Questions For You Runnin’ Types

Tonight, I upped my game somewhat significantly and in fact unexpectedly — jumping from six minutes of running without stopping (and dying) to nine minutes without stopping (and dying). I attribute this in part to the inclusion of music, which got me amped up to keep running.

So, some questions for you Humans Who Run (yes, I’m prejudiced against robots, shut up):

a) What music do you listen to when you’re running?

b) I got a pair of Nike running shoes new (though on clearance) — though some folks say it’s worth investing in a real shoe. Like, ones actually designed to fit my wide-ass shovel-feet. Anybody got any suggestions for where to go to get that? Or any advice at all, re: shoes? SHOULD I RUN IN FLIP-FLOPS? DO THE COOL KIDS RUN IN CROCS? Are roller skates considered cheating?

c) Apps. What apps do you use for running? To track, to motivate, to whatever. Also, what appetizers do you like to eat while running? I am partial to gooey mozzarella sticks!

d) Dumb flailing monkey question — I’m running with headphones on and sweet jesus the headphone cords are trying to fucking kill me when I go. At a distance I must look like I’m jogging through a spider’s web — playing cat’s cradle with my headphone cable is not exactly energizing. This time I wrapped it around the phone and just… well, held the damn thing while I played music, but it’s not ideal.


Please provide me succor in these hard times or the tribe will burn me at the pyre.


  • Wow. I guess a lot of writers are runners. Good to know that I fit right in.

    There are a ton of great, helpful comments here but I’ll just throw my two cents in for funsies:

    – Music: I have to confess. When I’m running, I either want a) really high energy, fun, sort of terrible pop music, or b) really high energy, angry, sort of terrible pop music. So my playlist includes Mumford & Sons, Lady Gaga, P!nk, Imagine Dragons, Eminem, Alpha Rev, and Maroon 5, among others. Make fun if you like, but it works.

    – Shoes: I’m REALLY glad you asked about this. I’m a massage therapist in my day job, so I can’t emphasize how important it is to get the right shoes to for your feet. HUGE in injury prevention and general pain reduction, which, unless you’re secretly into lots of muscular pain, is a really good thing. I’m not sure where you live, but you want to head for a store that specializes in running shoes and exercise gear. Not all stores do this, but some train their staff on running, gait, and all of the different shoe options. In Boston, the best bets are Marathon Sports and City Sports. The staff should ask you how much you run, look at your feet, watch you walk and run, then give you shoes to try on and watch you run in all of them. It’s worth shelling out the $$ for this one.

    – Apps: I don’t use my phone, but I think I could. I have a Nike sport band and I love it, and Nike does have a whole web site that can track things for you if you’d like.

    – In warm weather (when I’m wearing minimal clothing), I wrap the cord around my hand a few times so that it doesn’t flap all over and give me whiplash. In cold weather, I tuck the whole damn thing under my top layer and let it sit there and look stupid, because then it doesn’t smack me across the face.

    Good luck!!

  • I usually go with holding my phone while I run, so I have nothing for you there. But as for music? It’s only only song, but “dethbed” by Alkaline Trio has the perfect cadence to it for when I’m starting out running after not running in a while. (Which is…every year.)

  • 1. Music – The music I listen too is unheard of indie bands from Australia and Britain. It works for me. I suggest you listen to music you love, that makes you feel alive. Whether it’s musicals, hard rock, or movie soundtracks. Listen to what wakes you up.

    2. Shoes – I love Asics. Nikes are the worst, in me and my runner friends opinion. Some guys love Brooks. I’d look for a local Road Runner where they analyze you running and ask lots of questions and help you find the shoe that works for you. If you don’t like the shoes, used or not, return them for a different pair.

    3. Apps – The nike app is not always accurate and lags. I love the Map My Run app.

    4. Annoying headphone cords – I run with my headphone cords inside my shirt and my iphone clipped to my hip (the most accurate position for the running app). They do have cordless headphones

    Good luck with running. I hated running when I started so my trainer suggested I run trails. I now love running.

  • I know this comment is late, but if you haven’t solved the earphones problem yet, try BlueBuds X bluetooth earbuds by Jaybird. BEST earbuds I’ve ever used and I’ve been running a long time and had a lot of earphones, headsets, whatever. They are a little pricy but they are well worth the money.

  • I will be honest, the app that addicted me to running was Zombies, Run! and its 5k trainer. It’s fun, it has a story, is essentially an audiobook that has music clips in between, and the story and characters are compelling enough for me to want to keep going. For a writer and a runner, it’s great.

  • a.) Audiobooks. Dey are my friend. Also rock: CCR, Pearl Jam, Metallica, ACDC, Guns N Roses, etc. Or you know, nothing. My writer brain likes to chatter while I run.

    b.) VIBRAM FIVE FINGERS. I hated running before I started wearing them, also I had horrendous knee problems. Minimalist shoes let your feet act the way feet are supposed to, the downside is you have to get used to them slowly. (Wearing shoes are sort of like putting your feet in casts, the muscles weaken and if you go crazy in the minimalist shoes you are likely to get hurt.)

    c.) I don’t really do apps. I got Zombies, Run! but that doesn’t track stuff and I haven’t got to play it yet.

    d.) My headphones have this little clippy doodad that keeps the cord from bouncing around too much.

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