According to this article, music can boost your running performance by 15%. Some of my most satisfying runs have been to music. But some of my fastest have been with no music. Unless you count the cadence of feet hitting pavement and rhythmic breathing as music…
I think a lot when I’m running, and if music is playing, I also match my stride to the tempo. But I also adjust my stride when I find a nice breathing rhythm, too. With music, I’m often jamming while jogging, but not necessarily pacing according to how much energy or breath I have. This is great fun, until the music holds me back. That’s when it’s time to update the playlist, or turn the music off entirely.
So yesterday Erika asked what’s on our running playlists. Now, I’ve had two versions of my playlist (3 mile and 4 mile) for over a year. It’s important to say up front, I spend countless runs skipping through songs and testing sequences to get my playlists just right. Once they are, I tend to use them until I outpace them. Nerd, OCD, whatever. I like the music to be energizing, but I also like to sync my steps with the beat. This means the BPM has to be perfect.
Some of my best songs come from pre-made cardio fitness compilations. They’re the right BPM and are already cross faded to blend nicely from one to another. I then mix in songs from my personal collection and voila!
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective) my pace is quickening, but my playlist (namely the 4 miler) has remained the same. That means it’s time to rearrange, test new songs and the like. I tried mixing things up today for the first time. Catastrophe.
That’ll be a new project, but for now, here’s the answer to the question. I am generally done with my run by the end of track 10, but the other songs are there for cool down, and the occasional 5 mile stretch.