Niamh Fisher-Black's beats: New Zealand road race champion shares her top indoor-training tunes

Put your hands in the air: Bigla-Katusha’s Niamh Fisher-Black wins the 2020 elite women’s road-race title at the New Zealand Road Championships in Cambridge
Put your hands in the air: Bigla-Katusha’s Niamh Fisher-Black wins the 2020 elite women’s road-race title at the New Zealand Road Championships in Cambridge (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

If you're anything like me, an indoor trainer playlist has to have a particular line-up – a playlist somewhat undefinable, as its make-up can, and will, consist of a vast array of music genres. For me, this is purely just to make sure that my session includes depth and variety, so that I don't have to waste precious energy taking my hand from its grip of the bars in order to pick up my phone, pull up Spotify and skip a track.

This becomes even more pressing if, like me, you have not yet committed to paying for a Spotify Premium membership, and hence have only a mere six skips an hour. Now that's definitely enough reason to put some careful planning into your next line-up.

I've put in some scheming of my own, applying tactical moves such as (more than) a few Kiwi classics and some more meaningful 'oldies', just to keep a smile on my dial while the legs do the hurting. So I'd like to think that when I next get on the indoor trainer, my session will sound a little like this.

Stacy - Shag Rock. Something to wake up the legs and start on a positive note, Shag Rock does the trick.

Daiquiri - Mako Road. It sings NZ summer; the whistling cicadas, pesky sandflies, crashing waves and those infrared sun-rays. It induces just the type of scenes we Kiwis dream of, eight months into race season, yet will fuel any trainer session just as well. Mako Road does it right.

High And Low - Empire of the Sun. This was the backing track of endless hours on the road driving across Europe in a rental car, just me and my dad, chasing the Innsbruck World Championships – my first stint of European racing as a junior.

Land of Pleasure - Sticky Fingers and Feel the Way I Do - The Jungle Giants. Just to mix in some mellow Aussie tones. They are familiar tunes to me, listened to all too often, yet still going strong. Perhaps fitting, too, because contrary to what your legs are saying, an indoor trainer session couldn't be more like that 'Land of Pleasure', right?

Hanoi Cafe - Bleu Toucan. Probably one of the many songs stolen from my brother's Spotify playlists. He's the one with the knack of good music, in this family anyway.

Sunday Morning - Maroon 5. For a mid-spin groove. Tap your bars, nod your head, sing if you're feeling joyous. Keep the legs spinning and enjoy. 'Sunday Morning' by Maroon 5 never fails to make me smile.

Flow - Crooked Colours. There's something so powerful about riding a bike, or any exercise for that matter, where you can completely lose control over your mind and thoughts. There's something I love about that. It can act as an escape – especially during these periods of lockdown – from our screens or the jobs we have tasked ourselves. So while I may be stationary, confined to the indoors, there's no stopping my attention wandering off into all sorts of daydreams. This is when I like a good steady beat, but nothing too tricky, to facilitate the madness unfolding in my head. This Crooked Colours track ticks all the boxes.

Orphans – Coldplay. A subtle addition of Coldplay because this band could never go amiss to me. "Boom ba-boom-boom," like the legs right about now.

The Difference – Flume. Things always get slightly heated indoors. It's inevitable, as there's no such thing as an easy pedal as long as your rear is connected to that stationary machine. I like to up the beat a little, too, and Flume knows how.

She Moves In Her Own Way - The Kooks. Listen closely and you will hear the crowd clapping you along in this one.

Notion - Tash Sultana. There are so many different places a simple riff or beat can take you, and with Tash Sultana it's another taste of home. This fills you with warm chills – I like this – and makes my feet feel like feathers floating over the pedals.

Open Your Eyes - Snow Patrol. Finishing on a gentler note, this is a tune that dials back 13 years in the Fisher-Black household, when you'd find little Niamh and my brother, Finn, watching – and re-watching – some YouTube click-bait, 'motivational' video on our mum's computer: basically a montage of Lance Armstrong's career (pre-doping scandal) to Snow Patrol's 'Open Your Eyes'. The song and video for some reason resonates some deep tie to both my and my brother's unfolding career. The video is probably buried somewhere deep in the black hole of YouTube nowadays, but this song will keep my legs moving however deep in the pain cave I am. In a way, this reminds me what is too often forgotten about Armstrong: the vast positive effect he had on the sport, contrary to his unforgotten negative impact. What do you think

You can find Niamh's selection on Spotify. Check it out below.

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