There are two main reasons why music is great for running to: it can be a welcome distraction from a grueling run and the right track works as an excellent motivator. We have been looking into just what makes a song an ideal running partner, and have compiled a list of a few of our best songs for running.
Some people prefer to listen to the sounds around them as they run: the birds, the ocean, and people talking. But more often than not, the sounds around us are traffic and our own labored breathing, reminding us how tired we are but with another five miles stretched out in front of us. This is where music comes in. Research has found (although you have probably noticed this all on your own) that by matching our steps to the number of beats per minute in a song, our running pace instinctively adjusts to be in time. This is why it feels strange to run while listening to a ballad. So, the best music for running is up-beat (motivating) and up-tempo songs that will match our pace and drag us along those last few miles.
To find your best songs for running, you should first work out the time it takes you to run a mile. The following songs have suitable beats for the pace you would need to run a mile in nine and a half to ten and a half minutes. This will probably be at the start of your run:
- My Sharona (The Knack). A great upbeat and happy song.
- Born to Run (Bruce Springsteen) The title says it all!
- Hey Ya! (Outkast) A fast, quirky song that will keep you moving.
When you are ready for a faster pace, your song choices should be faster too. The beats of these great songs for running will match a pace of around seven minutes per mile:
- The Middle (Jimmy Eat World) A personal favorite, but perfect for running because of its motivational lyrics.
- Lose Yourself (Eminem) Pretty cheesy, but this one oozes motivation!
- Pump It (Black Eyed Peas) Again, fairly cheesy, but this should keep you going.
Of course, these songs are only ideas to get you started. You have your own tastes and will need more material to get you through a full running session. Hopefully though, you can see the benefit of matching the beats of songs to the different stages of your run. You’re probably wondering where the old favorite ‘Eye of The Tiger’ is. Well, at 109 beats, it’s too slow for the pace of most runners, but if you just have to have it, why not play this one during your warm-up?
Then most important thing is to have fun and choose the best songs for running that you can. That way you will remain motivated and distracted from tiredness or dull surroundings.