Music and running. Ever since portable devices became usable for running (forget about songs skipping in your Discman, or Walkman), music has been a must-have for many amateur and professional runners. With research showing that music influences performance by up to 15%, it’s no wonder that the right songs can have you chasing down a personal best or hitting that runner's high without you even realizing. But what makes a song motivating to run to? When it comes to music, everyone has their own opinion and taste sure, but some key factors are attributed to inspiring you towards your running best.
Beats per minute (BPM)
The most common musical attribute for those finding their fast, the number of beats per minute is often a great way to make sure you’re heading out with the right pacing and running rhythm. Typically, any song over 150 beats is considered to match a running tempo; think songs like The Killers’ Mr. Brightside or Elton John’s Crocodile Rock.
Even if the beats per minute are around 150, playing a song you’ve heard before versus playing a new song produces better results. When we hear something new, we concentrate more and so are less likely to be as attentive to the run. Hearing a song we know well or at least have heard a few times means less of our attention is spent interpreting it, and more time letting the familiar music motivate us by knowing what’s next.
We’ve gathered some of the best recommendations from our On athletes for you to add to your 2018 running playlist and never feel unmotivated on the run again.