Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Marathon preparation involves a few non-negotiable things for me: selecting my outfit, rolling my quads, packing gels, filling my water bottles, and cleaning my sunglasses. But perhaps the most important step to my pre-marathon ritual is organizing my playlist. And who makes a regular appearance in that Spotify playlist?
None other than the one, the only—Taylor Swift.
If there’s ever a perfect occasion for Swift’s golden vocal cords and crooning, it’s during a quad-burning, gut-wrenching, sweat-inducing marathon. I have a specific song set up for five stages of every marathon: the starting five miles, the runner’s high midway, the wall somewhere between miles 16 and 20, the home stretch, and the finish line.
And while the 5’11,” long-legged millionaire superstar Swift and I have almost nothing in common, we both have things to train for. Me, whatever race I signed up for that month, Swift, her worldwide tour. With 44 hit songs to belt and dance to onstage during her Era Tour, Swift’s training is essential for a high-energy show.
Swift Trains, We Train
Just as Swift needs to train, so do concert-goers. Fans flock to Reddit to ask each other what they should be doing to prepare for the Eras Tour; what shoes to wear, and how to train so they can keep dancing all night long. One workout sure to satisfy Swifties is Taylor Swift Treadmill Strut, created by TikToker Allie Bennett. She curated a playlist of Swift songs (that currently has 124,764 likes) that matches the pace to a treadmill walking workout.
“Find your face to the beat of ‘The Man,’ then add .1 mph each time the song changes,” Bennett says in a TikTok. She also adds that, to increase the difficulty, you can add an incline.
By the end of the 36-minute workout, you should be walking or jogging to the beat of “Shake It Off” and “Ready for It.”’ Cool-down involves a strut to “Style.”
If you’d rather take Swift outside a run or on your next marathon, below is my playlist, taylor-ed perfectly for your next PR.
Running With Taylor Swift
The Starting Five (Miles 0-5) “Blank Space” – “1989”
The beginning few miles of a race are filled with excitement, adrenaline, and nerves. It can also be one of the most dangerous times of a marathon because you’re surrounded by other runners and pressured to run faster than the pace you originally set. That’s why “Blank Space” is perfect for this period—the consistent tempo is perfect to keep time to, and the classic, fan-favorite tune bolsters my attitude for what’s to come.
The Runner’s High (Miles 6-10) “Cruel Summer” – “Lover”
I admit, I didn’t feel the attachment to this song when it was released on the 2019 album, “Lover,” but its resurgence as a single made me a believer. When I hit the peak of my runner’s high, which is around 10 miles, when the pain suddenly becomes more like a surge of ecstasy and you start laughing and grinning like a goofball? That’s when I play “Cruel Summer” and practically shimmy to the tune of, “I love you ain’t that the worst thing you ever heard?”
The Wall (Miles 12-16) “Bejeweled” – “Midnights”
If any song could get me out of bed and dancing, it’s this one. When I hit the wall–mine personally smacks me in the face around mile 16–“Bejeweled” makes me feel like I’m the main character. The line (“Best believe I’m still bejeweled, when I walk in the room, I can still make the whole place shimmer!”) makes me want to use jazz fingers, and gets me focused on the song rather than the utter exhaustion in my legs.
The Home Stretch (Miles 20-25) “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)” – “Red”
Between miles 20 and 25, I’m in another world. My body is on autopilot, one leg after the other. That’s when I listen to “All Too Well”–all 10 minutes of it. Some people might think it’s a little too slow for a running song, but during the home stretch, I need lyrics to focus on. “All Too Well” is as good as listening to a story, but Taylor Swift is telling it.
The Finish Line (Mile 26.2) “Enchanted” – “Speak Now”
The finish line is a cathartic experience, and what makes that even more heavenly is Taylor Swift belting one of her most iconic ballads (purely my opinion – a correct one). One important thing to note is that I will time the song just right so that I finish the race just after the last few lines of, “Please don’t be in love with someone else, please don’t have somebody waiting on you…” then, BOOM, the bass drops and you’re basking in all the sweaty, wonderful post-race glory with Taylor Swift in your ear.