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Cool runnings: 20 music must-haves for your next race

With the wintry and biting cold-ish weather coming to an end, it won’t be long before the sidewalks, the parks, the shorelines, and the off-road trails are teeming with members of California’s considerably active running community. And whether you’re gearing up for an easy-peasy 5K, an ambitious 10K, a what-was-I-thinking half-marathon (that’s 13.1 miles!), or the goal of all goals, the big kahuna, the distance reserved only for the disciplined and determined also known as the marathon* (26.2 miles), you will need all the help you can get to psych yourself up for the training prior to race day. And what better way to get the party started than with awesome tunage? Creating an effective soundtrack for running is a science – you have to have the right balance of old hits and new, with a fair mix of slow songs (so you still have some beats when you’re catching your breath) and up-tempo tracks (when you’re ready to show your fellow runners what your legs are made of). It’s also part math: You need to make sure your entire playlist is long enough time-wise to carry you to the finish line. Lastly, it’s an art – not only do you want your songs to have a catchy beat, you want them to have a lyric or a phrase with a message of sorts, one that makes you want to go and hit the ground running. Without further ado, here are 20 awesome anthems to get you properly amped for your run (Total Running Time: 1 hour, 14 minutes): *ultra-marathons are actually longer than marathons, in case you wanted to liquefy your legs ;-)

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