I would like this site to be totally great.
In practice, this means I spend a lot of time mulling two questions:
*What are the workout songs I wish someone had told me about?
*What are the workout music tools I wish someone had built already?
Then, I try to share those songs and build those tools.
Most everything that happens on Run Hundred is an attempt to answer one of those two questions.
Lately, though, I’ve been thinking of a third question:
*If someone wanted to top my efforts, what would he or she do?
Sports teams regularly rely on this line of thinking–encouraging players to imagine what their competitors would need to do to win against them, then improving upon that plan.
But, I mean this less in the competitive sense and more in the reflective sense. To that end, I’m referring to the times I’ve found myself in restaurants thinking about my most health-conscious friend and wondering what she’d order on a given menu to balance good taste with good sense. Similarly, around the holidays, I’ve been trying to think of the most relaxed person I know and imagining how he’d navigate a series of overlapping commitments gracefully.
In the scope of this site, I’ve been ruminating on what someone would do–if he or she wanted to create a better, more rewarding experience for folks in search of workout music.
So, as an experiment, I quintupled the amount of songs I’d usually consider for the site’s latest compilation.
To put this in context, I review 200 new songs each week to find the five that appear in the newsletter. When collecting tracks for an album, I use roughly the same ratio. So, in both cases, I listen to 40 or so songs for each one that I share.
For Run Hundred Tracks 2, I considered 2487 tracks to find the 13 that appear on the album. Accordingly, just one in every 200 contenders made the cut.
For what it’s worth, most of the changes I make–on this site and beyond–are small: minor tweaks and little adjustments. In this case, I wanted to make an exponential change–devoting five times the effort to a project–to see what would happen.
As you’d expect, dramatic changes yielded dramatic results.
Normally, by the time an album’s out, I need a break from the material–as I’ve heard it so many times in the course of production. But, in this case, my interest has been undiminished by repeat exposure to the songs. And, this is exactly what you want in a workout album: such deep charm that additional listens just draw you in further.
Anyway, I’m not taking credit for any of this creative durability–as that belongs to the artists and bands involved. But, I found them by imagining what someone even more devoted to finding workout music might do, then trying that.
I wanted to share the experience, as it was equal parts challenging and fruitful. And, if you want to check out the results, the album is available below.
I think the collection will win folks over with catchiness at first and nuance over time. And, if that’s not the case for you, let me know, and I’ll issue a refund. (My contact info will appear on your email receipt–in case you want to touch base.)
To test the top one-half of one percent of the workout music I’ve received recently, you can download Run Hundred Tracks 2 here.