The secret to building a good playlist for running songs is setting the right beats per minute(BPM) or in other words “pace”.
Your running playlist can have a big influence on your running performance. How you select the music can make the difference between a bad run and an awesome one.
The first consideration before you start creating your own playlist is knowing the type of running you will do. A sprinter and a marathon runner will require different tunes. Other factors to consider are, how long will you be running and the type of music you like. A lover of hip hop will prefer a play list made up of hip hop while a lover of rock music will prefer a playlist of the best rock hits. Men and women have different musical tastes. If you are creating a playlist for someone else, consider the gender and age.
In the examples listed in the next paragraph you’ll see how you can use the BPM of the music, playlists and the sorting of the songs to help you run better, faster, and stick to your training plan.
BPM for fast runners
My friend Steve likes to participate in 5k races. He is fast, and he listens to music when he runs. His playlist is loaded with very high BPM songs. So if you are like Jeff, you’d want to create a playlist that is 35-45 minutes in total, and fill it with songs with a BPM of 140-180.
BPM For Slow Runners
Jenny is a relatively new runner, and while she wants to jog faster, and win a 5k someday, she is aware that she’s just starting out and needs to pace herself so she doesn’t get injured.
If you are like Jenny, you’ll create a playlist that is around 50 minutes long, with the first 5-10 minutes having songs with a BPM of around 100-120. This will help you ease into the jog and get to a good pace slowly. If you are in a race, you will be somewhere in the middle of the pack and it will take you a few minutes to get into an area with enough breathing room to jog faster anyway. After the first 5-10 minutes, you can start to slowly build up the BPM of your songs, go up to 140 for the next 5-10 minutes. After that you can increase the BPM of you songs to a high pace of 140-180.
Free Running Music Playlist
1. Plan to have enough music to keep you going for the duration of the race. Unless you don’t mind looping music of course. If you finish up your music once you are 2 hours into a race, it can get very boring, very quickly.
2. Keep your body awareness when you run. If you are running on a very hot day for example and your 180 BPM music comes up on your iPod, you should skip that song unless you feel confident that you can handle that kind of stress.
3. Make sure you are listening to music at a safe volume and make sure you are very aware of traffic on your path.