The past couple of years I’ve tried different ways to put together a running playlist and have had varying degrees of success. The fact that songs on my Amazon account often don’t transfer to other music players and that I was getting music from a variety of sources meant I often had problems.
This year I’m trying Spotify. My son gave me access to a Spotify account where I can create a playlist and then download it to my phone. Downloading is important for those outside runs because I don’t have a cellphone plan with unlimited streaming so a long run with streaming costs money eventually.
So, this gives me the chance to start over with my running list. Last year’s running playlist turned into a bit of a mess because I kept moving around so a fresh start is welcome.
Running List Criteria
Here’s what I like to use as criteria for a playlist:
- It’s catchy. I use music that makes me want to move around. This is more important than figuring out the beats per mile or the cadence or whatever. If it’s a song that makes you want to dance around your kitchen, you’ll probably want to run to it too. For some reason, Talking Heads songs often fall into this category for me, so I just put Stay Up Late into the list.
- It’s got a good beat. I’ve been going to a cycling class and the class is closely tied to music. There’s a lot of good music there but I often forget it by the time class is over. Occasionally, something really sticks. The most recent one was a cover of Land of Confusion (the old Genesis song) by Disturbed so it’s now on my list.
- Someone recommended it. I like these because they often lead to songs that I would never play but I add them to the list and then I think about that person while running. My son recommended Come With Me Now by Kongos so it’s on my list.
- The song reminds you of someone or some event. Speaking of my son, certain songs work well for running and remind me of him. So, I have Seven Nation Army by The White Stipes and Everlasting Light by The Black Keys in my list.
- I remember dancing to it. A friend once told me to just think of what was playing at frat parties when I was in college and use those songs for a running playlist. So, this year I returned to the ever popular Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen.
- It’s a popular running song. Last year, Thunder by Imagine Dragons played at most of the races I ran so now it reminds me of summer days crossing the finish line. Into the playlist it goes!
- I just like it. For some reason, Smells like Teen Spirit by Nirvana was one of my favorite running songs last year so it’s returned to my playlist for 2018. This one doesn’t fit any of these criteria but for some reason it’s a good song for running. I noticed that I’m suddenly wanting to add Lady Gaga to the mix.
I know I’ll add to this list and it will probably get to be a jumbled mess again this year but right now I’m looking forward to running with my new playlist. One thing is clear. My running playlist makes no sense by types of songs but the important thing is that it motivates me.
If you share some of your favorites, I’ll add them to my list and think of you when I’m running.