It’s no secret that running is an activity that requires a good bit of motivation – especially in the beginning and your fitness levels might mean you find yourself struggling . While this struggle tends to get better over time there are more than a few tricks to keep you going when the weather is bad or your just not feeling it! Running playlists can be a simple but highly motivating way to get your feet moving and make you feel great while you’re doing it!
Running Playlists, What Music is Best for Running?
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It shouldn’t be surprising that music is helpful when it comes to motivation. No matter what activity you taking part in music is well known for its’ ability to positively affect mood and reduces how strenuous a project seems. When your listening to music physical exertion just seems to be a little easier and time tends to pass a little bit faster. I have found this to be true in many aspects of life – even when it comes to cleaning the house!
However, when it comes to motivation, not all music is considered equal. Sad, slow songs are unlikely to keep you feeling either positive OR motivated! What type of music works best for you depends largely on what you’re looking for. Are you looking to run faster or are you looking to just enjoy your runs a bit more?
Running Faster Using Music
Studies have shown that people do get a performance-enhancing effect when they synchronize their strides to the beat of the music. To achieve this effect there is a bit of research involved. You need to find music (that you hopefully also enjoy) with about 150 to 190 beats per minute which should link u to about one beat per step.
This is not a set in stone rule however and you might have to experiment with the number that works best for you. Some people prefer to run with beats that synch up with their strides rather than their individual steps. To do this you need to find music with about 75-95 beats per minute. You might even have to create several different tracks for your different types of running workouts. Slower songs might help you keep pace during longer or more relaxed runs while faster songs would be better for track or speed workouts.
If you’re like me and terrible at figuring out anything that involves numbers then you’re in luck! There are already a great number of playlists out there created by other runners to get you started! You can take a gander at these, customize them or just get inspiration for starting your own!
Here is a great page for songs running at around 180 beats per minute.
Here is a great list for a song that runs around 80-83 beats per minute.
Staying Motivated and Positive Using Music
Sometimes listening to music isn’t about going faster – it’s just about trying to go at all! It can be hard to stay positive when you’re struggling to make a new running goal, especially when your first getting started. But music is an excellent tool to use for this!
In order to stay motivated using music, you need to select songs with an energetic beat. Positive lyrics or songs with uplifting messages can also be incredibly helpful. It’s hard to throw in the towel when you’re listening to music about never giving up! Bonus points if these songs are ones you know well enough to sing along with!
This Runners Playlist has some pretty good options! However, if you’re not concerned about beats per minute then feel free to just pick and choose songs you enjoy from your current playlists. Just keep in mind that you want to feel motivated – so no matter how much you love that slow ballad it might not be the best choice!
My Favorite Running Songs
When it comes to music my tastes are pretty broad, I enjoy everything from country to rock. My main criteria for enjoying a song seems to be more in line with a lyric I can relate to or sing with then the genre it belongs too or the band that creates it. This means that some of my picks might not jive with everyone but these are a few of the songs I personally find motivating while I run! Typically I don’t follow a beats per minute rule when picking songs as I tend to focus more on distance than speed due to my asthma.
Born Ready by Zayde Wolf – This is the song I put on when I’m struggling during a run. The lyrics really inspire me to keep going.
Fight Song by Rachel Platten – This is also a great song to listen to during a hard run, it reminds me of why I started running in the first place.
Get What I Came For by The Phantoms – This song reminds me that I’m out to reach a goal and I will get there.
One Foot by Walk The Moon – When you’re struggling on a run what’s better than a song that encourages you to just keep putting one foot in front of another?
What to Remember when Running With Music
Running with music can be controversial in some large races, this is not because they question the effect of music but because running with music typically means running with headphones or earbuds which can create a safety hazard if the race takes place in areas with traffic.
It’s always important to keep your safety in mind while running and I highly advise people to either keep their music low enough that they can still hear what’s going on around them or investing in bone conduction headphones such as Treks which allows you still be aware of cars, stray dogs and random events that can happen while out on the road.