The right running playlist can make your run more fun and help you run longer and faster. I shared my five go-to Spotify playlists that I’ve use for training runs and races. You won’t find Bon Jovi or classic rock on these, but you will hear an assortment of more current music from hip hop to instrumental to mainstream and offbeat. There’s some of everything, including high energy and more mellow playlists.
Should you run with music?
Good music can make a good run even better and research has shown that people can run longer with music. (There’s something called the auditory motor synchronization that helps you regulate your pace.)
I listen to music while I run about 50% of the time.
- If I have a long, solo run, I love music to help keep me entertained.
- With a shorter easy run, I love to get lost in music and zone out.
- If I have a long tempo run, a driving beat helps immensely.
But, sometimes I don’t like listening to music when I run:
- On the track or during any workout with lots of changes in pace, I never listen to music. I hate anything extra on me with speed work since it just annoys me.
- When running with others. I think that’s so weird and I see it often.
- And when I’m just craving some peace and quiet, away from electronics, I leave my phone at home while I run. I let my mind run free.
Should you race with music?
This is totally personal preference. I never do for 5Ks but do occasionally for longer races, including half marathons and marathons. The 2018 Boston Marathon had horrible weather so while I wasn’t planning on using music for that race, I did simply because I knew that music helps me get through tough runs! And that was a tough day. But at the 2019 Boston Marathon, when I had a big time goal, I didn’t listen to music since I knew I needed to pay attention to my body to regulate pace and push when I needed to.
But, in general, I lean towards not racing with music. I think a distraction can be fine on training runs but on race day, I like to focus! Okay, on to the playlists!
Best Running Music and Playlist
I started this one after I burned out on 2018 Running Playlist. It’s a little less mainstream than my 2018 mix except for Imagine Dragons – those songs are just so good!
This one has 21 songs and 1 hour 15 minutes of music! It’s a good mix of mainstream, hip hop music plus some lesser-known bands. I used this for the majority of my Boston Marathon training runs this year.
This playlist has FOUR HOURS of music and it’s what I used during all my training for the Wrightsville Beach Marathon. It has a good mix of upbeat and some “zone out” songs. And it’s long enough to get you though very long runs.
Sometimes, I just can’t deal with pop. You won’t find any Kesha or Rihanna on here.
(7 hours of music!!) This is a really random assortment of songs since it’s my catch-all playlist whenever I hear a song I like. I like this playlist for easy runs and it’s my go-to workout playlist for lifting days.
Happy running! With or without music!
Okay, your turn to share! Do you run with music? If not, why not? If so, what’s your favorite running song?
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