestions to expand the selection are more than welcome!


Today’s run/upcoming 2018 events

In order to understand my approach to running, and some of the decisions I make around it, there’s something you need to know about me: I am an idiot.

To make matters worse, I have a running buddy who is also an idiot.

Now we’ve cleared up that little piece of exposition, we can continue with today’s post…

…I haven’t run any distance longer than 6k since the end of October. On top of that, the outings on those 6k days could be better described as more of a gentle walk-jog than a run; there is no doubt that my fitness and endurance have dropped.

Fast forward to Christmas and my running buddy asked for race entry to the Farnborough Winter Half Marathon, which takes place on 21st January. I asked him whether he was ready for a half marathon (because I knew he was in a similar position to me with training), and he replied: “I’ll wing it!”

Cool, I thought, I didn’t realise “winging it” was a legitimate half marathon strategy. I’ll do that too! So I promptly signed up as well.

The week before Christmas I decided that if I started picking up the distance gradually, I could maybe pull it off with five weeks of practice runs and a one week taper to ease off. But, as anyone who’s ever tried to sustain any kind of fitness program for any length of time knows, life often gets in the way unexpectedly.

And that’s exactly what happened to me. I promptly got sick with a virus the week before Christmas. It only really lasted a few days (Monday through to Wednesday) but hung around for days afterwards. I braved a run on Sunday (Christmas Eve) and found that I was very out of breath, struggling through a 5k.

I did another small run on Boxing Day but didn’t bother again until New Year’s Eve because I was partaking in seasonal festivities. So essentially, two weeks were lost.

I have been picking up the smaller distances again this last week, and pushed for a 7k yesterday but today I needed to get a long run in.

The goal was 12k.

I set out before breakfast as my motivation was very low and I didn’t want to delay for anything as I was afraid I would give up and not bother at the slightest excuse.

As it’s a Sunday, “before breakfast” meant 9am – let’s not get too over excited!

To my great surprise, considering how reluctant I was to get out the door, it was quite enjoyable! I was slow (1hr20), and felt tired by the end, but I think both of those things are to be expected with no fuel in the tank.

I set out with gentle music, a playlist I started putting together last night called “chilled synth running” (very eighties influenced and very different from my Zombies, Run! playlist).

There was a lot of sun for a winter’s day as well. (The featured image at the top of the post is a photo I took by the river.) The paths were muddy and trying to navigate some of the flooded parts probably slowed my time down even further, but all I was really after today was the distance because I currently have no confidence in my ability to complete 21k in two week’s time.

I also kept stopping to take photos.

Someone fly-tipped a bunch of pallets and a sofa, and I thought that would make a cool shot as well:


I should have the foundation to run 18k next weekend now. The trouble is, this is where it starts to get complicated: I am due to climb a mountain in Wales next Sunday as part of the training for the Three Peaks Challenge in May, so I will have to get my long run in on Friday somehow; I don’t want to be having two challenging days back to back if I can help it.

But this is how it’s going to be for the next few months – trying to balance two different sets of training, so I may as well get used to it!






My Running Playlist

I have been using the same shitty headphones for a long time (see above). Sorry Sony, I know you’re meant to be good, but this is a loser-product, barely audible at times and frequently cutting out in one ear.

I don’t know why it took me so long to replace them but I am guessing it’s something to do with the overwhelming range of products available. On top of that, I wanted to take my time and make a better choice.

So now I have a new pair of wireless headphones that I have been loving in my last few gym sessions, I thought it might be time to write about music and running.


I am into lots of different types of music and when I was younger, I used to have a five speaker surround-sound stereo that I bought with money from my part-time job. I used to be quite anti-social with it. Back in the early noughties, it was still all about stereos, and everyone used to talk about sub-woofers a lot. The i-pod classic was still in it’s infancy.

These days, I try to be more considerate towards both my neighbours, and my long term sense of hearing.

That is, apart from when I go running. It is on runs that I sometimes really let loose and blast my ears.

Which brings me to my playlist. I actually have several, but this is the first one I made for Zombies, Run! about a year ago. The idea behind this playlist is that it’s a soundtrack to being chased by zombies.

And yes, this is a post I would really encourage you to comment on. Let me know whether I could get away with playing that shit in public, as suggested by irunelite. Tell me I’m a philistine, or point me towards a new band.

Either way, I would really like to hear some opinions on this one (not least of all because this post is little more than a thinly veiled attempt to crowd-source an expanded playlist!)

  • Never Let You Go (Rudimental, featuring Foy Vance)
  • Watercolour (Pendulum)
  • Invaders Must Die (The Prodigy)
  • Mystery Fish (Aesop Rock)
  • Wait and Bleed (Slipknot)
  • Duality (Slipknot)
  • Empty (Garbage)
  • Turn (Therapy?)
  • Vampire Love (Ash)
  • Broken Home (Papa Roach)
  • Too Late (Dead By Sunrise)
  • Sunburn (Muse)
  • Rise Of The Eagles (The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster)
  • How You Remind Me (Nickelback)
  • Mayhem (Halestorm)
  • Not LivingĀ  (Coal Chamber)
  • Let Me Know (No Wyld)
  • Silent So Long (Emigrate)
  • Spit Out The Bone (Metallica)
  • Waiting All Night (Rudimental ft. Ella Eyre)

Now I’m off to run a race that doesn’t allow headphones!