Music can be a very key component to any athlete’s training and competition. Whether you’re just trying to make the time tick by a bit faster on long training days, getting your mind right in the gym to attempt that higher higher rep lift, or blocking out all distractions to bring your mind to focus the morning of the big competition you've been working towards, music can be critical to your mental success as much as your physical training.
I always train with music, always have headphones in warming up at races, and usually am plugged in even just walking around between classes. Listening to anything from Punk Rock to Electronic Drum and Bass, each genre is a key component for whatever I’m doing that day. If it’s any sort of steady workout such as running (be it stadium stairs or just conditioning runs) or long steady rides for base miles, I go with genres such as Trance, Bass, and House. Steady, pumping music that keeps my breathing or pedal stroke steady and ticks the time by much faster than trying to do those days with just ambient noise. For more aggressive riding such as intervals or power tests, I jump to genres like Hardstyle, Drum and Bass, Dubstep, or more aggressive Rock music. The high BPM’s keeps the heartrate up and the intensity levels high in order to finish out each interval better than the last. In the gym I revert to Rap, Trap, and Rock/Punk Rock. Not necessarily needing to be fast paced songs but the aggression is still there for lifting heavy weights. Finally, since I can’t actually race with music, I listen to music for as much time as possible leading up to the race that day. Starting off with Electronic Trap for pump up and focus, and graduating to faster and faster electronic music through the warm-up until one song really sticks out to me. That song gets put on repeat so it’s stuck in my head all through the race. It usually ends up being a fairly catchy, Pop Electronic song that keeps the mood positive and the race pace high.
Check out below for a playlist sample of all the various genres I’ve covered. These are all songs I regularly listen to through any of the training and racing I do.