Pump Up the Jams - Cross is Coming

Chelsea Weidinger is an American CX privateer who began her cyclocross career out of intrigue and soon fell in love with the sport. Now in her fifth season racing UCI C1 cross, she shares her key ingredient to getting through long training blocks: a crucial playlist. 

As the training is ramping up and being fine-tuned for cyclocross season right now there is no denying that there is something else that also needs some ramping up and fine tuning - YOUR PLAYLIST! I have found that the right song will help me get through a brutal interval. Just when you think your legs are about to explode on your last 10 minutes of threshold, Whitney Houston’s’ version of “I Will Always Love You” comes on and you somehow manage to sing along.

 I’ve always thought that I needed something fast to listen to. I spent my adolescent years listening to thrash metal and punk rock. For a long time when I first started training my playlists consisted of copious amounts of Metallica’s’ first albums and Judas Priest but recently I have found that even Beyonce will help me find those few extra watts. It’s all about something that I can sing along to, makes me feel like a badass and/or evokes emotion. I would have been the last person to think putting Lady Gaga songs from A Star is Born on my v02 max workout was a good idea, but it does what is most important - evokes emotion and makes me want to sing along which is exactly what you need to dig deep.

I don’t get to spend as much time searching for music as I would like and I don’t update my playlist as much as I should, often listening to the same playlist for up to 6 months but when I reach the end of the playlist Spotify will play suggested songs and they do a pretty good job. If you don’t currently pay for a music app - I highly suggest Spotify. With the criteria mentioned above, here are 10 recommendations from my current playlist I call Mixy which you can find on Spotify.

A Tribe Called Red - Angel Haze
Angel Haze is one of my favorite artists on this playlist. They are raw, honest and I relate most with them because of their uncompromising “I don’t care what you think, this is who I am” attitude.
Kitana - Princess Nokia
This is one of those songs that makes you feel like an ultimate badass. If you listened to this song before getting onto the start line you’d have no problems rubbing some elbows.
Always Remember Us This Way - Lady Gaga
I watched “A Star is Born” on the flight to Dirty Kanza. Fun fact about me - I am scared of flying. Irrationally so. This song gave me goosebumps and made me forget for a second that I was on a plane. I always sing along, even when I can barely breathe.
Lose Yourself - Eminem
Call it a guilty pleasure, when you feel like you can’t do something this song is one that tells you that you can.
No Limits - Angel Haze
Another one of those songs that will make you not mind rubbing some elbows.
Set Fire to the Rain - Adele
This is a very dramatic song and it’s the perfect kind of drama for the bike. You feel like you’re in the scene of a movie doing something very important.
Pound the Alarm - Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj has popullated my playlists for a few years now. This is the one song that has managed to continue to be added again and again.
I Don’t Fuck With You - Big Sean/E-40
This song is a timeless “I don’t give a fuck” anthem.
Where Are You Now? - Lady Leshurr/Wiley
Lady Leshurrs’ music is fun and the lyrics are good. It makes you listen and not zone out which is always a good quality when you’re on the bike.
Misery Business - Paramore
Absolute GUILTY PLEASURE! In fact, I heard it while I was listening to a playlist on Spotify called “Guilty Pleasures” and it helped me get through 10min on/off intervals. I haven’t looked back.