Music and Running


When I first started running I was under the impression that ONLY really “lazy” runners needed music to run.  At that time I was running with Team in Training and always had a buddy on the course.  PLUS I was raised to be a rule follower.  When the course information said no headphones, back in the day, I listened.

When I seriously returned to running after M was born, I ran 90% of the time alone and could only get going with music.  And I was so bananas, I really didn’t care what the course description said – I needed those headphones and if anyone tried to take them from me, I would punch them.

Now that I have my AMAZING MRTT friends to keep me company, I rarely run with music for group training runs. However, I have found that for hills, races, and my “mental reset” runs, I need music to help me focus and keep moving.  I am somewhat respectful of course rules (meaning I tuck my telltale wires under my shirt), but I am yet to have an official yank the earbuds away from me at a race.

I have read MANY articles on the topic – from Meb Keflezighi’s perspective that running with an armband messes with your form to the articles encouraging music because it has a positive impact on your workout.  BUT just like anything else with running – it’s 100% up to you.

IF you choose to run with music, this chart is an awesome way to mix up your playlist to help judge your BPM (beats per minute).


When I build a list, I pick my favorite running song and try to find songs around that BPM.  I tend to have one main list going at all times and add music that “moves” me along the way.  I’ve also created several special lists for hills, mellow runs, country runs, and specific races.  This site is super helpful for creating playlists by BPM.

My current play list is fairly eclectic, but these are my top 40+ for the moment.

Current list

Today, I am totally obsessed with “I Lived” by One Republic.  The lyrics are amazing.

Whatever you choose to do…. ENJOY your run!!!

One thought on “Music and Running”

  1. I’m so musically challenged that I wouldn’t have thought of songs having BPM or that you’d need to pick them accordingly. I just knew that the few times I needed music for a long run on a treadmill that I needed to pick my favorite songs so I wouldn’t get bored. 🙂 Cool stuff!


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