Sound Bites: Pack Some Punch Into Your Playlist

Posted by Filed Under: Music/MP3/Playlists

forrest gumpYou know it’s time to spice up your playlist when you can sing all the way through it without the iPod.

I was going to begin by espousing the benefits of running with music. But as I began putting together my opening arguments, it felt like I was opening up a can of worms. Suffice it to say, if you are one of those runners who doesn’t run with music, then you might want to skip this article. However, I have to warn you. You’ll be missing out on something revolutionary, a new idea that will someday replace the words “sliced bread” in that well-known little saying.

OK, maybe I sound like a late night infomercial, but this is not just another collection of motivational songs for your playlist. What could I possibly have to say about playlists that hasn’t already been said? Read on.

The idea came to me while watching Top Gun. Maverick and Goose had just completed a training mission and, as they walked across the tarmac, they turned to each other and said in unison, “I feel the need, the need for speed!” Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 25 years, you probably know the quote. I’ve seen the movie a hundred times, but it wasn’t until watching it this last time that it occurred to me that this would be a good mantra to remember while struggling through intervals on my next run. Then I had an epiphany; not only would it be good to remember, it would be a pace-popping, speed-inducing sound bite to add to my playlist.

Since then, I have added numerous movie sound bites to my iPod and, despite the fact that they are usually less than 20 seconds long, they are often more motivational than my favorite songs. “Highway to the Danger Zone” finishes and then Maverick and Goose break in with “I feel the need, the need for speed!” Copy that, Ghost Rider.

You probably have “Eye of the Tiger” or some other music from the Rocky movies on your playlist, so why not follow it up with Mickey (Rocky’s trainer) telling you, “you’re gonna’ eat lightnin’ and you’re gonna’ crap thunder!” Sports movies often have great quotes that you can use, especially if the coach is being portrayed as a great leader. Take the following conversation from Remember the Titans:

Coach Boone: What are you?
Team: [Yelling] Mobile, agile, hostile!
Coach Boone: What is pain?
Team: French bread!
Coach Boone: What is fatigue?
Team: Army clothes!
Coach Boone: Will you ever quit?
Team: No! We want some mo’, we want some mo’, we want some mo’!

If the slow Southern drawl doesn’t impede your speed, then you could even use the following quote from Forrest Gump: “Now you wouldn’t believe me if I told you, but I could run like the wind blows. From that day on, if I was ever going somewhere, I was running!”

It doesn’t even have to be a good movie to have a good sound bite. Take the movie Any Given Sunday. Al Pacino plays a football coach who delivers the following as part of his passionate half time speech: “The inches we need are everywhere around us. They’re in every break of the game, every minute, every second. On this team we fight for that inch. On this team we tear ourselves and everyone else around us to pieces for that inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch. Because we know when we add up all those inches, that’s gonna make the [censored] difference between winning and losing!”

Sports movies aren’t the only place to find good sound bites. Who wouldn’t be inspired by Maximus in Gladiator telling his soldiers, “what we do in life, echoes in eternity!”? Perhaps just hearing a quote from your favorite movie, whether it’s inspirational or not, will help you up over that next hill. Maybe the sound bite that works for you is “Houston, we have a problem.” Hey, I’m not here to judge.

Perhaps you’re a parent of young kids and the only movies that you have time for nowadays are of the animated variety. Fear not. There are plenty of sound bites in kid’s movies that can help you. Off the top of my head, I can think of three. In Cars, you have “Speed. Faster than fast, quicker than quick. I am Lightning”; in Finding Nemo, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming”; and Toy Story, has “To infinity… and beyond!” Yes, those were off the top of my head and yes, I’m a parent of young kids.

Are you a morning runner? What better way to start off your early morning run than with “Gooooood morning, Vietnam!” The possibilities are endless.

If you’re interested in downloading sound bites for your playlist, the best sites that I’ve found are and Download your sound bites to your computer in a .wav or .mp3 format and then use the import feature under the file menu of iTunes to move them onto your iPod. Happy running until the next time. Or, should I say “Hasta la vista, Baby”?

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About Ian

Hello, my name is Ian and I'm a runner. After several years of promising to train for and run the Bolder Boulder 10K I finally signed up for it in 2005 with zero training under my belt. Shocked that I was slower than I thought I should be, I made it my goal to be faster the following year. I'm still not as fast as I should be, but I have been a runner ever since. I believe in quality miles over quantity of miles. I believe that you have to run faster in order to run faster, and I believe that I can. I believe in the Garmin. I believe in motion control and that I have an unhealthy addiction to running shoes. I believe in carb loading and tapering, even before a 5K. I believe I’ll never need to buy another t-shirt ever again. I live to run and I run for the post race spread, where the free food and drink flows like milk and honey, and sometimes even includes milk and honey.

  1. Toufeeq Hussain on March 11th at 3:28 am

    Try this song if you can isolate the audio-track from the Youtube video.

    It’s by Fatboy slim and the song interlaced with Lance’s training footage is just perfect for the ‘need for speed’.

  2. Sarah on March 11th at 4:38 am

    You are really on to something Mr. sliced bread! I found myself thinking about Forrest the other day when my run was on the tready was getting stale. I am so going to try this with my iPod. Thanks!

  3. Mom On The Run on March 11th at 5:37 am

    One day I just started runnin’…. LOL! Thanks for the tip!

  4. Duff on March 12th at 7:47 am

    This is great. I thought I was the only one with the Rocky Sound Track as a read only file on my MP3 player. The Superman theme works real well as well. I tend to get quotes from the Matrix. I am not sure why and it is usually not on purpose. They still work.
    Beware of Pulp Fiction sound bites. There are a lot gun shots in them and it can be unnerving when out running in not so nice neighborhoods.
    I have got to try the sound bite thing more often. Also, I would recommend that the windows sounds be avoided. It is a little odd to get dinged at when running.

    Duff’s last blog post..The Lonely Foot Print

  5. nic on March 12th at 12:41 pm

    heh heh

    “I’m a loner Dottie, a Rebel…”

  6. Marathon Mama on March 16th at 12:35 pm

    Brilliant! I think I’m going to get my son to record, “You have a big bottom, Mommy!” to keep me motivated while I’m out there. He seems to say it often, so I should have plenty of opportunities to record it.

  7. Jeanne on March 16th at 4:03 pm

    you rock.

  8. Emma on March 17th at 6:31 am

    What an excellent idea – and it has also inspired me to do something similar to an idea I had a few years ago but was too lazy to bother trying…

    As a musician with a pretty well equipped home studio, I may go and download some of these clips and incorporate them into an entire track, with an upbeat tempo to suit my running pace!

    Thanks for the idea!

    Emma’s last blog post..RTFM

  9. RunColo on June 3rd at 11:02 am

    That Fat Boy Slim song you speak of is called “Acid 8000” on my playlist (running).