I recently received a promo copy of The Crystal Method's Drive: Nike+ Original Run. According to Nike and the band:

"The unique set-up of the track 'Drive' is that it follows the progression of a 45-minute work out. The tempo of the track begins at a slower pace to take the athlete through a gradual warm up, increases pace over the course of the run, and then gradually decreases tempo as part of the cool down."

Apparently Nike and the Crystal Method got input from experts, runners, and other scientific-types to create an iTunes exclusive track that "follows the arc of a typical distance run"; specifically, a 45 minute run. Forget for a second that I've never run for 45 consecutive minutes in my entire life; also know that I've never been a fan of The Crystal Method's music, and in fact, am almost entirely unfamiliar with it, besides that one song from like 10 years ago. So I don't know if creating a 45 minute long track for Nike that's solely intended as a workout soundtrack is a publicity stunt by the band, an attempt to cash in on what's left of their career, or a genuine interest in trying to accomplish something new and innovative. In fact, I don't really care.

There's some other stuff too, like this new technology that reads your mind or something and synchs with your iPod and your shoes somehow to track your workout, but I don't know about that. I just wanted to know if the song works, so I gave it a spin:

I started out the run with a couple factors working against me. First, it was 100 degrees out. Second, I hate running. But I was wearing Nikes, so that was good. The track starts out a bit corny, with verbal cues warning "It's time to get movin'," "it's your time," etc., then some creepy dude laughs at you. Musically, it reminded me of mid-'90s Chemical Brothers-esque dance music, which isn't really my thing. However, about 5-6 minutes in, I found my pace unwillingly progressing from jog to gallop to run. Drive was impressively able to dictate the pace of the run throughout, and I absolutely got a second and third-wind that I normally don't get when running.

Nike and the Crystal Method dudes definitely did their homework, and simply put, the track works. I finally found myself getting bored and having the urge to slow down about 30 minutes in, but I don't know if that was because of the music, or just the running part. I kept up the pace until about the 35 minute mark, which is when the track starts slowing down anyway (genius!) I mean, I'll never listen to this track when I'm not running, but I'll definitely use it again, and I think at the very least, they've succeeded in creating something of a novel training-tool.

For those who care, here's my typical running playlist, complete with mp3s. Notice, it's under 30 minutes long, which is about 15 minutes shorter than Drive: