Ever gotten to the start of the race and you have this nagging feeling you’ve forgotten something? You look at your transition set up: bike, shoes, helmet, check, check, check. You check your body: cap, goggles, body marking, yup, all there. Bathroom break? Check and check. Food? Yup. It’s time to head to the start line, but you just can’t shake the feeling like something is missing. Perhaps it’s just nerves. Or is it?
With all the training, gear organization and race prep that goes into triathlon it’s no wonder most triathletes overlook one of the most powerful tools in their gear box: the theme song. Yes, you heard me correctly. The theme song could quite possibly be the difference in your next race. The theme song is a powerful ally. Would Batman been able to fight crime without “na na na na na na na na Batman!”? Would Jaws have been so scary without “duu du duu du du du du du du du duuuu du?” Or would Mario found some many gold coins without “du du du dudududu du du du du du du du du du ?” I think not.
Unlike runners, triathletes can’t take iPods (or other mp3 players if such things still exist) on course so you need to learn to supply your own rhythm. But you can’t just pick any song and expect it to serve you the same results. There are careful considerations to make. Obviously for a race you want something upbeat. I don’t think you could expect your body to react to some Mozart or Michael Bolton. At the same time you should be careful not to choose something that increases your heart rate to hummingbird. I’ve tried the Pointer Sisters “I’m so Excited,” it’s a bit too quick. Maybe if you are 4’10” and have a resting HR of 89 it would work for you. Paying attention to lyrics is also important. In university I had a friend whose name rhymed with The Kinks song “Lola”. She thought that should be her awesome theme song. Umm, that song is about a transvestite.
The inspiration for a post about theme songs came from Pro-triathlete Jesse Thomas’s Wildflower race report. He gets it. Theme song is a must. He chose a gooder too. Thinking outside the box of typical theme songs with the Genesis classic “Invisible Touch.” Truly inspiring stuff.
Your theme songs can be ever changing, evolving. You can also have different theme songs for different parts of the race. For the swim perhaps you go with The Beach Boys “Surfing USA”, then out on the bike you settle into some 80s new wave and hum along to Wham’s “Wake me up before you go go.’ Finally moving onto the run you find a newer hit dance it out to Flo Rida’s “Club Can’t Handle Me.” Anything goes really. You should try for songs that you know most, if not all, of the words. There’s nothing worse than getting a chorus stuck in your head round and round for an entire day or week or longer.
I’ve had this song stuck in my head for about 7 months now. Click at your own risk.
Finally, don’t be afraid to sing your song out loud on the course. It’s probable that the spectators already think you are a nut case for just participating in triathlon so why not remove all doubt?
Sing on friends.
please note that non of the preceeding songs were used without permission. I really don’t see how some big music exec would care about little ole me.