Continuous steady state exercise for at least 60 minutes is the best way to burn fat and boost your metabolism, otherwise you’re only burning carbs. Studies have proven this.

High intensity intervals are the best way to burn fat and boost your metabolism, plus you train your body to store carbs as glycogen in the muscle. Studies have proven this.

Eat protein after exercise to restore, build muscle, and lean out. Don’t eat anything after working out if you want to lose weight. Eat carbs after working out to keep your metabolism high. Drink whey protein after working out to improve speed. Take L-Arginine. Don’t take L-Arginine. Drink coconut water. Eat a banana to avoid cramps. Don’t drink or eat for 60 minutes.

You didn’t wear shoes during that workout, did you?

Eat complex carbohydrates. Don’t eat any grains whatsoever. Increase your protein intake. Avoid animal products. Choose low-calorie options. Don’t think about calories. Reduce fat. Eat more fat. Do intermittent fasting. Never skip a meal. Lower your cholesterol by reducing saturated fats. Lower your cholesterol by reducing refined carbohydrates. Don’t eat after 6 PM. Eat a small meal every few hours. Use agave syrup instead of sugar. What the fuck is wrong with you, agave syrup is just as refined as high fructose corn syrup, and is that GLUTEN you’re eating?

Running is a wonderfully healthy natural activity that helps lower blood pressure and improves heart health, bone density, weight loss, and muscle strength. Running is a dangerously repetitive activity that suppresses the immune system, reduces flexibility, causes any number of injuries, and increases free radicals.

Paleo, vegetarian, gluten-free, soy-free, Zumba, CrossFit, low-carb, high-fat, low-fat, more fiber, less fiber, Vibrams, Shape Ups, 30 Day Shred, almond milk no SOY milk no rBST-FREE GRASS-FED ORGANIC DAIRY.


The bad news is there’s no easy, one-size-fits all answer, no matter what the books tell us. The good news is that there’s really no way to do it wrong. The only requirement is to keep trying.

In the last couple years I’ve learned a couple tricks for at least partially salvaging a run when everything feels like it’s going to hell. I can try and make a pitiful little game out of it and start leaping over cracks in the sidewalk and running on the bumpy grass alongside the trail. I can switch to intervals and do short bursts of sprinting followed by longer periods of gasping, eye-bulge-y walking. I can repeat a mantra over and over in my head until I get past the overwhelming sensation of wanting to stop and hail a cab.

Sometimes there’s nothing that can be done, the body just isn’t feeling it. I don’t know if Serious Running-Type People still experience this, but I sure do. It’s one of the maddening things about running, how one day you feel like you might just have this thing figured out and WATCH OUT BOSTON!—and the next time you get maybe one whole block away before your legs turn into cinder blocks and your lungs say “you know what, fuck this noise,” pull out tiny STRIKE signs, and start picketing your aorta.

Anyway, the single most important factor for me in non-suicidal running (aside from not wearing something that’s sliding down my hips or crawling up my ass) is music. An iPod loaded with newish-to-me tunes will almost always result in a good run.

The unfortunate thing about music is that it only works for a certain period of time. After listening to a song during three or four runs, it starts rapidly losing its magic. It’s the only thing that makes running somewhat of an expensive form of exercise, because I’m constantly trying to refresh my playlists in order to spend my tortuous pavement-pounding time blissed out on whatever’s in my ears instead of fiddling with buttons skipping through the lost-their-mojo songs.

Which is all to say, I’ve started running again and my iPod needs your help. I’ve asked for music suggestions before, and I plan to eventually collect every song that’s been recommended and publish a gigantor master list for everyone’s benefit—but for now, will you indulge me (again) and share your favorite get-up-and-move music? I’m partial to aggressive and/or dance tunes with a high tempo, but really, I listen to all kinds of stuff.

Here’s my running mix from November 2009, and the playlist I used during the marathon last April.

Currently, I’m running to:

Hello (Single Edit) • Martin Solveig & Dragonette
Chocolate • Snow Patrol
Come and Get It • Badfinger
No Man’s Woman • Sinéad O’Connor
Walk Like An Egyptian (Energy Remix + 190 BPM) • DJ ReMix Factory
End of the Line • The Traveling Wilburys
Gavotte from Orchestral Suite No. 3 – J.S. Bach • Various Artists
O Fortuna • Spiritual Project
Pro-Test • Skinny Puppy
Supernaut • 1,000 Homo DJ’s
100 Miles and Runnin’ • N.W.A.
Ready for the Floor (Album Version) • Hot Chip
Bulletproof • La Roux
You’re a Wolf • Sea Wolf
Rococo • Arcade Fire
White Blank Page • Mumford & Sons
We Used to Wait • Arcade Fire
Hey Boy Hey Girl • The Chemical Brothers
Got My Own Thing • Liz Phair
Telephone • Lady GaGa & Beyoncé
Sorrow • Bad Religion
21st Century (Digital Boy) • Bad Religion
Twin Cinema • The New Pornographers
Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo • Bloodhound Gang
Disturbia • Rihanna
So Bad • Eminem
Untitled • Eminem
Crack a Bottle • Eminem, Dr. Dre & 50 Cent
Furr • Blitzen Trapper
Loud Pipes • Ratatat
Montanita • Ratatat
The Ghost Inside • Broken Bells
Your Man • Down With Webster
Last Resort • Papa Roach
Click Click Boom • Saliva

(Here’s an iMix link of the above list, if you’re interested.)

Okay! Hit me with your best song. My lungs thank you in advance.

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