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Video:Tips for Putting Together a Running Playlist

with Jonathon Stewart

Want to learn some great tips for putting together a running playlist? Here, we'll show you what works for keeping the pace.See Transcript

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Transcript:Tips for Putting Together a Running Playlist

Music soothes and relaxes, but the right tuneage also gets us pumped and keeps us on track when working out – never more so than when running. It's the music that propels us, taking the focus away from how far we have left or how much our legs hurt. Here are some tips on building a running playlist that goes the distance even when we feel like stopping.

Basics Tips for Putting Together a Running Playlist

Plan your playlist to match your running route. You most likely know how long it takes you to run your regular course, so you'll want to make sure your playlist doesn't end just before the home stretch. Songs often have playtimes so you can tally them up, according to the course length.

More Tips for Putting Together a Running Playlist

Beyond time, a running playlist is your theme music for the journey. Whether it's the theme to Rocky, a country classic, or a techno-acid-house version of a Justin Bieber/Diddy, the selection should be something you enjoy listening to; otherwise, the music as motivation strategy just won't work. I guess I don't have to download that new Ke$ha song after all.

Additional Tips for Putting Together a Running Playlist

The order of the songs should reflect your running course terrain. For example, you can use faster songs for flat areas and driving beats for those uphill portions. In between, you might want to fit in songs that link to interval paces you have for your running regimen. At the beginning and end of your run, the songs on your playlist might be slower to coincide with warm-up and cool-down sessions. And, speaking of interval pacing, did you know it's all about the BPMs? That's beats per minute, for the non-DJs among us. The beats in the song can match the rhythm of your running so that you mark each beat with every step you take. The extra pounding can push you onward to the finish line.

Technology has turned the creation of a running playlist into a science thanks to a BPM calculator. You can download one of these as a free or pay app for most smartphones. The calculator enables you to pinpoint how many beats per minute are in your favorite songs and see where you might place it in your playlist, according to your run.It's important to remember, though, that BPM is still subjective, especially since each runner has his or her own pace and use for the tempo. While some runners may take it at double-time pace to match their footfalls, other runners may prefer a more mellow BPM that's in line with the pace of a love song, for example.

Technology has also provided other ways to put together your running playlist. Thanks to blogs and social networking sites, runners can elicit advice from others about the music that motivates them. Sites like Amazon, Spotify, Amazon and Pandora let you listen to music snippets before you buy or download to see if it might enhance your running playlist. They can even make suggestions based on artists or songs you've already downloaded, expanding your musical horizons.

Finally, your playlist is a lot like your running or exercise regimen. You need to change it up every once in awhile or it can get stale quickly. Be sure to create more than one playlist to keep things fresh and to accommodate different running routes or lengths of time. Worst case scenario, you can always throw We Will Rock You on repeat.

I'm Jonathon Stewart, with About.com.
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