Just had two weeks off the bike on sunny Isla Mujeres, Mexico, so was excited to ride tonight.  This is my latest playlist, a melange of some of the songs I’m enjoying at the moment.  All have appeared on the blog before.

Without You (feat. Usher) – David Guetta and Usher (3:28): Warmup.

Brand New Chick – Anjulie (3:32):  8 count jumps for the verses and 4 count for the choruses; medium tension (5/10).

We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris) – Rihanna (3:36): Rolling hills, out of the saddle.  Start with tension at about 50% of your max (5/10) and do two or three small increases every 15-30 seconds, then ramp it down the same way.  There should be time for two small hills.

Niton (The Reason) (Radio Edit) – Eric Prydz (2:45): Five minutes (two songs) of tempo ride, no break between them.

Find Yourself (Radio Edit) – John O’ Callaghan (2:32): Second half of the tempo drill.

U and Ur Hand – P!nk (3:34): Let’s veer into rock and do some sprints: 30/30/60 seconds, at the choruses.

What a Night (DJ Kontrol Journey Mash) (feat. Claude Kelly) – Kontrol & L’il Jon (3:34):  One of my favourite mashups from Dirty Mexican Lemonade.  Let’s do some jumps: 8/4/2 counts, one minute each.

Summer Rain (Alex K Klubbed Up Mix) – Slinkee Minx (6:08): A combo climb: seated, aggressive, regular, standing jog (30 seconds of each).  You’ll have time for three sets.

Barbra Streisand (Original Mix) – Duck Sauce (4:57): Recover for the first minute, then move into some high tension (7/10) jumps: 8 counts (90 seconds), 4 counts (90 seconds), 2 counts (to the end of the song)

Cobrastyle (feat. Mad Cobra) – Teddybears (3:00): A seated climb, adding tension at 0:35, 1:15, and 2:00.

Are You Gonna Be My Girl? – Jet (3:37):  Grueling seated sprints, 30 seconds on, 15 off.  Did I mention it’s the beginning of a three-song sprint fiesta?

Professional KillerKMFDM (4:34):  More sprints: 15/15/30/30.  They’re at 1:04 – 1:20, 1:52 – 2:08, 2:40 – 3:12, 4:00 – 4:30.

This is How a Heart Breaks – Rob Thomas (3:51):  We’re almost done.  Three more sprint intervals 15/20/1:15 at 0:44 – 1:00, 1:32 – 1:52, and 2:20 – 3:35.  One of my favourite go-to sprinting songs, this one never fails to get me going.

Hard Sun – Eddy Vedder (5:22): Cool down.  I could listen to this song every day and never tire of it.

If I Were a Boy – Beyonce (4:09):  Additional cool down and goodbye music.  Another favourite.

A recent article in Canada’s Globe and Mail explains why music energizes us and helps us with endurance during exercise.  It also points out that music’s effects aren’t just in your head: there’s a reason music is banned from many marathons.  It works.  (My husband runs without music, and even though I ride outdoors without music, I would sooner go to the dentist than go for a run without my iPhone.)