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Running Music (and finding new recommendations)

When it comes to the debate of whether or not to run with music, I am very much pro-music.  Music inspires me, motivates me, and can change my mood from bummed out and lazy to ready to take on the world.  Case in point: during the last mile of my long run this past weekend, I played Fort Minor’s Remember the Name and I finished it in 7:18 – for me, music is powerful.

I’m always on a quest to find new music.  Once I start rapping the words to Eminem, I know it’s time for a new song.  But music is something that is completely a personal preference.  Whereas I may like some rap to get me through long runs in the rain, someone else may like something a little more mellow.  Therefore, stalking out other people’s running playlists may give you a few ideas, but it might not always be the exact music you are looking for. I speak from experience.  This past Saturday I spent quite a bit of time in iTunes listening to the playlists of Shalane Flanagan, Kara Goucher, Sara Hall, Josh Cox, and many other elite athletes.  I got a few ideas but still needed some songs that would get me through those last miles.  I don’t remember exactly how I came across it, but I found a pretty cool website to recommend some new music for the workout playlist. is a website that recommends workout music based on what you’re doing (running/walking/cycling) and how fast you you’re doing it.  For example, if you want to run a 9:00 min/mile, will suggest songs that are best suited for running at that pace.  If you are training in a particular heart rate zone, it will recommend songs that will keep you in that zone. You can also search songs for what’s new, what’s hot, and which songs are the most added.  The feature I like the most on is the ability to preview the songs directly from the website.  This avoids the time and energy spent going into iTunes and having to search for the songs.  There is also an app you can purchase for $2.99.  However, based on the reviews, your $3 are better spent somewhere else.   Apparently the app doesn’t work like it is suppose to and Pandora is a much better free option.  So if you stay away from the app and use the website as a way to get some new ideas to add to your playlist, you’re certain to find some pretty good music.  I would also like to add that some of the recommendations for target heart rates and paces seem a little off to me, but again, music is completely personal.  Redneck Yacht Club might work for you at 170 bpm, but I prefer a little Panic! At the Disco.  It’s just a pretty cool website to broaden your music library.

Good luck finding some new running music, and I always welcome any of your recommendations!

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Suh-weet!!!! I don’t typically run with music unless I’m on the treadmill. Thanks for the link though, I have stuff on there from like, 2003 – definitely need new music… haha!

    January 24, 2012
    • 2003 isn’t so bad =) I have some songs from the late 90s. Some songs are just classics. My husband runs on the treadmill with no music and I have no idea how he does it – I think I’d go crazy. Good luck with the music search and let me know if you have any good recommendations.
      Have a great Tuesday!

      January 24, 2012
  2. Last year, training for the marathon, I thought I would lose my mind if I listened to the same playlist again. Thanks for the jogfm tip. I will check it out for sure.

    January 24, 2012
    • Of course and I hope it helps! I’ve already updated my playlist with a few new songs and hope to find some more good ones. Good luck with your music search and happy running.

      January 24, 2012
  3. EJD #

    I LOVE Passion Pit and MGMT when I’m running. Long songs with great tempo! Thanks for the jogfm tip. I need to put my Christmas iTunes giftcard to use. 🙂

    January 24, 2012
  4. Running in Mommyland #

    I am totally with you on the “running with music” debate, although today I ran 18 and needed to listen to quiet for a while.

    Audiobooks are fun too!

    January 28, 2012
    • That’s awesome you were able to run 18 and have quiet thinking time. That’s always a nice mental break =) I haven’t gotten into audiobooks but I have done quite a few podcasts. Maybe I’ll do a book this weekend =)

      February 2, 2012
  5. I am not in the habit of running with music, but definitely think it would benefit me on long runs… I need to start trying it out!

    January 31, 2012
    • Music is always great on a long runs but also helps during hard workouts. If I can focus on the music instead of the pain of the intervals, that always helps =P

      February 2, 2012

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