When I run with music, I’m constantly changing my approach to it. I try to avoid getting bored with music as it helps me stay motivated and keeps me engaged while running.
I came up with a few different ways to change up your approach to music if you’re in need of some inspiration.
7 Ways to Run with Music
1. Go rogue and shuffle your entire music library. You might be already doing this one, but if you haven’t in a while it’s worth a try. I have about 1,200 songs on my phone right now. Every time I hit shuffle, I at least come across one song I haven’t heard in a long time. It’s unpredictable, nostalgic, and fun.
2. Create a different play list for different runs. This is one activity I never get tired of when it comes to music. I’ve always liked making mixed
tapes, CDs,playlists. Sometimes they’re spontaneous. Sometimes they reflect the type of run. A tempo run usually has shorter, faster songs. Intervals has a combination of fast, short, and mid-tempo songs. For long runs, I try to even it out so I don’t start with a bunch of fast songs but place them in the middle or in the back half of the playlist. Long run playlists usually have songs that are little bit longer and the tempo is a little more steady.
3. Subscribe to a DJ service. Maybe time isn’t on your side or creating playlists or buying songs isn’t of interest. Think about subscribing to a DJ service where they take care of the music. They recreate playlists and remixes usually pretty close to your tastes. I reviewed GymDJ and recommend it as the playlists are focused on beats per minute. This ensures the music matches your run.
4. Subscribe to a music streaming service. I’ve been a long time subscriber to Pandora not only for running but for around the house too. Music streaming services are great because you don’t have to worry about buying, uploading, or even organizing music. If you know what you like (either by genre or artist), you can tailor your run with music. Download an app and access music for any run, anywhere.
5. Story running. This is a game changer. If you still want to listen to music but in a different format, then story running might work for you. Through an app you can access a story that puts you in the action. As the story progresses, the app reaches into your music library and plays music in between scenes. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to break out of a rut.
6. Listen to complete albums. Once in a while, I get a spark to listen to a whole album on a run. That usually means dusting off a CD and burning it but worth the time. Here are some of my favorite albums to run to (in no particular order):
- Nirvana – Nevermind
- Pearl Jam – Vitalogy
- Queens of the Stone Age – R
- KISS – Destroyer
- Foo Fighters – There Is Nothing Left to Lose
- Soundgarden – Superunknown
- Megadeth – Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?
- Metallica – …And Justice for All
- Urge Overkill – Saturation
- Local H – As Good As Dead
7. Run with music based on beats per minute. The concept hasn’t been around all that long but songs can now be categorized by beats per minute (BPM). It’s the pace of music measured by the number of beats occurring in 60 seconds [source]. There’s a whole database where you can search for your favorite songs by BPM. Check out BPM Database which is at 29,000 songs and counting. Or analyse your own music collections BPM with the Cruise Control app.
When I run with music, as you can see, it’s never really the same way every time. How do you run with music? Please leave a comment and join the conversation.
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