“So I’m outside of da club and you think I’m a puuuuuuuunk
So I go to my loaded tech 9 that’s off in the truuuuuuuunk
I told that muthafucka
I ain’t never scared…”
Bonecrusher – Never Scared
No need to look any further, this is the pre-race song you’ve been searching for. “Never Scared” is hands down the best song to be listening to before going into any race that doesn’t require you being full throttle the entire time.
Don’t get hung up on the lyrics. Almost all rap music is about drugs, sex, guns, violence or money. When you listen to it you can’t even discern what some of the lyrics are. What you need to be focusing on here is the instrumental.
Long distance swims, whether solo or as part of an Ironman, require holding a steady pace and controlling your heart rate. They are nothing like short/sprint distances where you’re on the gas pedal from start to finish. This is where this song comes in handy.
I can hear the instrumental in my head over and over. Its slow tempo makes it easy to slow my breathing and control my heart rate. It’s paramount you control your heart rate because any swim race is like a Chinese fire drill; you need to keep it together so not expend too much energy, especially if it’s a triathlon. It doesn’t create a false sense of urgency as a fast-tempo song does. Lastly, because it’s a short, simple beat that’s been looped, I can check out and go into cruise control for the length of the swim.
So if you aren’t familiar with “Never Scared,” I encourage you to listen to it a few times. Then, listen to the instrumental version and you’ll see why it’s the most important part. Only with practice will you understand how you can use the tempo to control your pace and state of mind.