A Successful Team Stays on the Same Beat


In case you missed it, the Bucknell women’s cross-country team won the 2015 Patriot League title in a commanding fashion, beating second-place team Navy 34-51. This is the team’s ninth title, and it provides awesome momentum for the program as we head into the track season. I wanted to catch up with my teammates after their incredibly successful season and talk about how music impacts their training and influences their race preparation. Check out some suggestions from the BUXC playlist if you’re looking for a little inspiration or motivation during your next run!

Grace is obsessed with “Homesick” by Catfish and the Bottlemen:


I pretty much listen to all/any of their songs on race days because they're really up-tempo and definitely good motivators! I’m also weirdly into Oasis right now. My favorite song by them is “Supersonic”.


Christine and Kate S. are both motivated by the Xaphoon Jones remix of Grouplove’s “Colours”:

In preparation for the League meet, we watched this video as a team. I listened to it again right before we got on the line at Leagues. I think that the lyrics relate well to the sport, and when I listened to it, I was better able to focus on the fact that I was running not as an individual, but as part of a team collective. – Christine O’Kane


Lizzie runs to an indie soundtrack:

I love listening to “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + the Machine before races, because in high school my teammates and I jokingly changed the lyrics and started singing it on a warm-up, which got us excited, and we ended up winning the meet. Ever since then it has remained a pre-race staple because its energetic beat complements my pre-race adrenaline well, and it helps that the lyrics include "run fast".



I also usually start my runs with “There Is No End to Love” by U2, because one day I noticed that U2's latest album had been freely downloaded on my phone, and figured I would try it out. I really like how it fades in, and then picks up before settling into a rhythm -- because that's very similar to how I view runs. Listening to it as I started summer runs through Manhattan made me feel temporarily invincible.


Chrissy focuses with “Beautiful Times” by Owl City:

This song isn't a usual pump-up song, but I love it before racing because it helps me zone out while also putting everything that is happening into perspective. It also brings out my inner religiosity, which is (sometimes) exactly what I need before I run.



Sarah gets pumped up with a mix of Carrie Underwood tracks and her current favorites:

I don't typically listen to music while training, but for me, music is definitely a pre-race necessity. I feel like the music both pumps me up and keeps me calm enough to not waste energy before my races. It's hard to pick a few songs because I don't always listen to one song, as I like to just listen to my favorite song at that time.


However, I usually listen to “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit and “Work This Body” by Walk the Moon. In general, my favorite artist is Carrie Underwood and I love listening to her, even before races.


Leigh Ann’s playlist is primarily hip-hop:

I listen to a lot of hip-hop and rap music, especially before races. In my opinion, hip-hop is so multi-faceted – between the beats, production and lyrical aspects, I really appreciate what the particular genre generates for the music industry. I like anything by Drake, but I think “10 Bands” taps into his mellow sound and catchy production.


Some other songs on my playlist are “Shabba” by A$AP Ferg and “No Role Modelz” by J. Cole:



Allison gets ready to race with a little Taylor Swift:

I always listen to “Change” before every race. I always have since high school because she wrote it for the Olympic Games. I thought it was very fitting before a race and inspirational and now it's always a part of my pre-race routine!


Deanna pushes through tough runs with a motivational playlist:

Everyone who has ever run is familiar with the uncomfortable tightness in your chest and the heaviness in your legs when you start to get tired. Even though I have been running competitively since middle school, those feelings still aren't something that I can really get used to; I merely tolerate them. In order to run fast and get through the pain of a hard workout or race, competitive runners have to master the art of distraction and I think that's where music is beneficial.


During training and races, we cannot just plug into our phones or iPods like the general public but instead we have to rely on memory. I constantly find myself mentally singing a song when I get tired just to keep me going and distracted until I finally get to cross that finish line. Before big races, I always listen to the same two songs:

I like “Marchin On” by OneRepublic because the lyrics remind me to just keep moving and "put one foot in front of the other" – it's a simple phrase, but when we’re running our heart out, we don't really have the mental capacity to have complicated thoughts; it's too tiring especially in a distance race, because you have a loooooong way to go. One of my best friends and teammates in high school showed this song to me, so I always associated the song with her – she was always really encouraging and mentally tough, so listening to it reminds me to follow in her footsteps both literally and figuratively.



I listen to “The Fighter” by Gym Class Heroes because I like the idea of being an underdog and proving everyone wrong – the song reminds me – no matter the circumstances of fatigue or frustration, which are both things that happen in a race – to keep pushing forward.



Kate’s pre-race playlist features feel-good picks that help her run happy:

Before races, I like to listen to feel-good music like “Say My Name” by Odesza and “Roses” by The Chainsmokers. I run because I love the sport and it makes me happy, so listening to music with a fun beat that makes me want to move reminds me of that instead of getting too overwhelmed by nerves or over-thinking the race plan.



Otherwise, I'd have to say my favorite song is “Might Not” by The Weeknd – my favorite artist. I'm obsessed with the smooth, seductive rhythm of his voice and the power he puts behind it. Listening to his music is perfect when I need to chill, unwind and let go of anything I'm stressed or worried about.


Huge thanks to my teammates for sharing their music. Images via the Bucknell Track/XC Facebook page.