Flying 40s and a playlist that won’t make your ears bleed

I recently found a new intervals workout that I’ve been really enjoying and feel like I’m already reaping some benefits from in just a couple of sessions. It’s called the “Flying 40s” and is part of this great Bicycling article on intervals training for strength and endurance. You push hard for 40 seconds, rest for 20 and repeat 10 times. That’s one set. Rest for 5 minutes in between and then repeat 3 more times.

The Flying 40s. Do four sets of these in a medium to big gear and you'll definitely feel it.

I’ve been doing intervals fairly consistently from the start of my training, but I like these a bit more than the rides that I was doing since they really focus on short burst and quick recovery, which is something I’ve probably neglected a bit in the past few months. Plus, they are perfect for those times when I only have a short time to ride, especially when I’m on the trainer and can break out a playlist to accompany the ride.

That brings me to the second half of my post, what makes a great workout playlist. Before I get into this I feel the need to explain something. I have one rule about music to accompany a workout: much like the cardinal rule about only cooking with wine that you’d drink, I can’t workout to music that I wouldn’t listen to normally. It’s the main reason I can’t workout at a gym or go to a spin class. Music isn’t just background noise that can be ignored or a beat to keep time to while doing something else. A lot of people don’t understand this, and I’m not really sure how to explain it without sounding like an ass, but I just like it the entire experience of music better then you do (from discovering something new, buying the physical product, taking in the artwork, listening to it, savoring it, dissecting “what it means,” and then starting the whole process over again.)

I’ve said this before, but I associate pretty much event or person I’ve met with a song, album or group. Literally everything. I can barely remember most people’s name when I meet them, but can remember what song was playing in the background when I did. I forget pretty much everybody’s birthday in my family, but can tell you that Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac was playing at the restaurant at the Marriott the day that we first met my son in Guatemala City. Basically, if I know you or have ever met you, I probably associate you with a song or group. Just like relationships in general, sometimes it’s a casual association, sometimes it is more intense than that. Maybe it’s a song that was played a concert that we went to or an album I recommended that you buy or a song that your name appears in the lyrics. (If you ever ask me what your song or group is, I may or may not tell you. Fair Warning.)

People have called me a music snob, which I don’t deny, but at least I’ve mellowed a lot as I’ve gotten older. I used to defend my view of what was “good” with terminal intensity, which is rarely healthy or a great way to make friends and influence people. In the old days I used to do things like commandeer people’s radio in their own car during trips, throw tapes that I didn’t like out the window in disgust, insist on being de facto DJ at parties, leave stores that I was in simply because I couldn’t stand the music, and, allegedly, harass a DJ at the old Pterodactyl Club in Charlotte to the point where the words “security” and “remove” were uttered, simply because he refused my 200 or so requests to play the proper Smiths song.

I don’t do that anymore, but the biggest challenge in my road to recovery is Facebook. Seeing a “Person X is listening to Horrible Band Y” status update is tailor made for a snarky comment, but quite frankly, what business is it of mine what anybody is listening to? I can’t always resist, but it’s a work in progress and at least I admit I have a problem. Baby steps.

Anyway, after that 400 to 500 word digression (another problem of mine, I know), here’s the “Workout Playlist That Won’t Make Your Ears Bleed.” Most of these tunes come from the Jump Around Tunes playlist I have out on Spotify.

Dashboard – Modest Mouse

Deceptively funky, with the sweet guitar sounds of the great Johnny Marr.

September – Earth, Wind, and Fire

There’s nothing deceptive about this one. Impossible to sit still during this one.

Gangster Trippin – Fatboy Slim

Really, any Fatboy Slim tune will do ya, but this is my favorite.

Sabotage – Beastie Boys

Save this one for a hill climb

Get Off This – Cracker

Picking up speed now.

Daft Punk is Playing At My House – LCD Soundsystem

Locked in and cruising.

White Riot – The Clash


England – The National

Ok, cool down and then a slow build.

I Predict a Riot – Kaiser Chiefs

Building to a sprint to the end.

Idioteque – Radiohead

Time to turn it loose and go bat**** crazy

The Whole of the Moon – The Waterboys

Bring it home strong.

There you go. The original playlist has about 50 more songs, but that would make for an awfully long post.  What did I miss?



Posted on March 17, 2012, in Cycling, Music and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Several years ago, Stuart introduced me to The Waterboys, and I never looked back. Best roadtrip music ever.

  2. Now I need to know what my song/group is. And you need to tell me. Cuz I said so. Go ahead. You can tell me if it’s Cherry Pie.

  1. Pingback: Recipe for two of the worst rides ever « Biking My Mass Off

  2. Pingback: What I have learned from a year of cycling « Biking My Mass Off

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